ACCORDING to The Kennel Club, thousands of people couldn’t be in a relationship with someone who disliked dogs.
The organisation’s research revealed that almost three quarters of dog owners in the South East say their pet is their best friend.
More than a quarter confessed they prefer their dog to their partner, and almost half preferring a night in with their four-legged friend than date night.
Pups are also influencing the dating sphere, with half of those surveyed more likely to go on a date with someone who owns a dog, with one in five admitting to choosing internet dates based on whether there is a dog in the photo.
Bill Lambert, spokesperson for The Kennel Club, said: “This research and the continuous high demand for puppies since the beginning of the pandemic suggests we are continuing to grow closer to our four-legged companions.
“Dog ownership has numerous benefits, including improved physical and mental health, and in many ways dogs bring to our lives similar benefits to human partners – love, comfort and support during challenging times.”
He warned that dog ownership requires long-term commitment and compromises.
He added: “We would urge anyone considering getting a dog to first ask themselves if they are really ready for the responsibility and commitment – which you certainly can’t ghost or dump if you don’t want to see them anymore.”
He said anyone looking for a four-legged friend should do their research and find their perfect match.
“Just like a partner, you need to understand what they need and want in life and make sure that this matches with what you can offer,” he added. “Take your time, don’t force anything and remember you’re in it for the long haul.”
For advice for potential dog owners, visit: thekennelclub.org.uk/getting-a-dog/are-you-ready/