According to a recent survey, dog owners in Britain are more likely to take time off work to look after their pets than they are to look after relatives.

Britain has 5.4 million dog owners and around 10 per cent of these have taken approximately five days off work to care for sick pets.  The same owners took 1.08 million days off to care for sick relatives.

Owners also tend to buy their pets presents to cheer them up if they appear depressed.  The Direct Line Pet Insurance survey showed 53 per cent buying pets presents.