Sunday February 25th 2018

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‘Fur Kid’ Phenomenon – Brits Choose Dogs Over Sprogs!

  • Two in five say owning a dog is a happy alternative to having children
  • A quarter prefer going out with their dog to their children
  • Eight in ten say their dog is loving and attentive when out and about. Just over 50% say this is true of their partner
  • Kennel Club calls for more places to allow dogs to join the family, during the Kennel Club’s Open for Dogs Week 20-26 August

More and more people are choosing to own a dog over having children and want to see Britain adapting by being more dog friendly, according to research conducted by the Kennel Club.

The research, carried out ahead of the Kennel Club’s Open for Dogs Week from 20-26 August, has found that two-fifths of people say that owning a dog is a happy alternative to having children, and one in four say that a dog fits more easily with their lifestyle. Furthermore, a quarter of Brits with children say that whilst their children always come first, they prefer to do things with their dog.

It is not just children that are going down in the pecking order when compared to Fido. Eight out of ten say that their dog is attentive and loving when out and about, whereas just over half say that the same is true of their other half!

However, despite the central place that dogs hold in their owners’ hearts, many people experience difficulty taking their dogs out and about, particularly to restaurants. Two fifths of people say that they have problems finding a place where their dog is welcome while they eat, and almost half say that they’d like to see a wider variety of restaurants open their doors to dogs.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “This research proves what a well loved member of the family a dog is. Given how much we love spending time with our dogs, it is surprising that there are still so many businesses that refuse to allow dogs in their premises, but there is a real appetite for this to change.

“The Kennel Club’s Open for Dogs website lists more than 26,000 places throughout the UK and Europe that allow dogs inside, which makes it easier for dog owners to plan days out and holidays without having to leave their dogs behind.

“During Open for Dogs Week we are asking businesses, whether it is a restaurant, hotel, pub, shop or office, to trial a dog friendly policy. There are more than eight million dogs in the UK, so those that get involved will be appealing to a massive customer base, which can only be a good thing in tough economic times.”

As well as making economic sense for businesses, adopting a dog friendly attitude can work wonders for the psyche.  “It is as though dogs were designed by nature to make us feel good,” says Dr Lance Workman, Subject Leader in Psychology at Bath Spa University. “Dogs are the perfect antidote to many of the niggling mental and physical ailments that affect our busy day to day lives, so it is no wonder that they are so important to people.

“Not only do they give us unconditional affection but their presence lowers blood pressure and boosts the production of happy hormones, serotonin and dopamine, which make us feel happy and content. All of this helps people to be more positive and more productive, so there is certainly a lot to be said for businesses and workplaces embracing dogs as part of their working culture.”

The Kennel Club’s Open for Dogs Week runs from 20-26 August 2012 and businesses and public places are encouraged to adopt a dog friendly policy for well behaved dogs.

To nominate your favourite dog friendly venue or town for the Kennel Club’s Open for Dogs Awards, visit The deadline for nominations is 31st August.

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