The UK's Favourite Pets

The UK's Favourite Pets

23 April 2018

In the UK, we're pretty fond of our furry and scaly companions, with 45% of the population owning a pet - that's almost half of the nation.

So, it comes as no surprise that so many of us have at least one pet, especially if you have one in your home. But when it comes to cats and dogs, lizards and fish, do you know which animal makes the UK's favourite pet?

Pet Population in the UK

After taking a drop in 2015-16, pet ownership is back on the rise in the UK, with 44% of the population owning a pet between 2016-17 and 45% this year; that's 13 million homes.

Of course, the most popular animals appear to have remained the same throughout the years, with dogs and cats consistently taking the top two spots. That's not to say that indoor fish, rabbits, and other small animals (like birds and guinea pigs) are not keen favourites for some families - 4.15 million homes in the UK play host to pets that range from insects and pigeons to small mammals. However, it's true that most pet owning homes in the UK seem to prefer canine and feline company.

There's also a preference when it comes to pet names. In 2017, the most popular name for a male dog was Alfie and for a female dog was Poppy. As for cats, the most popular name for males was Charlie and, for females, it was also Poppy.

UK's Favourite Dogs

Dogs are often referred to as man's best friend, and it seems we as Brits agree with this statement. 26% of pet owners have a dog, compared to 18% of households who have a cat.

Furthermore, more of us are wanting to introduce a canine into our families, with the dog population rising from 8.5 million last year to 9 million in 2018.

It may not come as much of a surprise to discover that Britain's favourite dog breed is a Labrador, a breed that is often defined by their highly adaptable and versatile nature, as well as their intelligence, discipline, and obedience. This is potentially most apparent in their role as assistance dogs.

It's estimated that there are more than half a million Labradors in households across the nation.

But even though the nation voted for Labradors as their favourite dogs, it's Staffordshire Bull Terriers that are the most popular, making up 8% of all dog ownership in the UK, while Labradors make up 7%.

Dog Breed Traits

Picking the right dog for your family involves considering a few different factors; looks are one thing, but temperament is another important element to consider. How much space you have, whether you have children, and how much exercise a dog needs are just a few elements that you may want to think about before making a decision to help you find a perfect pairing.

Below are some common traits among well-known breeds that may help you to choose:

UK's Favourite Cats

The cat population in the UK is estimated to be 8 million, the highest it's been for five years and up 140,000 from last year. Although a lower figure than the dog population, it's still easy to see just how popular our feline friends are.

After all, 5 million households own at least one cat. And, of those households that have a cat as a pet, 40% have more than one.

It appears the South West of England are the biggest fans of felines, with 22% of the population owning a cat. The North East, London and Scotland have the smallest density of cats for the population, with only 14% having a feline companion.

Cat Breed Traits

Even though cats can require less hands-on attention and usually take care of their own exercise needs, it's still important to choose the right cat for you and your family.

Below are a few different breeds with common personality traits:

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