Men have been warned to be on their best behaviour on Valentine’s Day or face a visit to the dog house, according to a survey of pet owners and their relationships.
Women are more likely to ditch their partner than their pet, found a poll for nationwide pet retailer Jollyes.
Asked about their relationship with their partner and their pet and which one they would ditch first, 53 per cent said they would ditch their partner against 47 per cent who would ditch their pet. Men were more loyal to their partners, with 63 per cent saying they would ditch their pet and 37 per cent saying they would ditch their partner.
Overall, 45 per cent would ditch their partner first and 55 per cent said the pet would go first.
The study was carried out by Jollyes to gauge humans’ attitudes to romance and relationships as it launches the search on social media for a canine couple to take part in a romantic dinner for two at its doggy dates diner, “C’est Jollyes”, open for one day only on 12 February at its Runcorn store in Cheshire .
Two dogs will get the chance to enjoy a three course dinner featuring a menu from Jollyes Artisan Lifestage range including angus beef with sweet potato, venison and salmon, and duck with sweet potato.
The survey showed some big differences in attitudes to pets and partners around the UK. People in North East England were more likely to ditch their partner (66%) over their pet, followed by London (61%), Northern Ireland (56%), South West (47%). [See table in editor’s notes below for regional breakdown.]
Owners were asked what they loved most about their pets, with loyalty, unconditional love, loving nature, affection and a warm heart among the qualities cited.
No matter how much love an animal gives, most pet owners (84%) would prefer a romantic Valentine’s night with their partner than one spent with their pet. Of male respondents, 88 per cent chose a night with their partner, compared with 80 per cent of female respondents. The figures were broadly similar across the country.
Among the other popular traits cited by pet owners were: “they are so loyal and loving. And cute!”; “unconditional love and loyalty”; “they comfort me when I’m feeling blue”; “doesn't argue or answer back”; “they always cheer me up”; “waggy tail and warm heart”; and “her loving nature, always there for me when I need her”.
One said: “Sometimes playful, sometimes cuddly, intelligent, independent, sometimes dangerous. All rather like my partner really.”
Not everyone was totally enamoured with their pet. One said: “Nothing, it hates me, only loves my wife”.
And not all pets’ traits would make for a romantic night out – one said: “hassle free”, another said “doesn’t answer back” and one said “it’s a tortoise and he’s as indifferent to use as we are to him”. Phil Turner-Naylor, head of marketing at Jollyes, said: “We’re known as a nation of animal lovers and this goes to prove it. When it comes to relationships, a lot people would choose their pet over their partner.
“The good news for romantics though is that a big majority choose people over pets. What it does show, especially for men, is that partners have to work hard to keep the romance going or they might find themselves in the dog house. Women are looking for a romantic night with their partner on Valentine’s, but if the men don’t get it right, they had better watch out.”
Details of how to nominate your dog to take part in the dinner date at Jollyes in Trident Retail Park, Runcorn, Cheshire, on Saturday 12 February was launched on Jollyes social channels - https://www.facebook.com/jollyesuk and https://www.instagram.com/jollyesuk
Owners can take their dog into their local Jollyes for a free sample of the Artisan Lifestage range on Monday 14 February.
Survey results. Based on 1,000 respondents, in a relationship and with a pet, interviewed on 27/28 January, conducted by Cision.
From modest beginnings in Enfield as a single store in 1971, Jollyes has now grown into one of the leading pet food superstores with almost 70 locations across the UK alongside a market-leading position in Northern Ireland.
From Perth to Plymouth, Newry to Norwich, at Jollyes customers can find anything for their pet, from pet food, pet toys and an array of pet accessories.
Customers are actively encouraged to bring their pets into store, while customers shop because Jollyes people are passionate about pets.
Potty about puppies and crazy for cats, no matter what the animal, store colleagues are always on hand to help with anything from product advice, to picking the perfect pet and accessories.
Many stores also run community clinics offering vaccinations and other advice from trained vets. And if one of Jollyes stores isn’t close by, there’s helpful advice on Jollyes website where you can ask the expert.
Jollyes was recently named Pet Retail Chain of the Year at the Pet Industry Federation Awards.