We truly are a country of pet lovers. A new report conducted by Pets at Home, retailer of pet products and services, shows just how crazy we are about our fur (and feather and scaley) babies.
42% of pet owners say ‘I Love You’ to their pets at least twice a day
88% of owners upload their pets’ pictures to the internet
11% of pet owners met their current partner thanks to their pet
22% confessed to sharing a bed with their pets as often as with their partner
17% even went as far as to say they trusted their faithful companions more than they trusted their partners!
The information in the report includes learnings from Pets at Home’s VIP loyalty club, which now has more than 2.5 million members, and a series of surveys of pet owners taken over the last three years. This has provided a fascinating insight into the lives of pets and pet lovers.
A third of owners holiday with their pets, paying on average an extra £126 for the privilege and this is where it gets even more crazy – for those who can’t take their pets away with them, 67% of pet-owning holidaymakers will call home just to speak to their pet.
Pets also have a growing presence on social media. We’ve all seen it, heck, maybe we’ve even done it ourselves – A staggering 88% of owners regularly upload photos of their pets onto internet sites, while 86% talk about their pets on social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook.
A third of owners video their pets once a month and 34% have more than 100 photos of their furry friends on their phones. A besotted 20% have even set up a social media profile of their pet for the rest of the world to view, while 15% of owners Skype or Facetime their pet.
Nine out of ten (92%) have at some point used a picture of their pet as wallpaper on their phone, while eight out of ten (83%) have used a photo of them as a screensaver on their computer.
Introducing the report, ITV’s ‘For the Love of Dogs’presenter Paul O’Grady said: “I know how important your pets are. I know how much you care about them and how central they are to everyday life in your family. The love of a pet is a very special thing.”
The TV personality added: “Whichever way you look at it, the pet sector in the UK is defined by the unique and special relationship between pets and their owners. It may sometimes seem irrational and it may sometimes break our hearts, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.”
The report revealed that there are 65 million pets in the UK in 13 million homes, 45% of all homes. And we spend around £5.9 billion a year looking after them. Even during the economic downturn the “hound pound” remained resilient, despite pet owners cutting back on their own personal spending.
Fish are the most popular pets by numbers with 23 million kept in tanks, followed by dogs at nine million and cats at nine million. There are one million rabbits, 900,000 horses, 500,000 guinea pigs and 400,000 hamsters, which is equal to the number of lizards. The rest of the nation’s pet loving households are made up of people who keep everything from rats and mice to tortoises and toads.
Further investigations, shows a bit of a North/South/Dog/Cat divide with the North East, Northern Ireland and Wales having the highest level of dog ownership, while the South West and East of England have the highest level of cat ownership.
The full report can be found at www.petsathome.com/petreport