People who invest in luxury dog beds may agree with one expert who has said that dogs have earned the title of man's best friend.
Kim O'Meara of K9 Magazine, a lifestyle magazine featuring a wide range of dog ownership topics, claims that the role of the family dog has changed over the years.
She said: "Years ago their role was to help provide security and food - through hunting for example. Nowadays, the average family dog is exactly that. They're part of the family.
"Dogs are excellent companions. They don't ask for anything in return, yet are always there, always loyal and always ready to listen without judgement."
Ms O'Meara added that the current trend for people to have small and medium-sized dogs may be because of their convenience in terms of exercise needs and the owner's particular lifestyle.
Her comments follow research by Mintel, dogs have overtaken cats in terms of popularity.