Besotted pet owners admit their dog is ‘part of the family’ – with half of the nation’s pooches even having their own spot on the sofa, a study has found.
A poll of 2,000 dog owners revealed just how much love there is for the family pet with six in 10 admitting they often see them as being like one of the children.
Thirty per cent allow their pooch to sleep on their bed while a quarter of puppy-mad Brits have turned down nights with friends because they can’t bear to leave their dog at home alone.
It also emerged having pictures of your pet on display in your house is the biggest sign they are part of the family, along with giving them a nickname, and celebrating their birthday.
Other indicators include having their image as the screen saver on your phone, only going to dog-friendly pubs and restaurants so they can go with you and even giving them their own social media account.
Incredibly, in the event of a breakup, 37 per cent would be more devastated by losing custody of their dog than the house they live in.
A spokesman for Lintbells, manufacturers of premium natural supplements for dogs, cats and horses, which commissioned the research, said: “It doesn’t take long for a furry companion to really feel like one of the family.
“In fact, our research found it takes Brits just two months of dog ownership before they can’t imagine life without their new four-legged friend.
“And once a pet feels like part of the family, there’s a huge temptation to treat it as often as you can, as a way of showing your love.
“We all want what’s best for our loved ones and the same goes for our pet.”
The study found 44 per cent of dog owners have planned a holiday specifically with their canine’s enjoyment in mind, while a third have bought their dog a personalised present after returning from a trip away.
And 34 per cent have even avoided going on holiday entirely because it would have meant them being away from their beloved pet.
Nearly half of all pooches in the country have their own spot on the sofa, forcing humans to get up and move if they dare settle down on it.
And a quarter of respondents have had to tell guests not to sit on a particular seat – in case the dog fancies a sit down.
More than one in 10 pet owners even admit to taking their dog to the groomers more often than they go to the hairdressers themselves, while four in 10 deem their pet has a healthier diet than them.
Almost a fifth even let their dog sit at or beside the dinner table at mealtimes.
It also emerged doggy-devotees are twice as likely to say hello to their dog first after getting home at the end of the day, than their partner.
More than one in ten have even marked their pet’s birthday with a party while 12 per cent admit to often spending more of their spare cash on their dog than they do on themselves.
Lintbells’ spokesman added: “A Dog’s health and wellbeing is at the heart of everything we do and this research truly cements this.
“With so many pet owners treating their furry friends as a member of the family it is important to us to offer the highest level of care we can to ensure they live a happy and healthy life whatever their age, with our wide range of health supplements.”
Lintbells offer a wide a range of products to support the overall health and wellbeing of our four-legged friends, including YuMEGA for skin and coat health, YuMOVE for joint care, YuDIGEST for digestive health and YuCALM to help behaviour.
THE TOP 20 SIGNS YOUR DOG IS PART OF THE FAMILY
1. You’ve got pictures of them in your house
2. You give them a nickname as well as their actual name
3. You can’t imagine life with another dog
4. They have their own space on the sofa
5. They sleep on the bed with you
6. You celebrate their birthday
7. You include them in your Christmas family photos
8. You’re happier staying in with them than going on a night out with friends
9. They’re your phone screen saver
10. You pack a bag for your dog when you go away
11. You refer to them as your child or furbaby
12. You’re always showing people pictures of them
13. You’ve gone on holiday somewhere just because your dog would enjoy it
14. You tell them you love them more than your partner
15. You have the vet’s number on speed dial
16. You bought a house only after considering their needs
17. You only go to dog-friendly pubs or restaurants
18. You’ve dedicated a whole area of your house or garden to their wellbeing
19. You make more effort feeding them than you do your own partner or kids
20. Your pet has a social media account