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29% of UK pet owners say their pet has seen a ghost – has yours?

New research reveals that over a quarter (29%) of UK pet owners believe their pet has seen a ghost or supernatural presence. Most describe their pet staring intently at an empty space or appear to be watching something cross the room that they owner cannot see. 43% believe their pet was trying to tell or warn them about its presence by growling, barking or hissing at an invisible entity. Some owners describe how their pet even refuses to go in certain rooms or areas of the home, growling or hissing when nearby.

Of those who think their pet has seen a ghost, half of them (50%) think it has happened on three, four or even more times. One owner said: “There is a certain area of the house my dog never wants to go and if she has to go there she spends the whole time low growling at the corner as if she is frightened. After living in the house for six years she has never not low growled at this area.”

Gemma Taylor, Blue Cross spokesperson said: “Whether you believe in ghosts or not this clearly shows how much our pets mean to us and the role they play in our daily lives. We are fascinated by their world and wonder what they can see, smell and hear that we can’t.” 

Some owners believe their pet sees the spirit of a deceased loved one or a pet pal who has died. They claim their pet wags their tail or appears to rub against them and generally appears to be happy to ‘see’ them – even though their owner is dumbfounded as to what they are looking at. An owner commented: “My late father’s dog knows when he’s here as he always wags his tail when there’s no-one there.”

Blue Cross cares for thousands of homeless, abandoned, sick and injured pets every year. As a charity it does not receive government funding and relies on support from animal lovers to continue its vital work. To make a donation, find out more about Blue Cross or see pets needing a loving home visit


Notes to Editors 

•    Images of homeless Blue Cross who look like they have seen a ghost are available, contact the media office
•    Research undertaken by Opinion Matters with 1,006 dog and/or cat owners (past and present)
•    Abandoned or unwanted, ill or injured, pets turn to us for help every year. Our doors are always open to them, and with your support, they always will be.
•    Each year, thousands of cats, dogs, small pets and horses turn to our animal hospitals, clinics and rehoming services for treatment and to find them the happy homes they deserve. Pets Change Lives. We Change Theirs.
•    For more information, please visit 

Media contact

Louise Lee:     [email protected] / 020 7932 4066
Media team:     [email protected] / 0300 777 1950