We love our pets!

We all want the best for our pets because we love them so much and they make our lives better.

Whether we’re worrying about not spending enough time with them, or think they can tell when we’re lying, we spend a lot of time thinking about how we can do better for our little buddies. In a survey of 2,000 pet parents, we found some striking similarities in the way we experience — and fix — pet guilt.

Vetster pet owner

The pet parent guilt is real.

Fibbing is the biggest cause of pet parent guilt. If you find yourself lying to your pet about the reason why you need to stop walking or playing, you’re not alone.

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pet owners feel guilty when they lie to their pet.


of pet parents admit they lie about the reasons why they need to stop walking or playing.


of pet parents lie about how much food is really left.

Guilt is not reality! 59% of pet owners say they don’t think they spend enough time with their pet. But while you may feel guilty about all that time at work, most people are spending at least 4-6 hours each day with their animals! That’s great!

What pet parents feel guilty about.

  • Not spending as much time with my pets as I'd like to.
  • Spending too much/not enough money on them.
  • When my pets are sick or hurt.
  • Not being able to take my pets on a walk due to inclement weather.
  • Taking my pets off the couch/bed.
  • Accidentally stepping on my pets.
  • Not giving into my pets’ begging.

They play us like a fiddle.

Our pets know when we’re upset and are always there for a snuggle, lick, or nose bump. But they’re also great at letting us know when we need to up our game.

82% of pet owners believe their pet knows how to get the most out of our relationship with:

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Puppy dog eyes

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Not being greeted at the door

Winning them back.

Pet parents often will go for extra long walks (40%), provide extra treats (57%), massages and belly rubs (48%) and attention if they feel the need to “make it up” to their animal.

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Others turn to retail therapy for their pet with 32% of pet parents admitting they’ve spent more than $50 on a treat for their pet after feeling a bit guilty.

Guilt? Totally natural.

Vetster’s Medical Director, Dr. Sarah Machell gave this advice, "Remember that guilt is a normal human emotion and that if you re-frame your feelings around love and care, you’ll be able to set healthy boundaries, training, and routine with your animals. Be mindful of overloading treats and relaxing on your training to compensate. It’s beneficial to your animals to keep the rules in place so they aren’t confused about how you’d like them to behave."

Vetster telehealth communication

Pet health is our #1 concern.

Turns out, pet parents wish they could do more for their pet’s health.

58% feel guilty when their pet is hurt or sick.
20% say they don’t have a regular vet or can’t get appointments at convenient times.
61% hesitate to take their pet to the vet, because they’re unsure it’s serious enough, can’t get into a vet, or aren’t sure of costs.
38% have told their pets they’re going to the park but made a beeline to the vet instead.
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The good news is you don’t need to feel guilty. Vetster veterinary professionals are experts in helping you build the best relationship with your pet. For more tips on managing pet parent guilt, check out our blog or register for a free account today, so you’re ready to book with a Vetster vet when and if you need one.

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