Pet owners who invest in high-quality dog food and pet accessories may not be surprised to find the extent to which Brits are devoted to their faithful friends.
Research by Co-Operative Pet Insurance has revealed that the majority of owners in the UK would consider the death of their pet to be as traumatic as losing a friend or relative.
Findings showed that 28 per cent consider it as emotionally difficult as losing a family member, while 34 per cent believed it is on a par to losing a close friend.
Six per cent of owners even consider the death of a pet more difficult than losing a friend or family member.
Dr Roger Mugford, Animal Psychologist, said: "[This study is a] telling insight into the depth of emotions which owners develop towards their pet.
"The relationship between pets and their people is essentially the same as that between a parent and a child and the generosity and kindness of people towards their animals seems to grow and grow with each generation of pet keepers."