A third of dog lovers would pick their pet over their partner – if they were forced to choose between the two, study reveals.
A poll of 2,000 dog owners also found four in 10 admit to giving their pooch more affection than their other half.
While 42% even claim their pup deliberately intervenes when their partner tries to initiate a hug. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the nation’s dogs are responsible for three disagreements a week in British households.
The research was commissioned by dog-friendly country pub chain Chef & Brewer whose brand manager Health Moore said: “It’s no secret that Brits love their dogs, but we were surprised to find out just how far that love extended.
“Dog owners love nothing more than treating their pets, either with snacks or taking them somewhere they’ll love. Our research shows that for some couples, the four-legged friend can take the starring role in the relationship.”
An eighth of the population have even seen their relationship reach an ultimatum of ‘it’s me or the dog’. And 38% say if they introduced their canine to a new partner and the dog didn’t like them, it would be a sign that the relationship was doomed.
But on the other hand, one in four would break up with someone if they felt a dog obsession was getting out of hand.
According to OnePoll research, the main argument over the dog is about who should take it out for its needed daily walks – closely followed by who should clean up after it.
The third most common bust-up comes when one partner believes the other one is too free with the treats, potentially spoiling the pet. One in 10 also get wound up when they get home from work to find they’ve got to wait for their dinner so the dog can eat first.
More than four in 10 adults who let the dog sleep in the bedroom claims this has had a negative impact on their love lives.
Following the findings, Chef & Brewer has launched a competition to win the ‘ultimate romantic doggy weekend away’ for those who are in love with their dog.
Pet owners will get the chance to win an overnight stay at one of their dog-friendly hotels, where human and canine companions can enjoy a meal together in a cosy pub and bond over a country walk, as well as a £500 cash prize.
Heather Moore continued: “Our doggy weekend away is perfect for those who want to spend a bit of quality time with their four-legged friend thus Valentine’s Day.
“For those who fancy a shorter bonding session, all of our pubs feature dog-friendly bar areas, where pooches and their owners can enjoy a drink or bite to eat in a relaxed setting.”
The top 20 arguments dog owners have:
1 Who has to walk the dog
2 Who has to go and clean up their mess in the garden/on walk
3 One partner says the other gives the dog too many treats
4 Arguments about muddy car seats or the house being muddy
5 One partner wants the other to join them on a dog walk and they don’t want to
6 Who has to get out of bed to let them out in the morning
7 The dog has taken your seat on the sofa or bed
8 If the dog should be allowed on the sofa
9 You disagree on training schedules
10 One partner accuses the other of playing too roughly with the dog
11 That they feed it at the table
12 Who should feed them
13 Whether they should be allowed to sleep in the bedroom
14 If the dog should be allowed upstairs at all
15 One partner gives the dog a warmer welcome than they do for the other partner
16 One partner thinks the other spends too much money on the dog
17 Whether you should put them in kennels when you go away
18 Who has to give them flea treatment or other medication
19 The dog getting fed first
20 You can’t agree on a holiday destination as you want to take the dog
For the chance to win the perfect weekend away with your dog, visit www.chefandbrewer.com/valentines-day/competition