14 Percent Of People Would Choose This Cherished Item Over Their Partner, According To Research

Partners come and go, but pets are for life.

Last updated on Oct 25, 2023

Woman happy with her dog golubovy | Jasmina007 | Getty Images

If you had to choose between your pet and your significant other, who would you pick? Most people would pick their partner and a few would say it depends on how long they'd been dating that person versus how long they'd had the pet.

Meanwhile, 14 percent of people polled by the AP and Petside in 2015 admitted that they'd break up with a human before they parted with a pet.

RELATED: Science Says You Love Your Pets As Much As Your Children


You'd think that choosing between the two would be a no-brainer. Pick the human, right? The pet can't take you out to dinner, talk you through a bad day at work, help you cook dinner, or be your date at your sister's wedding.

But the 14 percent of people who would disagree gave some pretty legitimate reasons.

Firstly, if you're not married, relationships come and go but a pet will stay with you until the end. This mentality may be reinforced by heartbreak, as one divorced 53-year-old noted when she said she'd pick her dog any day. Another dog owner, who'd had his rescue dog for seven years, said that he would "absolutely" give up his girlfriend for his pit bull since he'd never let him down.


RELATED: People Who Own These Pets Have A Harder Time Finding Love

Compared to men, women were more likely to say they'd have a difficult time choosing between their partner and a pet, while cat and dog owners were equally as likely to have a difficult time choosing between a pet and a spouse. More than eight times out of ten, the spouse would ultimately be chosen.

In our opinion, choosing between a pet and a partner comes down to the reasons why you can't have both. If your partner is highly allergic to the cat but you're not ready to break it off with him, consider giving the cat to a neighbor or somebody who would let you visit it often. Or you could just spend the nights at your boyfriend's place instead of having him come to yours.

RELATED: Why People Who Talk To Their Pets Are Smarter Than Everyone Else


If your partner hates dogs, see if Fido can't win him over. But if your partner just can't stand animals, you might want to use that as a starting point for thinking about what other things you don't have in common.

Conversely, if you're the one pressuring your partner to get rid of Fluffy, keep in mind that you may as well be asking that person to give up a career or a group of friends. To many animal lovers, pets aren't just cute things to keep around; they're children, so tread carefully.

In the end, choosing between a pet and a person comes down to whether it'll be easier to get over a relationship or a loyal animal. Which would you rather deal with?


RELATED: 7 Scientific Ways Having A Pet Makes You A Better Person

Denise Ngo is a freelance web writer and editor specializing in love, dating, and relationships. She is the Managing Editor of Loverish and a writer for PopSci.