A whopping one in three Australians adopted their pet in the last two years, according to a survey.
The Choosi study also found 58 per cent of people would consider breaking up with a partner if they did not get along with their pet.
Even though one third of owners admitted adopting a pet was an impulse decision, 96 per cent of pet owners experienced a positive influence on their mental wellbeing and similar levels for their physical health.
Melbourne man Ben Neumann said an adopted dog called Oreo came into his family during homeschooling in the pandemic.
"I think it lifted the spirits and the mood of the entire family".
The father of three said his kids were "struggling a lot" at that time and their mood was impacted.
"My wife found someone on Facebook and they connected really well," Mr Neumann said.
"My wife explained the story of my daughter, my 10 year old and what a hard time she was having, and the breeder really connected with that."
Animal behaviourist Dr Kate Mornement said pet owners reported many positive benefits of having pets.
"I think dogs [as pets] are a lot more interactive in general. They tend to want to spend more time with us," Dr Mornement said.
"They provide a bit more of that kind of social support and companionship, and if that's what somebody's looking for, then a dog fulfils that role really well."
"Whereas, cats tend to be valued more by people who like a pet that has a bit more independence."
And while owning a pet can be costly, people found the benefits outweighed the negatives, and they were generally happy to spend money on their pet.
"My wife always says it's like having a fourth child," Mr Neumann said.
"Bit of hard work here and there... [but] it's minor compared to the payoff of what it brings to the family."
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Dr Mornement said adopting a pet was a big decision and people should do their homework to figure out what they could provide a pet in terms of their lifestyle, routine, their home environment, and how much time they have to spend with a pet.
Doing so would ensure the likelihood of your pet being a "forever pet."
Dr Mornement also said pet owners should look out for any signs of separation anxiety in their animals.
"Many people don't realise that pets are not born knowing how to be by themselves," she said.
"Separation anxiety, such as pacing, panting, whingeing, and refusing to eat in the lead up to your departure or while you're away, is currently one of the most common issues we are seeing with owners returning to work and study on-site."
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