As you know, we are not particularly big animal fans. Of course, we like them, and often notice cute ones like the little dog we saw at Osaka Castle, earlier in the year. But, so far, have resisted the urge to get any pets of our own. However, we certainly understand why so many people keep cats, dogs and other pets. Just looking at the beautiful crossbred dogs on www.douglashallkennels.co.uk is enough to melt anyone’s heart.
Pet mad Brits
Living in the UK means that you are surrounded by pets. British people love their animals. According to the latest statistics, which you can read in full here, around of 40% of UK households include at least one pet. Animals that are well loved. In a recent survey, one in five female respondents said that if their date said they did not like their pet they would stop going out with them.
Dogs are the favourites
There are a staggering 8.5 million dogs living in British homes. They are the most widely owned pet, with 24% of households including at least one dog. Pets which are very much treated as an important member of the family.
Interestingly, one in five owners celebrates their dog’s birthday. When I found that out, I was tempted to go out and immediately set up a doggy birthday cake company. A business model that I am pretty sure would do very well, in the UK. People like to treat their pets, and are increasingly using food as one of the ways to do this.
In the UK, the TV show The Great British Bake Off has had a massive impact on home cooking habits.
In 2015, a record 13.4 million people tuned in to watch Nadiya win last year’s competition, and many viewers have been inspired by the show to take up baking themselves.
A recent survey carried out by Waitrose showed that 50% of Brits baked more than they did five years ago, when the show started. Something that is not surprising given the popularity of the show. However, what is interesting is that many dog owners are now choosing to bake for their dogs. Sales of dog treat recipe books have soared, in the UK.
Understandably, given the fact people are busy many only baking for their dogs occasionally. However, because they like to be able to give their pets something special, sales of gourmet dog treats have also risen shapely. In most cities, and most of the larger towns, it is not hard to find home based bakery firms turning out baked good for dogs and cats. Currently, this is a niche market, but one that can be very lucrative, and is set to grow.
It will be interesting to see if someone comes up with a restaurant chain that specifically caters for dogs as well as their owners. Given the way British people feel about their pets I predict it is only a matter of time before someone does exactly that.
The British love affair with the dog started many centuries ago. It is clear from paintings, diaries and other historical materials that they have been kept as pets for many years, in this country.