It seems that Britain is indeed a nation of dog lovers, with new research showing that owners spend more on their pooches than any other pets.

A survey carried out by Tesco Pet Insurance has revealed that the costs of owning a canine furry friend are substantially more than for other animals such as cats, rabbits and gerbils.

Indeed, the research showed that while owners fork out an average of £336 a year on their cats and £268 on a rabbit or guinea pig, they splash a whopping £594 annually on their canine companions.

Unsurprisingly, the biggest expense was revealed to be veterinary charges, with average annual fees coming in at over £200 for a dog and £150 for a cat.

However, the day to day costs - such as premium dog food, toys and bedding - also add up, amounting to more than £300 for both mutts and moggies.

"We would urge [people] to consider these costs before committing to a pet," commented head of Tesco Pet Insurance Colin Campbell. "In particular, [they] should plan ahead for vet bills to ensure that they are taking out adequate insurance against any injury and illness which could cost thousands.

"Although pets are undoubtedly fine companions, all prospective owners should beware of underestimating the financial and time commitments involved."

And it's not just money that owners invest in their dogs, as the research also revealed the amount of time people need to dedicate to their four-legged friends. It showed that taking care of a pooch requires an average of 600 hours a year compared to just over 340 hours for a cat.

However, it seems that the time and money invested in our pet pooches are worth it, as dogs continue to be the most popular pet in Britain with 55 per cent of pet owners having a pup at home.

Written by: Hannah