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Adam Jolley

Animal lovers choose pets over partners


One in 10 adults in a relationship with a pet owner suspect their other half loves their animal more than them, according to exclusive research by

Woman kissing dog

And one in 20 admit to feeling jealous when their partner spends more time with their pet than them.

This pet paranoia may be justified, however, as one in 10 owners claim they do actually love their pet more than their partner.

And a similar number – 11 per cent - admit their pet is the most important thing in their life.

Pet custody battles

A third of pet owners say they resort to treating their animal like a child by carrying it around the house and buying it gifts, for example.

And, should they split from their partner, it seems these doting "parents" would do anything to keep hold of their pet.

Nearly one in 10 pet owners – equivalent to almost 2 million people – say they would go as far as taking their ex-partner to court to gain custody of a shared pet.

And for some owners, their pet is so important to them that one in 10 say they would dump their partner if they didn't get on with their animal.

Pets a 'deal-breaker'

Meanwhile, nearly a third of animal-loving Brits wouldn't even consider dating someone who didn’t like animals.

Yet for some people it's having a pet that can be a "deal-breaker" when it comes to choosing a partner.

Eight per cent of the 2,000 adults polled say they wouldn't go out with someone who owned an animal.

When asked why, a third fears their partner's pet might not like them, and one in 10 worried their partner's ex might still come to visit the pet.

Most off-putting animals

For the 54 per cent of Brits who would shun a potential partner because of their pet, it's simply down to the fact that they don’t like animals.

Men are particularly unimpressed with women who own a snake, with 29 per cent admitting to being put off at the prospect of sharing a room with a reptile.

But despite an array of weird and wacky pets available at pet shops nowadays, it is in fact dogs that are the most off-putting animal.

More than a third of people may reject a potential partner based on their ownership of a pet pooch.

60% pet owners lack pet insurance

Despite many owners professing an undying love for their pets, a majority do not have any insurance.

Around 60 per cent admitted not having pet insurance to cover expenses such as unexpected operations, treatments or the cost of searching for a missing pet.

Kate Rose, head of pet insurance at, says: "According to our research it would seem that many people favour spending quality time with their pets over their partners.

"Brits are well known for being animal lovers, but preferring to spend time cuddled up with the dog or cat over a partner reveals that 'man’s best friend' is the primary object of many people’s affections.

"With this in mind, it's vital for pet owners to have adequate cover to ensure their animal companion is properly protected should the worst happen."


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