UK dog owners would rather confide in their pet than their family and friends

6th December 2012

  • 91 per cent of dog lovers believe their dog makes a good therapist
  • 64 per cent of those would rather tell their worries to their dog than their family
  • 61 per cent of those would rather tell their worries to their dog than their friends

A new study carried out by Churchill Pet Insurance has revealed that 91 per cent of UK dog owners believe that their dog is a good therapist, with whom they can share their worries and troubles.

Of these owners, 64 per cent say that they would rather talk to their dog than a member of their family while, proving the adage that a dog really is 'a man's best friend', a further 61 per cent would rather talk to their dog than their friends.

When asked about their relationship with their dog, 96 per cent of the owners said that they thought that their dog understands the mood they are in that day. If feeling low, 91 per cent say that their dog has tried to cheer them up by:

  • bringing out toys to play with together (54 per cent)
  • breaking the atmosphere by doing something to lighten the mood (50 per cent)
  • performing tricks (eight per cent)

It is not just a one way street though, with 72 per cent of UK dog owners admitting to worrying whether their dog is happy. Fortunately, it appears that most dogs are of a positive disposition, with 61 per cent of dog owners believing that their dog is happy go lucky, with only 18 per cent thinking that their pet is a worrier.

Pete Bishenden, spokesperson for Churchill Pet Insurance, commented, "We know that owners love their pets, but we had no idea that so many people would rather confide in a dog than a friend or family member. It appears that this confidence in a pet is well placed though, as so many dogs can sense their owner's mood and try to cheer them up when they are down."

Notes to editors:

  • * Survey conducted by specialist pet research firm petbuzz/K9 Media Ltd, on behalf of Churchill Pet Insurance speaking with 1,128 recipients.
  • Case studies available on request

For further information, please contact:

Matt Owen
Churchill Press Office
Tel: 020 8285 8795


Founded in 1989, Churchill is now one of the UK’s leading providers of general insurance, offering car, home, travel and pet insurance cover over the phone or on-line.

Churchill general insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England and Wales No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Churchill and U K Insurance Limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.

Customers can find out more about Churchill products or get a quote by calling 0300 200300 or visiting