A new survey has revealed that the number of homes in the United Kingdom that have dogs has overtaken those that are home to cats.
One of the reasons that has been attributed to their increase in popularity is the number of celebrities who are featured in newspapers and lifestyle magazines posing with smaller ‘handbag’ breeds such as Chihuahuas.
The survey, carried out by Mintel, also points towards the trend for high profile fashion designers such as Vivienne Westwood creating cutting edge couture for canines.
Smaller dogs have also increased in popularity as, diamond collars aside, they are cheaper to keep, and need less exercise. Mintel commented:
“Smaller dogs are typically more suited to smaller living spaces, require less exercise, cost less to feed, insure and medicate, have longer lifespans and are arguably better suited to indoor lifestyles and travelling” Mintel said.
“Therefore for many pet owners it is how pets can fit into their lifestyle as opposed to the other way around.”
However, dogs are not quite having it all their own way; the total number of cats in the UK is still greater, with 8.6 million in homes around the country as opposed to 8.3 million dogs. This is according to the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association, who said that cat owners had a tendency to own more than one cat, in the manner of The Simpson’s Crazy Cat Lady.
However, the survey revealed a worrying trend – the fact that our pets are becoming increasingly obese, with one-in-three dogs and one-in-four cats thought to be overweight. It’s apparent that pet owners still pamper their pooches with dog treats and dog toys despite the rising cost of living.
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