Home Family & Relationship Survey Reveals Almost a Third of Pet Owners Have Had Sex in Front of Their Pets

Survey Reveals Almost a Third of Pet Owners Have Had Sex in Front of Their Pets

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Our pets are more than just animals; they are part of the family, and as such, they are often humanised more than they ever have been before. As pet owners and guardians, there’s not a lot we wouldn’t do for our furry friends: buying them top-of-the-line food and treats, making sure they have the comfiest and most relaxing bedding, and in many cases, even taking them on holidays with us.

Now, the results of a survey of more than 1,000 pet owners across the UK aged 16+ reveal just how far many pet owners are prepared to go to show their pets how much they matter to them, especially in comparison to their human love interests.

Pets vs partners

For pet owners who are in romantic human relationships, almost a fifth (19%) of respondents said that their pet means more to them than their human partner does, with women more likely to make that statement than men (20% vs 18%). For men, however, their human relationships mean more to them than their furry ones, with 43% saying that their partner means more to them than their pet, while 45% of pet owners say that to them, their partner and their pet mean the same amount.

When it comes to gift giving and remembering important dates, almost half of the pet owners surveyed (42%) admitted that they have spent more money on a treat for a pet than their partner, with men more likely to do this than women (44% vs 40%). Those aged 25–34 are the age group most prone to this behaviour, with 55% of this group saying they are guilty of spending more on their pets than their partners.

Regionally, pet owners in London are the most guilty of spending more on their furry friends than their human ones, with 56% admitting they have done this in the past. Following London are both Scotland and the North East, with 49% of pet owners in these areas also saying they have previously spent more on their pets than their partners.

When asked if they had ever forgotten a partner’s birthday but remembered their pet’s, almost a quarter of pet owners (23%) admitted they had. Men are more likely to be forgetful about their human relationships than women, with almost a third (31%) of men saying they had previously forgotten their partner’s birthday but remembered their pet’s (vs 17% of women).

Phil Turner-Naylor, spokesperson for Jollyes, says: “Because our beloved pets can’t speak to us or assure us that they’re happy, well loved, and content, it makes the job of showing them how much we love them – and how much they mean to us – all the harder for us as pet guardians.

“Because of that, we’re often tempted to buy them little treats and things they like as a physical sign of love and affection in a way that we don’t really think about doing for our human loves because we tell them and show them in different ways.

“A cuppa tea without asking for it, a casual foot rub while watching TV, running the bath and lighting your favourite candle after a particularly hard day are some of the little ways we show our humans that we love and care for them, but for our pets, it’s a little trickier.

“So we buy them silly little toys, their favourite snacks and even take them on holidays with us to show them just how much we want them to be happy. We’re obviously all for this show of love, but not at the expense of human relationships, so there are definitely a few pet owners out there who need to be doing better by their partners!”

Out with the new

When it comes to new relationships, the research revealed that pets are putting up a good fight, as more than half of pet owners say they would choose their pets over the new relationship if the new partner asked them to get rid of their pets (59%).

Women are more likely to put their pets ahead of new romances than men, with almost two-thirds (65%) choosing their pets over potential partners, compared to just over half of men (52%). The over 55s are the age demographic most ready to pick their pets, with 63% happy to say goodbye to human love for their pets, followed by the young-uns, with 60% of those aged 16–24 also preferring their pets over potential partners.

More adults in Edinburgh would choose their pets over a new romance than anywhere else in the UK, with three quarters of pet owners in the Scottish capital admitting they’d put their pets first. Glaswegians follow suit, with 70% making the same choice and two-thirds of pet owners in Leeds also choosing their pets over a new partner.

Pet owners in Brighton are the least likely to choose their pet over a budding romance, with 36% saying they would give human love a chance, followed by pet owners in Birmingham and Newcastle (both 22%), and Sheffield, Norwich and Belfast (all 20%).

The research showed that it’s rabbits that most people are prepared to choose over love, with 65% of rabbit owners making this choice, followed by dogs (63%) and birds (60%).

Bedroom eyes

The survey analysis also showed that the majority of pet owners give their pets free reign when it comes to access to their bedrooms, with a whopping 65% saying their pets are also allowed on their beds. Women are more likely to allow this behaviour than men (69% vs 61%), and those aged 16–24 are the most guilty of this, with 75% of this age group saying they allow this to happen.

Perhaps the most surprising finding is that because of their access to the bedroom, almost a third of pet owners say they have been intimate with a partner in front of their pet (30%), with 12% more men allowing their pets a private show than women (36% vs 24%).

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