The man or the dog? No contest

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woman and dog sxc sxc.hu Austrian researchers said the relationship between pet owners and their dogs is very similar to the deep connection between young children and their parents.

London - Thought it was only your future mother-in-law you had to worry about?

Think again chaps.

A quarter of women would dump a man if their pet didn’t like him, a study found – and a third would leave their own bed and sleep on the floor next to their pet if it was ill.

Half claim they say “hello” to their dog or cat before anyone else when they get home.

Men, however, seem to be a little less devoted.

Only 12 percent said they would split up with their partner if their pet didn’t take to her.

The study, carried out by an animal health organisation, found that 40 percent of the 1,094 pet owners surveyed would risk their own life to save their animal if it were in danger.

Half insisted they would spare no expense on treatment if their pet was ill – although a similar number forget to keep their vaccines up to date.

The study by animal health organisation NOAH (National Office of Animal Health) shows just how important pets are to Britain's animal lovers.

NOAH's new “I heart my pet” campaign encourages caring owners to seek expert advice on preventative healthcare measures to ensure their animals stay fit and well all year round.

It seems that not only do we look to our pets for advice on dating, but many confess to discussing other matters with them.

One in five - 20 percent - regularly chat to their animal about the weather.

And 60 percent celebrate special occasions together, such as birthdays and even Valentine's, Mother's and Father's days.

NOAH Chief Executive, Philip Sketchley said: “The vast majority of pet owners agree being a responsible pet owner means caring for your pet, feeding it, exercising it and giving it attention.

“While we wouldn't advocate heroics that could put their own lives at risk, it's important people ensure they're fully informed on how to look after animals.”

The study found 10 percent say they would save money by stopping smoking, or by cutting down, rather than have to reduce the amount spent on their pet.

The NOAH campaign is backed by Neil Parish, MP, and Chairman of the Associate Parliamentary Group on Animal Welfare.

He said: “As the proud owner of a Labrador called Wilberforce I know our pets really are members of the family.

“As such, it's important we look after their health as much as we do our own.

“That means not only caring for them when they're sick, but helping prevent this from happening in the first place.” - Daily Mail

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