Edinburgh, Watford and Woking see the biggest surge in pet pals

New data reveals that Edinburgh has seen a 140% increase in pet ownership over the last year, with the largest increase outside the capital.

The new data by Bought By Many analysed the increase in policy numbers across the UK to determine the top pet hotspots. The growth in Edinburgh was closely followed by Watford (137%), Woking (136%) and Hamilton in South Lanarkshire (129%). Where residents also sought the companionship of a four-legged friend during the pandemic.

Edinburgh, Brighton and Leeds have been named as the top cat loving cities, seeing an 133%, 88% and 87% increase in policies taken out for our feline friends in the last year respectively.

However, it’s Geordies who are barking mad for dogs, causing a 154% growth in dog ownership. This is followed by Woking (153%) and Watford (152%) who also went nuts for mutts. In the last year, dog policies have grown by 90% across the nation, vs cat policies which have grown by 54%.

When it comes to our favourite dog breeds, Cockerpoo is the most popular and saw a 182% growth this year. This was followed by Labrador Retriever (+82%) and Cocker Spaniel (+105%).

London specifically saw staggering growth In pet ownership, recording a 141% rise, and it was residents of Southwark (164%), Lambeth (153%) and Merton (152%) who turned to a furry companion the most. Looking at dogs in particular, there was a clear favourite beed; Cockapoos were the most sought-after pups in 16 boroughs, closely followed by Cocker Spaniels in seven boroughs.

And when it comes to cats, residents in Kensington and Chelsea (232%), Lambeth (115%) and Westminster (110%) are the biggest feline fanatics.

Steven O’Callaghan Senior Insurance Product Manager at Bought By Many, said: “From Edinburgh to Brighton, anyone taking a quick walk through their local park will have spotted more dogs and puppies than ever before as many owners up and down the UK welcomed home a new pet this year.

“As lockdown restrictions ease, some owners will be worrying about spending less time with their pets and it’s important that pet parents continue to maintain the same level of care and attention as life returns to normal. It’s fantastic to see that pet insurance has increased in line with the rise in pet ownership, as owners are clearly wanting to safeguard their pet’s long-term health, after lockdown and beyond.

“The average claim for one off treatment if your pet is unwell pet can set owners back by £448.56 and this can quickly increase if it needs further veterinary attention, so having insurance there will give owners peace of mind that they’re protected against any unwanted surprises.”

Top 10 towns / cities which have seen the most growth in pet ownership

1.     Edinburgh, Scotland 140%
2.     Watford, Hertfordshire 137%
3.     Woking, Surrey 136%
4.     Hamilton, South Lanarkshire 129%
5.     Newcastle Upon Tyne 126%
6.     Barnet, London 124%
7.     Corby, Northampton 122%
8.     Stirling, Scotland 122%
9.     St Helen’s, Merseyside 121%
10.  Harrogate, North Yorkshire 120%


Top 10 towns / cities which have seen the most growth in dog ownership

  1. Newcastle Upon Tyne
154% Cockerpoo
2.     Woking, Surrey 153% Cockerpoo
3.     Watford, Hertfordshire 152% Labrador Retriever
4.     Edinburgh 144% Labrador Retriever
5.     Rugby, Warwickshire 143% Cockerpoo
6.     Hamilton, South Lanarkshire 133% Cockerpoo
7.     Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire 132% Labrador Retriever
8.     Wokingham, Berkshire 132% Labrador Retriever
9.     Stirling, Scotland 129% Cockerpoo
10.  Horsham, West Sussex 125% Cocker Spaniel