A recent survey has found that more than a third of dogs in the East Midlands have their own spot on the sofa.
Almost half of owners in the East Midlands allow their dog to sleep on their bed, while almost 20 per cent have turned down nights with friends because they can’t bear to leave their dog at home alone.
Incredibly, in the event of a breakup, a quarter of people in the East Midlands would be more devastated by losing custody of their dog than the house they live in.
And over half of doggy-devotees say hello to their dog first after getting home at the end of the day, before their partner.
And over a third of respondents in East Midlands have had to tell guests not to sit on a particular spot – in case the dog fancies a sit down.
Gemma Cunningham, Brand Manager at Lintbells, manufacturers of premium natural supplements for dogs cats and horses, which commissioned the research, said: “It doesn’t take long for a furry companion to really feel like one of the family.
“In fact, our research found it takes owners in the East Midlands just two weeks of dog ownership before their four-legged friend feels like part of the family.
“And once a pet feels like part of the family, there’s a huge temptation to treat it as often as you can, as a way of showing your love.
“We all want what’s best for our loved ones and the same goes for our pet.
“Dog’s health and wellbeing is at the heart of everything we do and this research truly cements this.
“With so many pet owners treating their furry friends as a member of the family it is important to us to offer the highest level of care we can to ensure they live a happy and healthy life whatever their age.”
Other findings are:
• Almost four in ten have even marked their pet’s birthday with a doggie cake or presents.
• 12 per cent admit to often spending more of their spare cash on their dog than they do on themselves.
• More than one in 10 pet owners even admit to taking their dog to the groomers more often than they go to the hairdressers themselves, while four in 10 deem their pet has a healthier diet than them.
• Almost 40 per cent let their dog sit at or beside the dinner table at mealtimes.
• It also emerged having pictures of your pet on display in your home is the biggest sign they are part of the family, along with giving them a nickname, and celebrating their birthday.
• Other indicators include having their image as the screen saver on your phone, only going to dog-friendly pubs and restaurants so they can go with you and even giving them their own social media account.
• Nationally, the study found that six in 10 admit owners they often see their dog as being like one of the children, and over half have planned a holiday specifically with their canine’s enjoyment in mind.
• It also revealed that over a quarter have bought their dog a personalised present after returning from a holiday or trip away.
• And 37 per cent have even avoided going on holiday entirely because it would have meant them being away from their beloved pet.