The UK is known for being a nation of dog lovers and statistics show that this reputation is well founded. With 26% of UK residents owning a dog in 2018, they are the most popular pet in Britain. But how do the UK regions measure up individually?
Perhaps unsurprisingly due to the lack of green spaces and apartment living common in the capital, London has the lowest percentage of dog owners of any UK region, with only 9% of London households currently owning a dog.
The lack of space to raise a dog also means that London has seen a rise in the popularity of smaller, more docile breeds such as the pug, French bulldog and English bulldog among those dedicated 9% of owners.
However, dogs that do reside in the capital have access to a range of doggy benefits, from exclusive pet spas to the range of dog-friendly eateries where owners can brunch alongside their four-legged friends.
Because modern city dogs need to look their best at all times, London abounds in grooming parlours where talented pet stylists can spruce up your pet in no time.
By contrast, Northern Ireland has seen an explosion of dog-friendly establishments including hotels, pubs, restaurants and cafes in recent years, especially in Belfast where chic pooches can enjoy ‘puppuccinos’ alongside their owners.
Northern Ireland is also the UK’s top spot for dog-friendly beaches, so it’s no wonder that the amount of dogs there is rising. Who doesn’t love a stroll on the beach with their canine companion?
The South East is home to some of mainland Britain’s most committed dog lovers, with dogs living in 950,000 households. It’s not a surprise – the beautiful countryside of the Home Counties makes for the ideal place to own a canine companion.
The North West is not far behind, with dogs residing in around 825,000 households – that’s 27% of the total population. Dog owners here are more likely to own larger and more athletic dog breeds such as springer spaniels, German Shepherds, and border terriers thanks to the abundance of outdoor space.
Surveys also show a disparity between the percentage of dog owners in the population versus the number of households in which a dog resides, revealing another interesting trend in the UK.
Although fewer members of the population the South East and North West of England own dogs in comparison to Northern Ireland and the North East, households that are home to multiple dogs are more common.
Although many households own dogs in the Home Counties, it is more common for these households to contain a single dog, in contrast to Northern Ireland in which fewer households celebrate their love of furry friends by owning multiple dogs.
The variety of environments – from urban metropolis to rural countryside – in which dogs are popular throughout the UK means that there is great diversity amongst the lifestyles of British dogs – and their owners.
One thing is for sure – with an estimated 51 million dogs calling the UK their home, the British public’s devotion to Man’s Best Friend is clear no matter what region you go to.