Do you think women talk mostly about their love lives or children over the water-cooler at work? Think again – a survey by new website reveals female pet owners talk more about their dogs than their partner or children! When asked who they speak mostly about with friends or colleagues, nearly 60% confirmed they talk mostly about their dog.
Julie, a dedicated nanny, is obsessed with her dog Ben, a gorgeous five year old golden Labrador (pictured left). They live together – with Julie’s boyfriend David – in North Ayrshire.
Julie readily admits that Ben is just like her baby. Ben is the first dog Julie has ever owned and she is bonkers about him! Ben goes to work with Julie whenever possible and Julie chooses her activities and outings to fit with his routine and his needs.
Julie’s devotion to Ben is so extreme that boyfriend David is not allowed to go to Tenerife with Julie this half term, staying at home instead to dog-sit!
Julie admits that before she had Ben, she could not understand why pet owners would put their dogs first. However, Ben gives her such huge unconditional love that she is quick to admit she will put him before everyone – even David!
Indeed 70% of female (compared to 51% male) owners regard their pet as one of the family. Furthermore, more than half of female owners feel at their most confident meeting people when out with their dog while only 23% feel at their most confident meeting people when with friends.
‘These findings highlight the important role dogs play in women’s lives,’ psychologist Dr Ceri Parsons says. ‘Dogs offer women unconditional love that is less complicated than their other personal relationships. They have the ability to make individuals feel loved on a ‘no strings attached’ basis and they reward us with behavior, such as greeting us at the door after a long day at work, that we experience as unquestioning love and loyalty.’
Prince William and Catherine were given a gorgeous black cocker spaniel pup by her family just before Christmas which the couple named Lupo. The puppy is sure to be a great comfort to Kate while her husband is in The Falklands doing his military duties.
Many pet owners have said up profiles for their beloved animals on sites such as facebook and twitter where they post funny stories, pictures or tweet about what they are up to but now there is a special site where people can ‘petnet’ with other animal lovers.
In the same way that parents turn to Mumsnet for advice on all things child-related, the community focuses on sharing the highs and lows of pet ownership – with experienced vets and behaviour experts on hand to answer queries. And it’s not just owners seeking online support, thousands of pets write (in the first person!) about a range of topics from their struggle to cope with the arrival of a new puppy to their dilemma as ‘mummy’ washes them with ketchup to get rid of the reek of fox poo! And just like proud parents – owners are keen to share all their ‘firsts’ too –with photos of a puppy’s first bath, walk, friend, item of clothing. So, if pet owners are looking for a new way to social network, here is your answer.
[picture credits: Elliot Westacott | Dreamstime.com; AJU_photography]