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


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

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QueenPinkBluebel's picture
QueenPinkBluebel 3 August, 2017 - 14:17

No, I don't have a pet because my mom think that they are dirty and disgusting. And we don't have much space to welcome a pet. My dad and I think that they are sweet and cute, and we'll really like to have one. In my country, dogs are as popular as cats.

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SLMT's picture
SLMT 18 May, 2017 - 19:04

In my country Dog is more popular than other animals.I also love both of them ,dogs and cats . I have three cats now.One is male cat and another two are females.Male cate is absolutely black,so I named him Akon.Although I own cats , I prefer dogs .Dogs are loyal and the best friends for human beings.When I was young , there was alot of dogs at my home.Whenever I came back home from school by bus,they ran and followed the school bus . I had great time with them.They was my best mates forever.

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Elsa007's picture
Elsa007 17 May, 2015 - 09:08

No, I don't have a pet now. My mom doesn't like to keep a dog. My brother was once bitten by a big Saint Barnard in the neighborhood......

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Looneytribute0002's picture
Looneytribute0002 17 May, 2015 - 07:06

No I don't have a pet . I really wish I had one. Dogs are popular pets here and so are domestic animals like cows, horses etc. Cats are much less common.

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Monisa's picture
Monisa 8 November, 2014 - 10:53

We had a parrot.
Chickens are probably the most popular pets in my country. Cows, goats, ducks, and pigeons are also very common.

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cklj's picture
cklj 9 January, 2014 - 21:46

Now I don't own a pet, but a had a male dog once. It was called Roki. It had brown fur and I really loved him although I was afraid of him at the beginning. One of my friends has a very cute dogs and my niece also. They are called Klara, Cesar and Luna and I love playing with them. In my country both of them: dogs and cats are popular, but I do love dogs more than cats. I hate when I see lonely and abandoned dogs on the streets, they are lots in my town.

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fatmira n's picture
fatmira n 19 March, 2013 - 16:25

I do not have a pet but i have a dog,and its name is FIDO,I like it
For me it is my best friends besause they are friendly and very faithful too......

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Natalija's picture
Natalija 8 March, 2013 - 13:47

I love both cats and dogs, but I prefer cats. They are so gracious, wise and beautiful. I have a cat at home, he's seven years old and I can't imagine a life without him. In December he disappeared for a month and I was so depressed and I tought that I will never see him again, but he returned and he is recovering now. He returned ill and weak, but we are taking care of him and I really hope that he wouldn't disappear again. Animals are so kind and I think that none understands me like Vronski(the cat's name, I called him like the personage from Ana Karenina). He is a little bit naughty and he doesn't show his affection and emotions, but I know that he loves me as much as I love him.

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MALINE's picture
MALINE 24 February, 2013 - 15:34

Hi I´ve just got a puppy, it´s a schnauzer his name is Newton, he´s only 4 months he eats croquettes three times a day and he drinks a lot of water. He loves to play with my socks an a ball he has. Next week I´m going to cut his hair for the first time ever!

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Hanna's picture
Hanna 17 January, 2013 - 17:12

I had parrot but he died two years ago)=
My grandmother has five cats.
I prefer dogs to cats. And I want a German Shepherd Dog

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happiest-girl-alive's picture
happiest-girl-alive 4 January, 2013 - 16:28

I hate people treating animals like accessories. Are you kidding? They're living beings! I can't believe how cruel some people are! I myself have 2 pets - a puppy and a cat. They're so cute. They're like members of our family. My opinion about dog fashion - I'd buy a coat or boots for my dog if he was really cold.

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jenniferkim's picture
jenniferkim 28 December, 2012 - 08:33

I had dogs when I lived at other country to study for three years.
I had a beagle. She was so adorable. I really loved it.
She always jumped on me when I came back from school.
She was always the first greeting me jumping all around.
She's so active so she always made me feel good.
When I'm a little upset she licked my hands as if she wants to say "cheer up!"
Coming back to my country unfortunately I had to give her to a friend I know.
I really begged to my parents but it didn't work.
I was really really sad when I had to say goodbye to her.
I think she also noticed that it was time to say goodbye.
Because her eyes looked so sad.
I really miss her.

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Jelena S's picture
Jelena S 22 December, 2012 - 10:44

I love animals,horses,dogs,cats...all of them.I don`t have a pet,but i had a parrot.Two of them.They were beautiful but one killed a nother one and that`s why i selled the one who survived.That didn`t made me hate animals,i still love tham.

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DogLover's picture
DogLover 15 December, 2012 - 15:00

Well,i think in my country dogs are more popular than cats. I love dogs so much :) And also i'm happy that you have text and videos about animals and not just about people :))

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Jerry's picture
Jerry 19 November, 2012 - 15:27

I have a dog, Buksi. He is our favourite family member. My cousins cannot have their own dog, although they would like one. They visit Buksi and spoil him with a gift. But I'd never let them put a coat, boots or a fashionable bandana on Buksi. Dogs are not babies!

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bingogo's picture
bingogo 6 November, 2012 - 20:43

I have one dog. We care about him, but we do not buy him cloths or take him to holiday. I think it is ridiculous. My grandma feet him when we are not home.

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