Dogs really are a man’s best ‘fur-iend’
We’ve had such an amazing response to the National Dog Survey. We've received more responses than we could have imagined. We're now busy analysing the results to help ensure we’re providing the right services to meet the needs of both dogs and owners.
Early findings from our inaugural National Dog Survey, the largest ever study of dogs and their owners, have revealed the depths of our affection for our furry family members, underlining that we really are a true nation of dog lovers.
With many of us spending more time at home over the past 18 months than ever before, the bond between humans and ‘man’s best friend’ has grown even stronger. According to the initial data (covering over 231,000 owners and 308,000 dogs) almost half of us (47%) share a bed with our dogs and seven in ten take our furry friends on our human holidays (70%).
What is more, when it comes to festivities, a massive three-quarters (73%) give their dog a Christmas present and 63% celebrate their birthdays.
Day to day, a quarter (26%) of the nation claim to take their dogs everywhere they go – but it turns out the Scots are the most attached of us all, for whom this figure rises to 30%.
This puppy love isn’t restricted to north of the border however. Across the country:
- The Welsh are most likely to share a bed with their dog (50%)
- East Midlanders are most likely to take their dogs on holiday (78%)
- Londoners are most likely to celebrate their pooch’s birthdays (66%)
We have also found that younger, first-time owners (aged 18-24) are proving to be the biggest ‘softies’ and may find separation from their beloved puppies the most challenging.
- 95% claim to love their dogs – a figure that drops by a fifth for over 75s (76%)
- 85% give their dogs a Christmas present and 80% celebrate their birthdays
- 55% share their bed with their pup
But as great as this sounds for our pampered pooches, as the nation begins to adjust to life post lockdown, it could start to throw up some problems as dogs that have grown up being used to having their human’s undivided attention are forced to adapt to spending more time alone.
If this sounds familiar, fear not – help is at hand! We have a host of support on offer to help us all – humans and dogs alike – adjust to the ‘new normal’.
The National Dog Survey aims to be the most comprehensive study of dogs and dog owners ever completed and will provide invaluable insights allowing us to offer the best possible support to our nation of dog lovers. We’re so grateful to everyone who took part, helping us understand more about the UK’s 12.5 million pooch population.
Owen Sharp, our Chief Executive commented:
“I don’t think there’s any question of the bond dog owners have with their four-legged friends and the love the nation has for their pets is something that grew even stronger during lockdown.
“However, there are difficulties that all dog owners face. As we re-adjust to a post-lockdown lifestyle – getting back to work and socialising – both owners and dogs may struggle with being separated from each other.
“The insights from the National Dog Survey will go a long way in helping Dogs Trust to provide much needed support.”