We know we're a nation of animal lovers, but a new piece of research has suggested we're more fond of our furry friends than we thought.
One in five Brits secretly (or perhaps not-so-secretly!) prefers their pet to their partner, according to a new survey.
Panasonic Smart Home asked 2,000 pet owners about their relationship with man and beast.
Over a quarter of respondents proudly said they are at their happiest when home alone with their pet, while more than a third preferred quality time with their furry companion over time spent with most of their friends.
But it's not all smooth sailing for furry fans. One in six admitted their pet had cost them a relationship or friendship at some point, and a third said their animal had directly impacted their social life.
But it's all worth it - the average pet owner gets 884 hours (37 solid days) of quality time with their pet each year, and over half of us celebrate a pet's birthday.
Proving just how animal mad we all are, over half of those questioned for the survey also said they'd like to be able to talk to their pet while away from home.
They obviously haven't seen the carnage of attempting to hold seven cats up to a Skype screen on a long-distance chat. It's quite a sight...
The survey also asked pet owners for their animal's most iconic moment, so we've rounded up a few of our favourites below (although nothing will beat the time my grey tabby Mustard ate an entire fruit cake).
*A couple's excitable puppy smashed an urn, spilling ashes all over the floor
*Another couple returned to a flooded kitchen with their guilty-looking cats marooned on top of the washing machine
*A couple returned to greet their tubby tomcat- only to find he was a 'she' who had given birth to kittens while they were away
*Two dogs sat quietly on the sofa... watching a burglar rob the house
*Another made a 'great escape'
tunnelling under the kitchen floorboards and getting stuck for two days
*One greedy cat pulled a whole roast chicken through the cat flap - a neighbour's Sunday roast
*A cat playfully shredded a wad of cash left out by the owners
*One puppy ate his way through important vehicle registration documents and, ironically, a book called 'Perfect Puppy'
*One dog mysteriously managed to get on the other side of a locked door
*One dog ate both arms of a pair of glasses
Sound familar? If you're an animal lover you don't want to miss our round up of the best house proud cuddly cats.
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Ginevra Benedetti has been the Deputy Editor of Ideal Home magazine since 2021. With a career in magazines spanning nearly twenty years, she has worked for the majority of the UK’s interiors magazines, both as staff and as a freelancer. She first joined the Ideal Home team in 2011, initially as the Deputy Decorating Editor and has never left! She currently oversees the publication of the brand’s magazine each month, from planning through to publication, editing, writing or commissioning the majority of the content.
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