Most pet owners think they share the same personality as their furry friends

According to a survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of ZippyPaws, 76% of respondents say they can always tell what their pet is thinking just from the look on its face. Photo by Jametlene Reskp on Unsplash

Some pets may look like their owners — but over half of American pet parents think their animal companion acts like them, according to new research.

In a recent survey, 80% of 2,000 respondents said that they believe their pet has a “very distinct personality,” with 55% believing that they share similar personality traits with their pet.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of ZippyPaws, the survey revealed that Americans are also particularly eager to believe that their pets are intelligent.

When asked to choose between “clever” and “oblivious” to define their pet’s personality, 64% of respondents chose the former versus 24% who said the latter. Similarly, sixty-two percent of respondents also used the term “smart” when describing their pet.

The data also suggests that the majority of American pets are more friendly than shy (50% vs 42%), more clingy than aloof (50% vs 35%), more trusting than suspicious (57% vs 31%), and more hyperactive than lazy (51% vs 30%).

However, life as a pet isn’t always sunshine and treats. Almost a third (30%) of respondents admitted their pets are “anxious,” and another third (33%) would describe their pet as a “drama queen.”

Twenty percent think their pet is just plain weird, and another 48% say they’ve seen their pet engage in behavior that’s considered unusual for their size or species — like cats who play fetch or big dogs that sit in people’s laps, for example.

And 57% say their pet behaves very differently when it thinks it’s not being watched.

“My current dog will try to slowly take things out of the trash when she thinks I’m not looking,” said one respondent. Another reported that they’ve caught their pet “licking a table leg in the living room.”

“Even when we’re not spending so much more time at home, we all love telling stories about our pets,” said ZippyPaws Co-Founder Jen Glaser. “And with the rise of remote work, we’re now able to observe them during parts of the day they used to have all to themselves, so it’s no surprise that we feel more in tune with their personalities than ever.”

Three in four (76%) respondents even say they can always tell what their pet is thinking just from the look on its face, the results indicate.

Out of the 57% of respondents who own multiple pets, 80% even say that they always know which one is making a noise in another room, even when they aren’t looking.

However, knowing your pet doesn’t mean you always know what it’s going to like — as evidenced by the fact that 80% of pet owners have bought their pet a special bed to sleep in, but only 58% say their pet actually uses it.

“The stuff we buy for our pet says as much about us as it does about them,” Glaser noted. “You might buy a toy shaped like a bottle of rosé because it’s your favorite wine, but all your dog knows is that it’s fun to chew on!”


  1. Smart — 62%
  2. Curious — 42%
  3. Funny — 38%
  4. Anxious 30%
  5. Easily-frightened — 26%
  6. Fussy — 24%
  7. Goofy — 23%
  8. Annoying — 20%
  9. Weird — 20%
  10. Self-centered — 15%


  1. Dogs — 82%
  2. Cat — 77%
  3. Fish — 30%
  4. Bird — 2\8%
  5. Rodent/small mammal (e.g. rabbits, mice) — 18%

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