- Nearly two out of every five owners sleep with their pets
- Nearly a third take pets on holiday
- And half consider taking them to work
The UK’s reputation as a nation of animal lovers is underlined by a new survey1 from independent research firm Viewsbank showing the lengths owners will go to ensuring their pets are well looked after and comfortable at all times.
Whether it is bed time, office hours or during a holiday, substantial numbers of owners like to keep their faithful friends nearby, the nationwide study among pet owners found.
Nearly two out of every five (39%) owners sleep in the same room as their pets with around 2% - equivalent to 340,000 – even sleeping in the same bed. A slightly less devoted 20% allow pets to sleep on top of their beds, while 17% allow pets to sleep in the same room.
When they go on holiday 27% of owners take their pets with them – although it is mainly only in the UK. Just 2% of owners will take pets on holiday overseas and in the UK.
And if given the chance more than half would take their pets to work – around 9% of owners believe pets should definitely be allowed at work with 28% saying the decision would depend on the pet and 14% saying they should be allowed only if all work colleagues agree.
Data from the PFMA Pet Population report shows around 13 million UK households – equivalent to 45% of all homes – own pets with a total pet population of 71 million in the country. There are 8.5 million dogs and 8.5 million cats in the UK. A large majority of the UK pet population is made up of fish.
David Black of Viewsbank said: “The UK is known as a nation of animal lovers and the research bears that out. Some dog owners might even be surprised how few people sleep in the same bed with their pets, whereas others will be horrified that there are any do.
“Total ownership of pets is on the decline with the rise of single households but the devotion shown to those pets does not seem to be diminishing at all.”
Just 3% of those questioned said their pet usually sleeps outside the house. After the bedroom the sitting room is the most popular place chosen by 21% marginally ahead of the kitchen which is used by 19% of pets.
Pets did well at Christmas – around 66% of owners bought them presents while another 2% would have done if their pets had behaved well throughout the year.
The study also found 56% of pet owners believe the care of animals should be included in the National Curriculum and taught in schools.
1 Online survey of 2,023 dog or cat owners conducted by Consumer Intelligence between 4th and 10th October 2013