Dogs are such an integral part of the family that one in five has been thrown a birthday party.
A poll of 2,000 UK-based dog owners found that four in 10 have their own spot on the sofa, a third sleep in their owners’ bed and 35 percent plan holidays around them.
Another 20 percent admitted they have turned down nights out with friends because they couldn’t bear to leave their pet.
But 68 percent see their family as a stronger unit, thanks to their dog, and think their pet brings them all closer together.
A spokesman for Vitabiotics SuperDog, which commissioned the research, said: “To dog owners, a pooch is far more than just a pet.
“It can be hard for non-dog-people to ‘get,’ but within a remarkably short space of time, dogs really do become part of the family.
“Ask any dog owner and they’ll tell you they’d do anything to keep their hound from harm and want them to live the best life possible.
“This is why keeping your dog fit and healthy is so important. Nutritional support and regular exercise should stay top of mind for dog owners.”
Other ways dog owners believe a mutt is truly part of the family include them having their birthday celebrated (39 percent) or having their pictures up around the house (36 percent).
While 29 percent think a pet is well and truly bedded in—literally—once it gets a space in bed at night, and 22 percent say it’s when a dog is someone’s phone lock screen picture.
Nearly half (47 percent) admit they’ve said hello to their dog before other members of their family, after arriving home.
One in 10 have also created a social media profile to post updates from their dog’s life, according to the OnePoll.com figures.
But the love for their animals means 46 percent have even felt more concerned for their dog’s health and diet than their own.
As a result, 36 percent even think their four-legged friend eats a healthier and more varied diet than they do.
Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) said taking care of their dog’s health and well-being is their top priority, with 61 percent going as far as to say they would do anything for their pet.
A quarter also admitted they spend time worrying about their dog’s health, with 27 percent concerned about whether they are getting the nutritional support they need.
It also emerged 86 percent feel the dog they picked is the right fit for their family, and 84 percent can’t imagine life without their furry companion.
Vitabiotics SuperDog’s spokesperson added: “Picking the right dog for you and your family based on personal interests and other contextual factors is crucial to finding happiness.
“Making sure you’ve got a pet whose lifestyle matches your own can have a huge impact on your happiness, and theirs.
“Of course, you don’t necessarily know this until your new pet is home with you, but research into different breeds’ personalities before making a purchase is an absolute must.
“Selecting a compatible dog type and ensuring he/she is kept healthy and happy makes families stronger together.”
TOP 20 SIGNS A DOG IS PART OF THE FAMILY:
- You celebrate their birthday
- You give them a nickname as well as their actual name
- You’ve got pictures of them in your house
- You can’t imagine life with another dog
- You include them in your Christmas family photos
- They sleep on the bed with you
- You’re always showing people pictures of them
- They have their own space on the sofa
- You’re happier staying in with them than going on a night with friends
- You pack a bag for your dog when you go away
- You refer to them as your child or ‘fur baby’
- They’re your phone’s lock screen picture
- You have a whole album on your phone dedicated to pictures of them
- You only go to dog-friendly pubs or restaurants
- You’ve gone on holiday somewhere just because your dog would enjoy it
- You tell them you love them more than your partner
- You’ve dedicated a whole area of your house or garden to their wellbeing
- You have the vet’s number on speed dial
- You make more effort feeding them than you do your own partner or kids
- You bought a house only after considering their needs
Produced in association with SWNS Talker
Edited by Joseph Donald Gunderson and Kyana Jeanin Rubinfeld
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