One in four pet owners would rather spend time with their furry friend than their partner


And just under half (45 percent) of owners even admitted to prioritising their pets’ needs over their own.

More than half also place more importance on their animals’ walks and exercise over their own time to relax – and 47 percent are more likely to treat their pet than themselves.

Although, this unconditional love does carry an extra burden – with owners spending an average of one hour and 45 minutes a week worrying about their furry family member.

Their pet’s happiness and health were the top concerns, while others also highlighted the impact the rising cost of living is having on their ability to care for their pet.

The research was commissioned by pet care specialist, Pets at Home, which aims to support owners and their pet throughout each stage of their life.

Dr Karen Heskin, Head of Pets at the brand, said: “Our pets have such a profound impact on our lives.

“That’s why we are dedicated to our purpose of putting pets first and helping owners be their best – because life really is better with pets.

“It’s no surprise to us that they are seen as such an integral part of family, but we know that doesn’t come without its challenges.

“We are here to support in every way we can – from sharing expert care and advice to help ease those worries, to providing the well-deserved treats and toys for showering your pet with love.”

The study also saw one in five (21 percent) cat or dog owners admit pet ownership is more challenging than they initially expected.

Worrying about them when they are apart is one of the leading challenges, while many are concerned about just getting them to stop clawing at the furniture.

But over half (52 percent) claimed getting their furry friend was one of the best moments of their lives – and a fifth said it was more special than landing their first job.

More than one in ten (11 percent) even look back more fondly on welcoming their pet into the family than their wedding day, according to the survey, conducted via OnePoll.

Dr Karen Heskin, from Pets at Home, added: “Welcoming a pet into the home is such a rewarding and special moment, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy.

“Having somewhere to turn for informed, honest help is the key to getting through the more challenging times, and our pet care specialists are specifically trained to provide that support.”


  1. Their happiness
  2. Them getting ill
  3. Their diet
  4. Eating/drinking things that could be poisonous to them
  5. Their weight
  6. Their dental health
  7. Their behaviour
  8. Their separation anxiety
  9. How well they interact with other animals
  10. How well they interact with other people generally
  11. How much it costs to look after them
  12. The impact the rising cost of living will have on them
  13. Their moulting hair in the home
  14. Their bowel health
  15. How well they interact with children


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