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Brits crave ’emotional sup-paw-t’!

New research has highlighted just how reliant Brits are on the emotional sup-paw-t of their pets with almost three quarters (71 per cent) saying they’ve been helped through the toughest times of their lives by their companions. The research comes as Petplan announces the launch of its annual Pet Awards to celebrate the nation’s most heroic, entertaining and loving pets.

Over half of the nation (55 per cent) said their pet was the most empathetic person in their life, with 53% saying their pet is more intuitive at knowing when they’re sad than their own partner. 45% of Brits even admitted they get more emotional comfort from their pets than their partners.

And it’s not just pets over partners that the nation is prioritising in times of need. Whilst two thirds (66 per cent) of the nation said their pet is their best friend, in emotional situations such as break-ups, 54% of Brits wanted their pets by their side more so than their human best friends (21%).

The research is announced as Petplan joins forces with rescue dog owner and Strictly Come Dancing dancer, Karen Hauer, to launch nominations for the 2023 Petplan Pet Awards. Owners around the country can nominate their furry friends to win the ultimate accolade across five categories – ‘Hero Pet of the Year’, ‘Best Friend Pet of the Year’, ‘Rescue Pet of the Year’, ‘Survivor Pet of the Year’ and ‘Pet Performer of the Year’.

Dogs and puppies were considered the pets most likely to provide emotional comfort (86%) followed by cats and kittens (52%), and then horses (14%). Snakes, tortoises and lizards were even considered to offer the strongest emotional support by 6% of the nation!

Regardless of Brits’ pet of choice, a whopping 9 in 10 said being around their pets was therapeutic, and around 8 in 10 (85%) said their pet has a calming effect. When feeling anxious, 58% said they wanted to be around their pet, more so than friends and family, and our pets are so attuned to our emotions that almost 6 in 10 of us (59%) believe that if we’re sad, our pet is too.

With so much love for our pet pals, it’s little surprise that over half of the nation (54%) want to celebrate with pets during the happiest times of their lives. 45% said they’d like their pet to be involved in their engagement, and 46% even said their pet would play a part in their wedding day!

Pet Awards ambassador Karen Hauer said: “I’ve always said that my dogs rescued me. They’ve been with me through heartbreak, when I was at my lowest in my life, and they gave me the strength to get up and take a walk and smell the fresh air again. The Petplan Pet Awards really resonate with me, as there’s nothing I want more than to celebrate my dogs who have all helped me emotionally during my times of need and my happiest moments. They all deserve a nomination but especially Phoebe, who I’ll be nominating as Survivor Pet of the Year as she’s overcome the adversity of losing her leg after being hit by a car – she’s a trooper and like so many other incredible pets, deserves to be recognised.”

Petplan’s Sales & Marketing Director, Bella von Mesterhazy added: “The Petplan Pet Awards are now in their 4th year, and are there to celebrate and recognise exceptional pets who help enrich our lives, bringing unconditional love, fun and companionship.. There are so many emotional benefits of owning a pet and we want to dedicate a moment to the nation’s animals, reflecting on the joy they bring us through the tough times as well as the good.”

Pet owners can nominate their pets across this year’s five categories by clicking here.

Nominations close on 31.07.23 and the winners announcement will follow on Facebook.


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