They're often referred to as 'man's best friend', and now a new survey has revealed just how much dog owners are willing to prioritise their pets.&nbs
They’re often referred to as ‘man’s best friend’, and now a new survey has revealed just how much dog owners are willing to prioritise their pets.
After surveying 2,622 UK dog owners, the Kennel Club found that 57 per cent wouldn’t be in a relationship with someone who doesn’t like canines.
Almost half – 48 per cent – said they would be more likely to go on a date with someone who owns a dog.
And more than a quarter – 27 per cent – confessed that they prefer their dog to their partner, while 20 per cent said they tend to choose internet dates based on whether the potential match has a dog in their online profile.
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‘You can’t love me if you can’t love my dog’: Research suggests more than half of Brits who own a dog wouldn’t date someone who doesn’t like canines
The survey was conducted last July, just as the first UK lockdown was easing, and may have reflected heightened importance of our pets for getting us through the challenge of social distancing.
‘This research and the continuous high demand for puppies since the beginning of the pandemic suggests that we are continuing to grow closer to our four-legged companions,’ said Bill Lambert, spokesperson for the Kennel Club.
‘Dog ownership has numerous benefits, including improved physical and mental health, and in many ways dogs bring to our lives similar benefits to human partners – love, comfort and support during challenging times.
‘Dog ownership isn’t completely dissimilar to a relationship in other ways – a dog needs long-term commitment which comes with compromises and changes to your life.’
The Kennel Club is urging potential new dog owners to think very carefully about buying a new puppy, however.
In the UK, hundreds of dogs bought as puppies during lockdown last year are being abandoned by owners who claim to not have the time or resources to look after them, it was recently revealed.
Sellers have flooded pet websites with adverts for dogs aged between six and 12 months and many young pups are flooding rescue centres.
More than a quarter (27 per cent) of dog owners owners surveyed confessed they prefer their dog to their partner, although it’s worth noting this survey was conducted in July following four months of stringent lockdown rules and extended time with our loved ones
The price of puppies surged to more than £3,000 for some breeds last year as many people started working from home or were furloughed.
Dozens of adverts have now appeared on sites such as Pets4you and Preloved as owners hope to recoup their costs.
One in five owners who bought a puppy during the pandemic had not fully considered the long-term responsibilities, according to previous research by the Kennel Club.
‘We would urge anyone considering getting a dog to first ask themselves if they are really ready for the responsibility and commitment of having a four-legged companion – which you certainly can’t ‘ghost’ or dump if you don’t want to see them anymore,’ said Lambert.
‘If you think you’re ready for this long term responsibility, it’s crucial to do thorough research into what breed will suit your lifestyle, to find your perfect match.
One in five owners who bought a puppy during the pandemic had not fully considered the long-term responsibilities
‘Just like a partner, you need to understand what they need and want in life and make sure that this matches with what you can offer.
‘Take your time, don’t force anything and remember you’re in it for the long haul – do this and you can make one dog, and yourself, very happy.’
Elsewhere in the survey results, the Kennel Club revealed that more than two thirds of respondents (67 per cent) proudly admitted that their dog is their best friend.
Meanwhile, 46 per cent admitted they would rather have a night in with their four-legged friend than to go on a date, although the dating scene has largely moved online due to the pandemic.
Experts fear a spike in abandoned pets after a FIFTH of ‘lonely’ millennials buy cats and dogs during lockdown
Experts have warned of a spike in cats and dogs being abandoned after one fifth of ‘lonely’ millennials bought a pet during the coronavirus lockdown.
A recent study found two million young Britons have recently bought pets, with a further 1.8 million 24-to-35-year-olds planning to get one soon.
This trend has sparked fears of a surge in abandonments and welfare call-outs as life starts to returns to normal.
Animal welfare expert Dr Samantha Gaines added: ‘Life has changed dramatically during 2020 and this has led to unprecedented levels of pet acquisition as families spend more time at home.
‘It’s wonderful that animals are providing such comfort during these difficult times, but we do have concerns that some families may not have considered the long-term impact of having a pet before taking one on during lockdown.’
Her comments come after the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA) found two million young Britons have recently bought pets.
A further 16 per cent of all 24 to 35-year-olds – 1.8 million people in total – have said they are planning to get a pet soon.
The PFMA said it believes this was driven by millennials feeling lonely at home during lockdown.
However it warned that such purchases could lead to a rise in abandonments if Brits felt like they couldn’t look after their new pets when returning to the office.
‘We’d urge anyone thinking of getting a pet to do lots of research before taking one on,’ Dr Gaines added.
‘We also have concerns about where these pets may be coming from, as some charities and many reputable breeders struggle to meet this sudden surge in demand.
‘We fear that many animals are being bred in poor conditions or are being imported from overseas to feed this demand, and this brings with it many problems for the animals’ health, behaviour, and long-term welfare.’