Britain is officially a nation of dog lovers – after pet pooches beat cats in a poll to find the nation’s ‘ulti-mutt’ pet. A study of 2,000 adults saw 51 per cent name man’s best friend as one of their favourite animals.
But only 38 per cent harbour a love of felines. The robin, horse and hedgehog completed the top five.
The study also revealed that when it comes to farmyard animals, the horse topped the poll (28 per cent) followed by sheep (23 per cent), donkeys (23 per cent) and pigs (21 per cent).
Commissioned by Channel 5, ahead of this week’s episode of ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ on Tuesday at 9pm, it also emerged that 73 per cent of Brits consider themselves to be animal lovers.
Callum Woodhouse, who plays Tristan Farnon in Channel 5’s new adaptation of ‘All Creatures Great and Small’, said: “I’m a huge dog lover. Any scene in All Creatures Great and Small where you see me with our Golden Retriever, that was me asking to have him in the scene with me as I adore him so much.”
The study also found that more than seven in 10 adults consider their furry, scaled and feathered friends to very much be a part of the family.
Among the best things about having a pet were the affection they give (55 per cent) and having their company (61 per cent).
And in a year in which many have been isolated or lonely, more than seven in 10 over 55s said that having a pet for company was their top perk of having an animal at home.
But despite 45 per cent of adults admitting they would like to have a pet, or have more than they do already, four in 10 don’t currently have one.
A lack of space was the top reason for not getting a pet, with those in London most likely to consider this a barrier.
In Yorkshire 41 per cent of those who want a pet said they can’t afford to give a furry friend a happy life.
It also emerged that for 27 per cent of those polled, their love of animals is so great, that they dreamt of becoming a veterinarian when they were a child.
All Creatures Great and Small, continues on Channel 5 Tuesdays at 9pm.
BRITAIN’S 30 FAVOURITE ANIMALS
12. Golden Eagle
21. Blue tit
29. Guinea Pig