Britain is well known for dividing itself across the middle, with northerners considering themselves a very separate group from those “south of the Watford Gap”.

Research from Petlog has revealed that this difference also manifests itself in pet ownership, with those in the north preferring dogs while those down south opt for cats.

The firm’s regional pet ownership survey found that 65 per cent of pet owners in the north-east have dogs, compared to a national average of 53 per cent. Furthermore, 60 per cent of those in the south-east own cats, above the national average of 54 per cent.

Yet the research, which was carried out to coincide with National Microchipping Month, found that despite being big dog owners in the north-east, they have a very low microchipping rate. Only half of pets in the region have been fitted with the technology.

However, their counterparts over the Pennines in the north-west are most likely to have their pets microchipped (60 per cent), which means they have the highest chance of being reunited with their animal in the event it gets lost.

"It was interesting to find that people in the North East are a fifth more likely to have a dog than those in the South East and a fifth less likely to have a cat," said Petlog executive Celia Walsom.

"The survey also identified areas of the country that are most knowledgeable about microchipping and where there is a lack of awareness and knowledge, and now we need to see how we can improve this."

She added that pet owners in London, the north-east and Northern Ireland do not have a good understanding of how microchipping works. It is hoped that campaigns such as National Microchipping Month should raise awareness and encourage people to get their dogs and cats fitted with the technology.

Written by: Hannah