Do you prefer cats or dogs? Pets are an important part of many British families.

What is the number one favourite pet in the UK? If you think the answer is ‘dogs’ – you are wrong. There are 8.6 million cats and 8.3 million dogs in Britain, according to recent figures. Pet statistics experts predict that there will be more dogs than cats next year as dogs become more and more popular.

Dogs as accessories

We like to spend time with our pets. The Queen is famous for her corgis (short-legged, friendly dogs) and is often photographed with them. Nowadays some dog owners are more extreme – a few TV celebrities even take their dogs shopping or to restaurants in their handbags. Chihuahuas, pugs and Yorkshire Terriers are especially popular as ‘handbag dogs’ because they are so small.

Dog holidays

People are not just buying their pets the latest clothes and accessories – they are also giving them holidays. Many UK hotels and holiday parks now welcome dogs as guests. What about dog owners who go abroad for their holidays? They can leave their pets at a dog hotel or dog spa while they are away. Some dog spas even provide their canine guests with a TV.

Dogs are for life

The British charity, The Dogs Trust, finds homes for thousands of lost and abandoned dogs every year. Their famous slogan ‘A dog is for life and not just for Christmas’ was created in the 1970s to teach people about the responsibility of owning a dog. The Dogs Trust told British people not to give dogs as gifts or treat them like toys. ‘Handbag dog’ owners – are you listening?

Dogs on TV

Victoria Stilwell is the host of the popular TV programme called It’s Me or the Dog. In the show Victoria helps dog owners with their pets’ bad behaviour. She tries to find solutions to problems such as a Dalmatian (a black and white spotted dog) who thinks he owns the house and won’t let the family sit on the sofa, dogs that will only eat ice cream and biscuits and even a bulldog (a small, muscular dog) who uses the owner's bed as a toilet. Yuck!

Fashion for dogs

You can shop online or on the high street for the latest in dog clothes and accessories. Specialist shops sell items such as dog boots, dog fancy dress costumes, dog coats, dog dresses and dog pants (yes – pants!).

We asked some dog owners to give us their opinions about dog fashion.

Why do dogs need clothes? They have fur! I would never buy clothes for my dog. Ridiculous!
Brian, Leominster

We bought our dog a new collar and a lead at Christmas.
Amanda, Birmingham

I think dog clothes are cute. I have a coat for my little dog although I don’t carry her around in a bag. Dogs need lots of exercise.
Elaine, Liverpool

My dog wears a bandana. Is that a fashion accessory?
Steve, Bristol

Discussion

Do you have any pets? Which pets are most popular in your country?

Language level: 

Comments

marimarimari's picture
524x
3x
marimarimari 26 August, 2012 - 14:57

so,thanks for advice,Jonathan...i had the fishes for a long time ago,but they died...and in my country,in my yard,there are so many cats and it"s so dangerous.:| I want to buy a little dog,which won"t have hair because of my mum.She hates it... :S

up
0 users have voted.
marimarimari's picture
524x
3x
marimarimari 26 August, 2012 - 11:45

I have not a dog,but my sister wants to have it...i hate animals,i have a fear...but also they are pretty and loved.<3 <3 <3

up
0 users have voted.
Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
105886x
779x
Jonathan - Coor... 26 August, 2012 - 13:51

Hi marimarimari. If you're scared of animals, I think a fish would be a good pet for you! They're easy to take care of, and some are pretty and colourful. Thanks for your comment!

Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

up
0 users have voted.
TraubeTrauby's picture
1202x
6x
TraubeTrauby 19 August, 2012 - 17:41

I do, I have a rabbits that I bought months ago in Brastagi when Chinese New Year. But sadly, Rabbita and Rabbito (My rabbits name) died in 1 week ! I still remember how they died.. When they died I started to cried heavily. :'( I missed them..

But I would love to own a Cat or Dog.

up
0 users have voted.
lady96's picture
2959x
15x
lady96 12 July, 2012 - 12:15

I like both cats and dogs. I also like bears, although I am afraid of them! When I was five years old, I wanted to have a bear as a pet. But my parents didn't allow me to bring a bear. I was really upset! :( Then I wanted to have a cat, but my mom has allergies.... Now I REALLY want to have a dog. I think that dogs are cute and playful, but my parents say that dogs bring only problems... And that's a shame, because as I said earlier, I REALLY WANT TO HAVE A DOG!!!

up
0 users have voted.
Little Dragon's picture
4921x
27x
Little Dragon 10 July, 2012 - 08:35

Well, it seems that lots of people here has pets or want to have a pet. I have pets, too, so many pets. And they are... goldfish ! It's so weird to call a fish is a pet, right ? I think so, too, but, actually, my parents don't want to have a pet, because they think that dogs or cats are really fuss. They love goldfish because they're colorful and quiet ! Goldfish maybe is better for old people like my parents but not for teenage owners. In my country, most of young people would like to have a dog or a cat more than a quiet pet like a fish.

up
0 users have voted.
Jo - Coordinator's picture
36873x
277x
Jo - Coordinator 6 July, 2012 - 15:48

Hi Stavii16!  Sounds like you're really passionate about getting a dog. Do you know anyone who's got one? Maybe you could borrow it for a weekend to see how it goes.  You would see what's involved, what it's like having a dog in your apartment, and you never know.. maybe your parents might like it!? It's not all fun though - my friend's dog is pregnant and now he can't go on holiday because he and the dog will have to be at home when the puppies arrive! Good luck with your campaign, anyway. Let us know how it goes!

Joanna (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

up
0 users have voted.
Stavii16's picture
4925x
35x
Stavii16 6 July, 2012 - 16:26

Hey Jo!
Thanks for your interest:)
It's a really cool idea!
Well,I have never thought about that!
It sounds really great!
Maybe I should try it after my summer holidays :D
I'll keep in touch:)

Take care,
Stavii16

up
0 users have voted.
Stavii16's picture
4925x
35x
Stavii16 6 July, 2012 - 15:05

When I was 4 years old,I asked my parents if I could buy my own dog. They are the most AMAZING animals in the whole world !
They said "We'll see...!"
Since then,I am begging for a dog but they never listen to me!
I don't have any brothers or sisters and my parents usually work or have something else to do when I am home. Except of my PC,I have nothing to do when I am home alone.
I know that our house isn't THAT big,because I live in a block of flats,but my friends from other flats want a dog too.They suggested that we can let it live in our garden*it's so huge*.
When we suggested this idea to our parents they said "A dog needs a lot of money.We are not sure if we can afford that!". OFCOURSE we understand that we must spend money for the dog but I don't believe that the price is THAT huge! What do you believe we should do? :/

up
0 users have voted.
coolsinger22's picture
370x
4x
coolsinger22 1 July, 2012 - 14:42

Tests are easy, pets are cute and hotsy-totsy. I had a dog and my dog had a T-shirt with shoes. It name was Rikki. But I don't know where is it right now.

up
0 users have voted.
Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
105886x
779x
Jonathan - Coor... 3 July, 2012 - 06:56

Oh no, coolsinger22! What happened to your dog? Where could it be?

Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

up
0 users have voted.
nakeshalim's picture
352x
2x
nakeshalim 30 June, 2012 - 11:21

i love dogs! they are my best friend.. they are awesome! i think they are the best companion u can ever have.. whenever u are upset, they will try their best to cheer u up! i love dogs, do u??

up
0 users have voted.
vincent's picture
2086x
14x
vincent 13 September, 2012 - 10:18

me too ,when i was young , i have a black dog , i grow up with him . but he dead when he is fifteen, in that time ,i was so upset and sad. now i still cherish the memory with him .

up
0 users have voted.
Dandelion's picture
2078x
12x
Dandelion 29 June, 2012 - 11:13

I have never had my own dog. Of course as every little child and I am not an exception wanted a dog at least once in their life. But when you get older, you realize many facts about keeping dogs and find out that you do not have good conditions for them. Dogs are also living, feeling and doing things like we people do. Luckily, my dad has two dogs and sometimes I get to play with them. It is real fun to be with them just for a short time til you do not have to responsible for it, I mean take it for a walk 3 times a day, feed it, take it to a vet and so on...
I am not saying that we shouldn´t have dogs. My opinion is that dogs are the most loyal creatures to people and therefore we should treat them that way and if we want to obtain one we should reconsider whether we are able to give it everything it needs.

I have an experience with keeping my friend´s dog.
Her parent were out of time and there was nobody to keep an eye on her dog, because she wanted to go to a party. So I volunteered to keep for a day and night. Intially everything was alright, I took it for a walk, played with it but the dog was very unstable. As it had never been to our flat, everything was unfamiliar to it so it was just running all over our flat. It was quite okay until the night came. I went to bed and couldn´t sleep. Guess why? It kept barking all night long! Moreover it wouldn´t even sleep at different place than my bed! I didn´t sleep well that night but that first lick which woke me up that day was worth it. It was very nice but to be honest I wouldn´t like to take care of a dog again.
It comes with pleasure and fun but also with responsibility and careness.
And clothes? It wasn´t meant to wear clothes so why we should change it. It was made with fur to keep it warm. Clothes are just another invention that is supposed to make profit. I know it makes our fluffy friends look cute and nice but imagine ou are in its foot. Toys and dolls were made to be dressed as we like, so let´s keep it. :)

Just in a nutshell to the second question.
I think Slovak people prefer dogs to cats or other animals. I do not know why, it is just that way.
In the past they served as a companion which helped to keep cattle together or even hunted something. Unlike those times, nowadays they are rather our closest companions which make us feel happy and not alone.

Hatts off to dogs! :)

up
0 users have voted.
Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
105886x
779x
Jonathan - Coor... 29 June, 2012 - 11:56

Hi Dandelion and welcome to LearnEnglish Teens. What a nightmare - a strange dog running all over your flat! What kind of dog was it? A big one? Hope it didn't break your ornaments and scratch your furniture.

Thanks for your contribution and please write again. You're a great writer!

Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

up
0 users have voted.
Dandelion's picture
2078x
12x
Dandelion 29 June, 2012 - 12:14

Hello Honathan! Nice to meet you :)

It was a mixture of dachshund and cocker spaniel. It may seem like a weird combination but actually it is very cute :)
As a result of it, it is quite a small dog. Fortunately it didn´t break anything but it scratched the floor a bit. My mum went crazy when she found out about it. We wanted to keep it in one room and thus the door was closed and as the dog couldn´t go out it probably tried to make a hole in the floor by scratching or something.
Luckily the strach is not seen so much and to see it you would have to go up close. As it is in my room my mother doesn´t care anymore.

Thank you for your feedback, I really didn´t expect that so I am suprised in a good way.
Also thank you for the praise. ( I know there are many mistakes in my previous comment, but it was so long I didn´t take time to go throgh it once more and so correct it. Oh, people are just lazy :) )

up
0 users have voted.
Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
105886x
779x
Jonathan - Coor... 30 June, 2012 - 10:13

Hello Dandelion! That is an interesting cross breed. Actually, I find that small dogs are often very energetic and I can't get them to calm down. They keep on barking or yapping and running around. That's why I have a cat now. ;-)

I hope you will keep reading and enjoying our website!

Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

up
0 users have voted.
Dandelion's picture
2078x
12x
Dandelion 30 June, 2012 - 10:48

Hi!
Well, I like cats, but mostly just when they are small and cute even though they usually scratch a lot.
I like holding them in my arms and stroking them but not all cats like that.
Do you have a cat that is supposed to be kept just in a house/flat or it can also be set free outside?

I do agree. The small ones are usually very unsettled unless they sleep. It´s like taking care of a small baby :)
But either they are small or big they can always cause a smile on our faces and forget about all troubles bothering us even on the worst day.

Take care, Jonathan! :)

I hope you are not bored with my posts, unlike the others mine seem to be quite long :D

up
0 users have voted.
Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
105886x
779x
Jonathan - Coor... 3 July, 2012 - 06:55

My cat is not very friendly, I must admit, and it doesn't like being picked up or stroked. Like you said, not all cats like that, especially my one. But it is very independent and it stays outside most of the day. I have no idea what it does - I guess it goes exploring the area or having some kind of adventure. But it always comes home at dinner time (it's a very smart cat).

What do our other readers think - do cats or dogs make better pets?

Bored? Not at all! We welcome all contributions to our website, whether short or long, so thanks once again for writing!

Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

up
0 users have voted.
Dandelion's picture
2078x
12x
Dandelion 3 July, 2012 - 07:40

I think, unlike dogs, cats are rather animals that demand us to be something like their servants or kind of look up to them. On the other hand dogs usually know who is their master and behave in such way. It´s just my feeling. :)
Haha, smart enough to know where it can find food comfortably without making much effort. :)

up
0 users have voted.
Just Love Dogs's picture
178x
1x
Just Love Dogs 26 June, 2012 - 21:06

I got 3 dogs. Their names ? Berlin== Girl, Boxer Mponito= Boy, Maltez Zoe= German Sheperd, Girl, I dont put them any clothes. They dont need them and dont like them. But i find clothes cute and cool! :)

up
0 users have voted.
te-ufo's picture
2537x
18x
te-ufo 26 June, 2012 - 16:29

We´ve got dog at home. HHis name´s Ben and we love him...He´s 6 years old, but he´s small. He doesn´t wear any clothes, but I saw it in shop with my mum and we ´d like to buy it.

up
0 users have voted.
Blue Willow's picture
800x
6x
Blue Willow 26 June, 2012 - 15:21

I don't have any pets, but I would like to have a labrador retriever. In my country dogs are more popular than cats and the most popular breeds are small terriers and shih-tzu.

up
0 users have voted.

Pages