Pressing paws on socialising – Two thirds of owners plan their life around their pet

11 April 2019

  • Half (51%) of animal lovers have cancelled their plans to keep their pet company
  • Over a quarter (30%) of Brits don’t trust anyone, not even family, to look after their pet
  • Londoners are the most likely to put their pets needs above their own

pet and man

New research from Co-op Insurance reveals how Brits are prioritising their pets as almost two thirds (61%) of UK pet owners plan their lives around their beloved pets.

When it comes to balancing a social life and the needs of their four legged friends, a fifth (20%) admit that all of their plans revolve around their pet’s routine.

Pets prove to be a priority as over half (51%) of pet owners admit to cancelling plans because they don’t want to leave their pet alone, with two fifths (42%) admitting to having done this more than once.

Men aged between 25 and 34 are the most likely let their friends down, with over half (56%) saying they’ve cancelled plans so that their pet wasn’t left alone.

Even if they’re able to separate themselves from their pets for just a few hours, almost two thirds (61%) of owners cut their socialising short to avoid leaving their pet alone.

When comparing cats and dogs, dog owners are the most likely to plan their lives around their canine companion with almost three quarters (70%) saying this is the case. In comparison, half (57%) of cat owners consider their pets when planning their social life.

Londoners are the most likely to put their pets needs above their own social lives with three quarters (73%) admitting that this is the case.

Cities where owners are most likely to put their pets needs first:

  1. London 73%
  2. Leeds 70%
  3. Bristol 65%
  4. Oxford – 59%
  5. York – 59%
  6. Manchester – 58%
  7. Birmingham – 57%
  8. Nottingham – 57%
  9. Aberdeen – 57%
  10. Coventry – 56%

David Hampson, Head of Co-op Pet Insurance, commented:

“It’s great to see that pets play such an important part in everyday life. It’s clear to see the value pets bring to owners’ lives and, as the research shows, owners really are dedicated to their pets – sometimes even at the expense of their social lives!

“Aspiring pet owners need to consider if they can provide the same amount of dedication before introducing a pet into their lives. Like humans, pets also suffer from loneliness and quite often experience separation anxiety, so, if you’re thinking about getting a pet, make sure you’ve considered all factors of what it means to be a pet owner.”

Notes to Editors

*Research was conducted among 2,000 pet owners in November 2018 on behalf of the Co-op by Atomik Research.

Media Contacts:

Claire Newmarch, PR Assistant: / 07808 609 944
Hannah Charlton, Press Officer: /07713 314 894
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About Co-op Pet Insurance

Co-op Pet Insurance is part of Co-op Insurance Services Limited and is underwritten by Allianz. Full policy details can be found here:

About Co-op Insurance

Co-op Insurance is part of the Co-op, one of the world’s largest consumer co-ops, owned by millions of members. Alongside Co-op Insurance, we have the UK’s fifth biggest food retailer, the UK’s number one funeral services provider, and a developing legal services business.

As well as having clear financial and operational objectives, the Co-op is a recognised leader for its social goals and community-led programmes.