Grey greyhound dog, being touched by women in background

The Big Pet Census 2022

Earlier this year, we launched the Big Pet Census 2022 to help understand the lives of pets and the people who love them in our 125th year.

We’ve been helping pets since 1897, through providing veterinary care for animals who need it, finding new, loving homes for homeless pets, and supporting people and families to live their best lives with their companions.

Through launching the Big Pet Census, our aim was to better understand the issues that affect families across the UK and recognise, not only the special bond we have with our pets, but how we can help over the next 125 years.

Since the census closed at the end of June, we’ve analysed almost 100,000 responses (97,262 to be exact). And it’s safe to say we’re a nation of pet lovers…

Your family pets

Across everyone we surveyed:

Illustration of a horse, dog, cat, rabbit, two mice and a goldfish
  • 58 per cent of you own dogs
  • 51 per cent of you own cats
  • 10 per cent of you own fish
  • 7 per cent of you own rabbits
  • 6 per cent of you own at least one horse or pony
  • 5 per cent of you own guinea pigs
  • 5 per cent of you own hamsters
  • 2 per cent of you own rats
  • 1 per cent of you own gerbils
  • 0.5 per cent of you own chinchillas
  • 0.4 per cent of you own degus
  • 0.4 per cent of you own mice
  • 14 per cent of you own another species of animal including reptiles, poultry, birds, invertebrates, amphibians, ferrets, livestock and hedgehogs

Discover the full results

How do you see your pet?


% of you said your pet was part of the family


% of you said your pet was a companion


% of you said your pet was your best friend
An illustration of a rabbit looking into the face of a woman

A huge 91 per cent of you said that your pets show they love you by coming to you for affection, but we also found out that:

  • 52 per cent of dog owners said that their dogs sleep in their bed
  • 76 per cent of cat owners said their cat follows them around the house
  • 56 per cent of horse owners said their horse ‘talks’ to them
  • 48 per cent of rabbit owners said their rabbit gives them kisses
  • 72 per cent of small pet owners said their pet shows love by being excited to see them

[Illustrations by Laura Ireland]