According to a new study, it takes just 30 minutes to fall in love with a pet, compared to six months to fall in love with a partner.

Research from Agria Pet Insurance discovered that more than half (56 per cent) of Brits surveyed fell in love with their pet within just half an hour. However, nearly a quarter (20 per cent) said it had taken up to six months to decide that their partner was “the one”.

Four in ten (40 percent) of those polled said they would describe the moment they met their pet as love at first sight, while only 16 per cent could say the same about their other half.

Agria Behaviourist and Trainer Carolyn Menteith, who helped with the study said, “It’s not surprising that so many of us believe in love at first sight as most dog lovers know that feeling when we meet a dog and our heart just melts.

“One of the reasons we have such a great relationship with our dogs is because of the unconditional love that they are so good at giving – and that we so often don’t get from others in our lives. Statistically speaking, the relationship we have with our dogs is more likely to last longer than our marriages, and so choosing our canine partner wisely couldn’t be more important for a long and happy life together, as is responsible dog ownership.

“Each different breed and type of dog has different requirements and so you must select a dog whose needs you can meet. When choosing a canine companion, it’s important not just to think “Is this the dog I want?” but “Would that dog want me?

“There are benefits to buying both a puppy or a rescue dog. With a rescue dog, what you see is what you get. You know what they’ll look like, what their personalities are like, and have a good idea of what they are going to be like to live with.

“Puppies are hard work, time consuming and take a lot of commitment, but you get to shape them into the dog of your dreams.”

The survey of 2,000 pet owners found that 53 per cent of people cuddle up with their pet on the sofa yet only 36 per cent would snuggle up with their other half. In fact, more than a quarter said they would actually prefer to share their bed with their pooch rather than their partner.

Dogs really are man’s best friend: 66 per cent of oweners surveyed class their dog as just that, with 64 per cent going as far to say that they prefer their dog to humans. More than a third (37 per cent) said they put their dog’s needs above their own or their partners, but despite this 42 percent of owners don’t have pet insurance for them.

Simon Wheeler, Managing Director of Agria Pet Insurance, said, “It’s heart-warming to see how much people care about their pets, they really are a part of the family. But what’s alarming is that nearly half of the UK’s dog owners don’t have pet insurance – so their four-legged best friend could be in real trouble should they need expensive or long-term veterinary treatment.

“Lifetime insurance can make the biggest difference when your pet needs it most and can help prevent unnecessary upset further down the line.”

For more information, including advice on choosing a reputable breeder, adopting a rescue dog, or buying the right puppy to suit you and your family, please visit their website

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