woman holding cat and jack russell on sofa
© Ekaterina43 - Shutterstock

51% of Brits love their pets as much as their children, according to our latest survey

By Justine Seraphin Country Manager

Published on the

With an estimated 12 million pet dogs and 11 million pet cats in the UK, Britain has often been known as a pet-loving nation.

Our recent survey even suggests that Brits consider their pets to be like their own children. Indeed, we asked our community a series of questions about the place pets have in our lives - for example, is it weird to choose to have them instead of children? Are they good “practice” for having children later on? Are they as loved as children in our homes?

594 people shared their responses with us, and the results show that Brits are absolutely crazy about their pets!

Our survey shows that pets have become a very important part of our lives©Wamiz

Pets, almost on par with children

Unsurprisingly, our survey revealed that pets play a very important role within our families. But what is interesting is that, according to our survey, they may even hold the same place as children, for some.

Scientifically speaking, this isn’t such a strange concept. Studies have shown that the human-pet bond has strong similarities with the maternal-child bond, on both a hormonal and behavioural level.

To be specific, we found that 71% of people actually see their pets as children. Incredibly, 51% of people love their dog or cat as much as they love their human children. And for almost 1 in 3 people, owning a dog or a cat is the same responsibility as having a child.

It’s clear to see how attached people are to their pets simply with the nicknames they use for them. For example, 27% of people say “my baby” when talking to or about their dog, and 5% will even use the terms “my son” or “my daughter”. What’s more, 33% of dog owners admit to saying “come to mummy” or “come to daddy” when talking to their dogs.

Pets are like a couple’s first child

Like having a child, adopting or acquiring a pet is an important step in a person's life. 62% of people surveyed were living with a partner when they got their first dog/cat and 37% of them considered this to be a big step in their relationship. In fact, 10% of them considered this to be a first step before seriously thinking about children. 

Finally, whether they were pet owners or not, 38% of people surveyed were not shocked that some people treat their pets like children, and 44% of them did not find it shocking that some people choose to have cats or dogs rather than children.

This is great news for us pet parents and the choices we make. As long as we don't treat pets like children and respect their needs as animals, what's wrong with loving them so much?

More news about...

What did you think of this article?

Thanks for your feedback !

Thanks for your feedback !

Leave a comment
Connect to comment
Want to share this article?