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Almost Half Of Pet Owners Take ‘Peternity’ Leave

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With the summer holidays nearly upon us, a new study* by Pets at Home has revealed that it is not only childcare that British workers are having to consider.

Nearly half (48%) of British pet owners admit to taking time off work – or ‘peternity’ leave – to look after their pet.

And proving that our furry friends are just as important as children to many owners, a parent is more likely to take time off work to look after their pet (50%), opposed to non-parents (44%). Men (52%) are more likely than women (44%) to take time off to look after their pet, proving that a dog really is a man’s best friend.

On average, British adults take off three days annually to look after their pet, compared to an average of seven days taken to look after their child. The most common reason given is that their pet was unwell (35%) or recovering from an operation (28%).

Nearly a quarter (24%) will use their holiday leave to stay at home with a pet, with 13 percent of those surveyed planning to take time off over the summer to be with their pet – four days (3.7) on average. However, a fifth of pet owners admitted calling in sick to care for their pet.

Mark Smith, Pet Operations Manager at Pets at Home, said: “There is no denying that our pets are part of the family, but it’s important to understand that pet care requires a lot of responsibility and a certain amount of flexibility when it comes to taking time off from work look after pet. It’s reassuring that 71% of pet owners said that the decision to take time off of work for their pet was an easy one.

“At Pets at Home, one of our goals is to educate the next generation of pet owners about the huge responsibility of owning a pet. Our My Pet Pals summer workshops will take place in stores across the UK over the summer holidays, and both parents, children and their pets are welcome!”

My Pet Pals Summer workshops will run at more than 425 Pets at Home stores across the UK using fun, interactive activities to educate the next generation of pet owners on how to care for small furry animals, reptiles and fish responsibly.

After completing the workshops, each child will receive a workbook, certificate and stickers, along with a pet promise card where they make a pledge to look after any pet they have according to the five welfare needs, covering habitat, health, wellbeing, diet and behaviour.

To find out more about My Pet Pals Summer workshops and book your place in your nearest store, please visit petsathome.com/workshops

***Based on a survey of 2,000 pet owners in May 2016

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