According to new research from IAMS, 58 percent of Brits consider getting a pet an important part of making a new house a home.
The number of bedrooms (60 percent), location (53 percent) and garden (52 percent) are also three must-haves, while enjoying a large garden (49 percent), fitting a brand-new kitchen (34 percent) and installing an ensuite (31 percent), puts the overall estimated cost of creating a forever home at an average of £250,621!
With over 8.5 million dogs and 8 million cats kept as pets in the UK, the research indicates that almost six in ten adults reveal their furry family member is the number one factor in making their house a home, while a quarter (26 percent) complain that being unable to keep a pet is the biggest bug bear about renting.
When it comes to the UK’s preferred pets, dogs come in first place, with almost one in three of Brits (30 percent) admitting that a dog is key, while 22 percent say a cat is the essential factor to making their house a fur-ever home.
Over half (56 percent) of the respondents claimed the lounge is the heart of the home, which is also the room in which pets are said to spend the most time. Half of the respondents admitted their dogs influenced what they watched on the telly by barking in reaction to certain programmes. While cat-owners said their pets hogged the sofa, with 60 percent refusing to move whenever their owner attempts to sit down.
However, despite Brits putting pets at the centre of their households, there are thousands of dogs and countless cats without homes in the UK.
With the arrival of National Pet Month, IAMS has set out to shed some light on this issue. Working with several animal charities across the country, IAMS has introduced I AM HOME, a charitable initiative which aims to raise awareness of the benefits of pet adoption and connect the thousands of rescue cats and dogs across the country with a loving family and a forever home.
IAMS veterinary training manager, Kellie Ceccarelli, said: “As a nation of animal lovers, we enjoy a close bond with our pets. We treat them as members of the family and as such they occupy a truly special role at the heart of our home. However, sadly not all cats and dogs are given this opportunity.
At I AM HOME we try to remind people to consider pet adoption by working with more than 25 rescue centres across the UK as well as providing IAMS premium nutrition to animals in need, ensuring they benefit from a 100% complete and balanced diet and enjoy a healthy, active life while they wait to be united with a caring family. In fact, we’ve donated over 60 tonnes of pet nutrition to rescue and rehoming centres across the country. That’s the same weight as 16 elephants.”
Adopting a pet is often the beginning of a beautiful relationship and can be an incredibly fulfilling experience. For instance, Miracle the dog was rescued by his pet parents, Amanda and Tobias. Since arriving at the family home in 2014, he has become the soulmate of their son Kyle, who has cerebral palsy and autism. Miracle has developed a special bond with the little boy. He instantly calms Kyle, unlocking his world and bringing joy to the family. In saving Miracle, Amanda admits that she was also saving herself and her family.