A new survey reveals how our nation of new dog owners is changing the face of society.

The survey found that 40% of Brits became dog owners over the past year, and 71% of those did so instead of having a baby. The data also shows that despite previously wanting to start or add to their family, Brits are re-evaluating their family plans and delaying parenthood in favour of getting a pet.

  • 72% of UK adults have decided to put off having children since the pandemic
  • 22% of respondents chose to delay having a child due to a new perspective on life
  • Over a quarter (27%) of new dog owners say they no longer want a family since getting a dog
  • Brighton was the region with the highest number of new dog owners since lockdown (67%)
  • 83% of those who have delayed parenthood do still expect to have children in the future

the research carried out by Legal & General reveals the reasons for becoming a dog owner are manifold, and 71% of those who got a dog during lockdown decided to do so instead of having a baby.

More than a quarter (27%) said that having a pooch means they no longer want a family.

The survey also identified the UK’s most and least dog-loving regions since the onset of the pandemic: Brighton came out on top as 67% of Brightonians got a dog over lockdown, followed by London (46%) and Belfast (44%). Nottingham fell on the other end of the scale with only 10% of residents getting a dog in lockdown, closely followed by Edinburgh (11%).

But what does this mean for Brits, business, work and leisure time as we’re being urged to return to working from work (WFW)?

For those Brits back in the workplace on a regular basis, offices and co-working spaces are becoming more dog-friendly, and an army of doggy-support services and businesses are springing up across the land. However, the cost of doggy day care for working pet owners comes as a shock to many.

With the average daily dog walk coming in at £11.25, and doggy day care costing upwards of £25, going back to work with a dog in tow will make a big dent on disposable income.

The poll goes on to report that 72% of Brits put off having children during the pandemic. As a result, how we spend our leisure time is changing. It seems we’re shifting from baby- focused free time to contented canine living.

LGI Direct Managing Director Paula Llewellyn commented:

“As we navigate our way back to a more stable way of living, working and relaxing, it’s inevitable that certain elements of the last couple of years will leave a lasting impact. What surprised us most from our research was that almost three quarters of Brits decided to get a dog instead of having a child.

“Our cities and lifestyles are changing to accommodate this, and we’re seeing brand new dog-related micro industries appear; new products and services are springing up, jostling for position with historically more child-focused businesses.

“Slowly but surely, what we’d come to understand as “normal” pre-pandemic life seems to be returning, albeit in a slightly different way. It appears that families have taken stock of what’s important to them. We all need to feel secure to thrive, and one way to protect those closest to you against life’s uncertainties is to provide life insurance as a financial back up if you’re no longer around.”

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