As a collection of folk that are unashamedly pet obsessed, us Brits have long held our dogs, cats and other furry friends in the highest regard. However, with the last 12 months having seen us largely locked inside of our homes, it’s fair to say our bonds with our pets have never been stronger.
The number of puppy purchases across the UK has never been higher, and neither have the prices attached to them. But with an influx of new buyers, an interesting question to ask is which breeds have been the most sought after? Back when the lockdown was just getting started, the compensation experts National Accident Helpline put together a survey breaking down our love for dogs and cats to find out who the big favourites were.
The nation’s favourite dogs
So, yes, the title of the article ruined the big surprise here, and it may indeed have been a surprise to some to see the Labrador Retriever as the name topping the charts. However, the interesting thing to note here is the NAHL survey sought to find Britain’s most “comforting” dogs, which doesn’t necessarily mean the most popular in terms of sales. In that regard, it’s no surprise a friendly, outgoing breed like the Lab Retriever achieved top spot.
Following in a close second is likely to be Britain’s most “popular” dog breed of the last few years, the fluffy and ever adorable Cockapoo. In among the rest of the top 15 list provided is a who’s who of verified cuties, including supersmart Springer (3rd) and Cocker (5th) Spaniels, the doe-eyed Boxer (4th), the always smiling Staffordshire Bull Terrier (6th) and the meme favourite Pug (15th). The French Bulldog has also become more popular and expensive in recent times.
Don’t forget our feline friends
Of course, for every dog lover out there, there’s likely a similarly cat obsessed person, and the survey continued to find Britain’s most comforting cat breeds. Topping the charts is notorious chief chiller, the British Shorthair, while things get more exotic further down the list with breeds like the Bengal, Persian and Siamese ranking highly in the next three spots.
Unsurprisingly, friendly cat breeds like the Ragdoll (5th), Sphynx (11th) and Birman (15th) all made the list, too.
Who’s most easily distracted?
With many of us stuck firmly in a working from home arrangement right now, our pets have become our number one working companion. Although that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve helped us out in terms of productivity, they’ve certainly helped us on the mental health side, with 87% of respondents to the NAHL survey saying their pets have helped them to destress.
Pets also make great distractions – perhaps not as far as your boss is concerned – with many survey respondents admitting to being consistently distracted by their pets. Bristolian pet owners seemingly spend the least time of anywhere in the UK actually doing work, with 84% responding that their attention is regularly averted by their pet. Employers in Sheffield will be happier, however, with only 55% of pet owners there finding themselves unable to resist playing with their furry best mate.
The NAHL survey features plenty more interesting statistics surrounding our love for our pets, but what’s clear to see is that the small matter of the global pandemic going on around us has only served to strengthen the bond between man and dog, cat or just about any other pet you can think of.