Besotted pet owners admit their dog is ‘part of the family’ – with almost 50% of the pooches in West Midlands even having their own spot on the sofa, a study has found.

A poll of 2,000 dog owners nationwide revealed just how much love there is for the family pet with six in 10 admitting they often see them as being like one of the children.

Over 60% of dog owners in West Midlands allow their pooch to sleep on their bed while over 20 in this region have turned down nights with friends because they can’t bear to leave their dog at home alone.

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, including them in family Christmas photos and only going to dog-friendly pubs and restaurants so they can go with you.

Incredibly, in the event of a breakup, over 40% of people in the West Midlands would be more devastated by losing custody of their dog than the house they live in.

Over half of doggy-devotees in West Midlands say hello to their dog first after getting home at the end of the day, before their partner.

Gemma Cunningham, Brand Manager at Lintbells, manufacturers of premium natural supplements for dogs cats West Midlandsand 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 most owners in the West Midlands just around 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.”

The study found 40% of those in the West Midlands have planned a holiday specifically with their canine’s enjoyment in mind, while almost 30%have bought their dog a personalised present after returning from a holiday or trip away.

And almost 40% of owners in the West Midlands have even avoided going on holiday entirely because it would have meant them being away from their beloved pet.

Nearly half of all pooches in the country even have their own spot on the sofa, forcing humans to get up and move if they dare settle down on it.

And almost 30% of respondents in West Midlands have had to tell guests not to sit on a particular spot on the sofa – in case the dog fancies a sit down.

Almost 12% of pet owners in the West Midlands even admit to taking their dog to the groomers more often than they go to the hairdressers themselves, while almost 45% of them deem their pet has a healthier diet than them.

Over 50% of owners in the West Midlands even let their dog sit at or beside the dinner table at mealtimes.

Over one in four have even marked their pet’s birthday with a doggie cake or presents. And 14% admit to often spending more of their spare cash on their dog than they do on themselves.

Gemma added:

“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, with our wide range of health supplements.”

Lintbells offer a wide a range of products to support the overall health and wellbeing of our four-legged friends. Including YuMEGA for skin and coat health, YuMOVE for joint care, YuDIGEST for digestive health and YuCALM to help behaviour.

THE NATION’S TOP 20 SIGNS YOUR DOG IS PART OF THE FAMILY

  1. You've got pictures of them in your house
  2. You give them a nickname as well as their actual name  
  3. You can't imagine life with another dog  
  4. They have their own space on the sofa 
  5. They sleep on the bed with you 
  6. You celebrate their birthday      
  7. You include them in your Christmas family photos         
  8. You're happier staying in with them than going on a night out with friends
  9. They're your phone screen saver
  10. You pack a bag for your dog when you go away 
  11. Your refer to them as your child or furbaby        
  12. You're always showing people pictures of them  
  13. You've gone on holiday somewhere just because your dog would enjoy it
  14. You tell them you love them more than your partner       
  15. You have the vet's number on speed dial           
  16. You bought a house only after considering their needs   
  17. You only go to dog-friendly pubs or restaurants  
  18. You've dedicated a whole area of your house or garden to their wellbeing
  19. You make more effort feeding them than you do your own partner or kids
  20. Your pet has a social media account
For more information about Lintbells or the best places to take your dog int he West Midlands, please visit www.lintbells.com
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