Around two thirds (67%) of pet owners consider their dogs to be their “best friends”, according to a survey conducted by Kennel Club to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
Furthermore, 57% of respondents said they would not consider a relationship with someone who does not like dogs.
Over a quarter (27%) said they prefer their dog to their partner and one in five (20%) picked their internet dates based on whether a dog features in the online profile.
Bill Lambert, spokesperson for The Kennel Club, said: “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.
“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.”
He added: “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.
“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.”