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Pet Cuddles Provide Most Comfort, Say Owners

Over the past eighteen months, Brits have spent more time with their pets than ever before. Offering a daily source of companionship and comfort, the bond between pet and owner is stronger than ever.

In fact, a new study of 2,000 pet owners commissioned by Pets at Home, revealed over three quarters (79 per cent) say that their pets provide them with more emotional support than friends and family.

Over half (51 per cent) admitted to turning down social plans to stay at home with their beloved fur babies, and one in 10 (11 per cent) have even turned down a wedding or birthday party. In addition, six in 10 (61 per cent) prefer to cuddle up with their pet than their partner.

During the pandemic, 1 in 2 pet owners said their pets were a ‘lifeline’, helping to reduce stress levels and providing companionship when they felt isolated (48 per cent). 35 per cent revealed their pets helped them to cope emotionally, and 37 per cent said they helped them to keep active. 

The research also revealed that pet families know that caring for an animal can bring a whole new set of challenges2; from picking up poo, enduring flatulence and toilet training mishaps – to chewing and waking them up in the night.

Almost all of those people polled (97 per cent) said they will forgive their pets when they have been up to mischief, which may explain why one in two (46 per cent) say the reason they love their pets is because of their cheeky capers. 

The study also highlighted some of the funniest antics owners have seen from their pets – from running off with their pants on laundry day or stealing socks; to jumping into our baths and pinching a full frozen fillet steak and hiding it under a pillow. 

But overwhelmingly, pet owners can’t imagine life without them, with eight in 10 (82 per cent) respondents admitting that their pets truly ruled the roost and have full run of the house. 

The study was commissioned by Pets at Home to mark the launch of ‘The Pet Care Show’; an informative new content series hosted by Clare Balding, who will be putting the nation’s most common pet care questions to Pets at Home’s family of experts to help support and guide pet owners every step of the way.

Clare Balding OBE, pet lover, broadcaster and author, said: “It’s clear from the research that we love our pets unconditionally and they enrich our lives. They take a lot of love but give back so much more, which is why it’s important that, as pet owners, we are fully equipped with the knowledge and know-how to give our pets the best care and attention they deserve.

“I’m thrilled to have partnered with Pets at Home to launch ‘The Pet Care Show’, a new content series featuring 14 x 15-minute, advice-filled episodes to help guide pet owners every step of the way along their pet care journey. From labradors to leopard geckos and for whatever help or guidance pet owners might need, the Pets at Home family of pet care experts, vets and groomers are the go-to people to share their abundance of knowledge and support.”

‘The Pet Care Show with Clare Balding’ will be hosted on YouTube and at PetsatHome.com/Pet-Talk/The-Pet-Care-Show from 14th July. 

Dr. Karlien Heyrman, Head of Pets at Pets at Home, commented: “‘The Pet Care Show with Clare Balding’ is the programme your pets would want you to watch. Each episode has been carefully created to provide pet owners with the information they need to have an even stronger relationship with their pet. From helping to identify which pet is right for your family, to health and wellbeing guidance or training and behaviour advice, our series has it covered.”