More than half of pet owners enjoy the company of their pet over their best friends

More than half of pet owners admit they enjoy the company of their pet more than of their best friends, it has emerged.

Researchers who carried out a detailed study found that despite the stresses and strains of modern life our bonds with our pets remain strong and is even strengthening.

When quizzed on the strength of their relationship with their pet. 53% said they preferred spending time with their furry friend more than a human companion.

According to research conducted by dog-friendly Mercure Hotels, 17% favoured quality time with their pet over their partner – and for good reason, as most pet owners see their animal as a positive influence on their well-being.

Three in five people find that their pet helps them to de-stress after a tough day, and 57% feel less lonely when their pet is beside them. It also emerged seven in 10 find their pet a calming presence in their home.

James Lys, general manager for Mercure, Stratford-upon-Avon, a very popular ‘doggie hotel’, said: “Our pets are a huge part of our lives and can make our day-to-day lives richer than it would be without them. We have noticed a marked increase in guests who bring their pets, specifically their dogs, travelling with them to share the experience.”

The study also found that 79% of pet owners miss their pets when they travel away from home, and a quarter feel lost without their animal companion with them on the trip.

Although 38% have brought their pet along for a trip at one time or another rather than leaving them at home.

A third of people found that the trip away from their usual surroundings made their pet more excitable than they normally would be. And 51% of people think that their trip could be made better with the presence of their furry friend.

The study found that if a hotel offered a service where you could keep your pet in your room during your stay, one in two pet owners would take the opportunity to bring along their animals along.

James Lys, added: “We take time to get to know our guests and understand their needs so we can try and delivery personal and meaningful experiences. Being able to bring your dog when you’re away makes all the difference to some of our guests, so that’s why Mercure hotels across the country now welcome dogs.

“It’s important to our guests so it’s important to us. We’ll create special menus and treats for guests’ dogs and our hotel teams have even been known to walk the dogs when their owners couldn’t.”