Up until that happy day when you get your first pet, you can never fully understand how much they become a part of the family. As many of you dog owners will know, our furry friends take up a huge space in our lives and in our hearts. We establish an extremely close connection with them and share everything with them. Recently a survey was carried out that reveals how the UK is a nation of soppy dog owners who love to spoil and pamper their pets. It sheds light on the habits the nation indulges to make their dog feel loved and part of the family, plus the breeds that are the most spoilt by their owners!
4 million people would take a day off work to look after their poorly dog
Top level findings include:
- Over 1.6 million dog owners kiss their pet on the lips
- 4 million people would take a day off work to look after their poorly dog
- Almost 5 million dog owners kiss their pet good night
- A third of those with a furry family member regularly give them a massage (33%)
From letting them lick their face to even bathing their dog at the same time as they have a bath, the study commissioned by Mira Showers uncovers more habits of dog owners across the nation (including some eyebrow-raising special privileges):
|Habit/Special Treatment||% of dog owners who admit to doing this|
|Regularly giving them treats||61%|
|Letting them on the sofa||57%|
|Speaking to them in funny, unusual or high-pitched voices||46%|
|Letting them on their bed||44%|
|Feeding them human food||42%|
|Getting up earlier than they would if they didn’t have a dog to feed them and walk them||38%|
|Kissing them goodbye or goodnight||36%|
|Letting them lick their hands||35%|
|Leaving music, radio or the TV on for them when they’re alone||33%|
|Confiding in them or telling them personal things||29%|
|Leaving the heating on for them if it’s cold||28%|
|Letting them lick their face||27%|
|Letting them lick their plate or cup after they’ve finished with it||27%|
|Letting them in their bed||25%|
|Taking time off work to look after their dog if they’re poorly||18%|
|Kissing them on the lips||12%|
|Letting their dog eat at the dinner table with them||6%|
|Showering their dog at the same time as they have a shower||6%|
|Bathing their dog at the same time as they have a bath||4%|
It’s the women among dog owners who spoil their dogs the most with all the above, though more men than women said they’d let their dogs eat dinner at the table with them. When it comes to the most spoilt breeds, the likes of Cockapoos (and other Poodle crosses), Lurchers and mixed breeds take the lead, over-indexing on 15 of the above special privileges. Close behind are dogs in the Hound Group, meaning breeds such as Beagles, Dachshunds, Greyhounds, Whippets and Rhodesian Ridgebacks are allowed to eat dinner at the table with their owners, plus get showered or bathed at the same time as their owners more than any other breed group.
Owners in Belfast and Nottingham come out on top with treating their dog to these things; both cities pamper their pet with at least five of these special privileges more than any other UK city. Dog owners in Leeds let their dog on their bed more than anywhere else (53%), while owners in Plymouth dramatically over-index on showering with their dog at the same time (15%).
Matt Herbert-Sandell, Digital Communications Manager at Mira Showers, said: “Nationwide, our survey found that an estimated 822,000 dog owners shower with their dog; talk about multitasking! A dual shower is a perfect solution for dog owners who need some extra flexibility and multitasking power to help them groom their dogs at home. The fixed rainfall shower head gives the owners a fantastic showering experience for themselves, while the handheld shower head is ideal for maneuvering around a mucky pup! Our survey also found that 2 in 5 owners wish they knew more hacks to make showering their dogs at home much easier, so we enlisted experts to help.”
Animal charity, Wood Green, and professional grooming experts at Purplebone, London’s premier dog grooming spa parlour, offer these at-home grooming tips:
- The water temperature should be lukewarm. Being able to comfortably run the water over your forearm is a sign the temperature is exactly right.
- Avoid getting water down the ear canal, as this can lead to infections. Be mindful of their eyes too, as shampoo can sting, just like it does with humans.
- Always use a shampoo made specifically for dogs and never human shampoo because natural ph. levels are different and can cause skin problems as a result if the wrong product is used. The team at Purplebone said: “A handheld shower is what we always use in our professional grooming parlours, because you can soak all areas of the dog to apply the shampoo first, then use it to thoroughly remove any excess residue of shampoo and conditioner.”
- There will always be some dogs that love water, and some that just tolerate it. If you can make it as pleasant as you can through praise and treats, it will be a much more relaxed experience. Ness Croft-Taylor, Veterinary Surgery Manager and qualified dog groomer at Wood Green, said: “It’s beneficial to have a handheld shower to regulate the flow, so if your dog is timid you can introduce the water gradually.”
How many of these things do you do with your dog? Follow us on Instagram and join the conversation!