We are a well known nation of animal lovers. Some may say we treat them better than we treat our
From Cats to Dogs, Goldfish to spiders (yes really……) we humans are a strange group, who love our
pets in all their forms.
What is the UK’s favorite pet? Dogs, of course! The consensus is the same within the Greens
community as well. Our beautiful array of pets can be seen below.
The research shows that we started domesticating dogs 15000 years ago, from wolves, to help with
hunting. The earliest confirmed domestic dog anywhere so far is from a burial site in Germany called
Bonn-Oberkassel. The earliest known dog burial site is in the USA from 11,000 years ago. The fact
that we have dog burials, shows that our ancestors were not only as fond of our four legged friends
as we are now, but honoured them, even in death.
27% of UK adults have a dog, with an estimated population of over 10 million. Closely behind dogs
are cats, who are the second favorite pet in the UK with a population of over 11 million.
Pets, especially dogs and cats, have been proven to reduce stress, anxiety and depression. They
provide companionship and can ease loneliness. Pets also have physical benefits, not only due to the
copious amounts of ‘walkies’ they beg us for, but also in times of physical pain as patients who are
recovering from surgery and injuries are proven to feel less pain if they have pets surrounding them.
The science behind it is that interactions with pets will increase oxytocin, which is the mood-
boosting hormone, and will also decrease cortisol which is our stress hormone.
The RSPCA Hero, Paul O’Grady, was a famous lover of all animals, and was the star of For The Love of
Dogs where he met with the staff and dogs of Battersea Dogs Home. His impact can be felt even
following his death, where over £200,000 has been donated following Paul O’Grady’s death, showing
just how devoted us humans are to our furry friends.