A survey conducted by pet food brand EUKANUBA has revealed the lifetime of love owners and dogs share together.
With 81% of owners admitting that their dog is an important member of the family, it’s no surprise that canine companions play a pivotal role in lives. Some 38% of owners spend their birthday with their dogs and 46% will bring them along on seasonal holidays, while for 9% their dog has been by their side as they buy their first house, get engaged, marry and give birth to their first child.
Some 61% of the 1,000 dog owners surveyed said they exercised with their furry friends, 57% watched TV together, 32% shared early morning wake ups and 7% took their dogs to work.
When it came to dogs showing love to their owners, tail-wagging (72%) is the most common way for canine companions respond, followed by resting their heads on knees (58%), cuddling up next on the sofa (57%) and kisses and licks (55%).
The survey also revealed that Staffordshire Bull Terriers and West Highland White Terriers are the most communicative and affectionate breeds with Staffies being the ‘waggiest’ (80%) and most partial to a belly rub (62%), while West Highland White Terriers are more likely to demonstrate their love through licking (65%), jumping up (61%) and pawing (69%). They were closely followed by Corgis and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. Meanwhile, Labradors are the first to meet you at the door when you come home (61%).
It also appears that like humans, love responds to love, as the most affectionate breeds are also the most spoilt, with 39% of West Highland White Terriers and 37% of Staffies being allowed to share our beds. In fact, 33% of owners said they prioritised their dog over their social life while 16% will put their four-legged friends’ needs ahead of their partners.
Furthermore, 64% of dog owners confessed to regularly talking to their canine companion, while 26% will sing to them. However, women tend to get the best response with 56% of owners revealing their dog preferred a female voice with 25% replying with a playful bark.
Dog behaviourist, Karen Wild, said: “Though every dog is different, every single one wants to be loved, and when they are, they will return that love tenfold. They can show affection in so many more ways than the obvious tail wagging and licking our faces.
“Many dogs tilt their heads when they’re keen and can show their bond with us by resting their head on our knee or seeking us for a sofa snuggle. It’s important to understand how your dog shows affection so you can return it for a loving and happy partnership – there really is no relationship like it.”
Kellie Ceccarelli, EUKANUBA’s veterinary external relations manager, added: “Dogs have always been referred to as a man’s best friend and as the survey results show our love for our canine companions has only grown. As owners, to ensure we have as many enjoyable days with our dogs as possible it’s important that we feed their love with tailored life-stage nutrition. If our dogs are in optimal body condition, we can share many more happy memories together.”