Home Family & Relationship A Third of Brits Admit to Favouring Their Pet Over Their Children – But Why?

A Third of Brits Admit to Favouring Their Pet Over Their Children – But Why?

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With Mother’s Day just around the corner, parents across the UK will be showered with well-deserved gifts, especially pet mums!

In fact, searches for “dog mum” have increased by 46% in the last month and there are now over three million views on #dogmum TikTok content.

New research by greetings card marketplace thortful also found that almost half (43%) of Brits see their pet as a child and 28% even favour their fluffy friends over their children. But why do we have such a connection with our pets and why are people favouring them over their children?

Teaming up with award-winning dog trainer and dog behaviour specialist Rachel Rogers from Nose To Trail, thortful and Rachel explain why people favour their pets over their children, the mental and physical benefits of having one, as well as five pets that give the most human interaction and joy for those looking for a new companion.

Plus, to celebrate all of the pet mums out there, thortful has also launched a range of pet mum cards to gift on Mother’s Day

Why do you think people favour their pets over their children?

We don’t exactly have a goldfish that keeps us up late at night because they’re out with friends and haven’t come back when they said they would. Or a cat that needs picking up from Brownies one day, gymnastics the next and then driving to swimming at an unearthly hour on a Saturday morning.

Rachel explains: “Pets can be – when we choose a suitable species and breed for us – very easy companions that like to do the things we like to do! Guinea pigs, for example, can be a very low-maintenance pet that, if you gain their trust, will happily sit and watch Netflix with you at night without needing long walks and early toilet trips like a dog.”

What health benefits does having a pet have?

Pets that we stroke are known to have health benefits for us, lowering our heart rate and blood pressure while we sit and interact with them. That’s partly why the Pets as Therapy programmes going into hospitals and old people’s homes can be so beneficial.

Rachel adds: “Dogs live in the now. They don’t worry about what happened yesterday and with the move towards more mindful living over the last few years, many of us benefit from that type of attitude. The grounding of enjoying the here and now – just watch a dog frolicking on the beach or sniffing on their walks, they’re lost in the moment rather than worrying about going back to work tomorrow and what their boss thinks about the upcoming restructure at work.”

Why do you think people see their pets as children?

There is, of course, a difference and we need to be mindful of being anthropomorphic, as treating dogs as children can lead to problems. But there are a lot of similarities between dogs and children, which play a role in the new dog mum era.

Rachel continues: “We have bred many breeds to have neonatal like features that add to their appeal – the big, widespread eyes of a French Bulldog and Pug for example, are exactly for that purpose. They may not appeal to everyone but for those who do, they love them. Smaller breeds that can be carried around and easily taken on days out to dog friendly coffee shops, shopping centres and even dog swimming pools are rising in popularity, such as cockapoos and dachshunds, for example.

Dogs need us. Just like a child, they are reliant on us for their care, their food, and their entertainment.

Having something that is reliant on you in order to survive is for many, why they become their “fur babies”.

What are the best pets to have that give the most human interaction and joy?

Rachel recommends:

  • Dogs
  • Cats
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Ferrets
  • Rabbits

To gift a paw-rent this Mother’s Day, visit thortful here: https://www.thortful.com/cards/mothers-day/mum/pet

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