Owners put pet's health above their own, survey finds

January has become a time for many of us to make healthy changes to our lifestyle, and some may also be considering some healthy lifestyle changes for their pets. A recent survey, conducted by dog food company tails.com, found that pet owners in Britain are more concerned about their pet's health than their own.

Out of the 1,263 dog owners questioned, 78 per cent said they worry more about their dog's health and more than half (56 per cent) say they have called into work sick to take care of their dog. Two thirds (67 per cent) of owners said they visit their vet more than their doctor.

The research also found that the average dog owner spends £199 a month - nearly £2,400 a year - on food, presents and leisure activities for their dog with over a third of pet parents (37 per cent) turning to technology, including activity trackers and brain training games, to improve their dog's health. Half (50 per cent) of parents say they spend more on their dog each month than their child.

Dr. Sean McCormack, head vet at tails.com, comments, "We are a nation of dog lovers and as they are part of our families we naturally worry about them and want the best for them. The findings show that owners care deeply about their dogs and are embracing new ways to improve their health and happiness. Technology is at the forefront of this and has resulted in innovative ways to feed our pets, like at tails.com where we create tailor-made diets for each individual dog online, to meet their exact nutritional needs. This can improve the health and happiness of the dog population with research showing that better nutrition can increase the life expectancy of dogs by over two years. It can also save owners money on their dog’s food bill by cutting out the retailer and delivering food direct to their door each month."

 Ten most common dog expenses

  1. Food = £40.44 a month
  2. Pet insurance = £22.35 a month
  3. Medicines / supplements = £21.49 a month
  4. Vet = £19.79 a month
  5. Grooming = £16.74 a month
  6. Dog minders / walkers = £16.51 a month
  7. Games and toys = £15.45 a month
  8. Presents = £13.36 a month
  9. Training = £12.29 a month
  10. Pet tech = £10.87 a month