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The Ruff Report: Surveys about dogs

The canine is top dog in Britain

The dog, cited for its loyalty and affection, is the most popular pet in Britain, a survey has found.

The research, conducted by Tesco Pet Insurance, found that 58 percent would rather own a dog than a cat.

"Our survey suggests that we really are a nation of dog-lovers, while cats unfortunately didn't fare as well," Allan Burns, a Tesco Pet Insurance official, stated in a media release. "This may be down to characters like Lassie contributing to the reputation of dogs, saving children from the bottom of wells and dragging the unconscious from train tracks. Cats on the other hand are famous for their evil owners such as Blofeld, and Dr. Evil. However, it was interesting to see the strength of responses, which goes to show how much as a nation we care about our pets."

The survey also found:
  • A majority of pet parents spoil their pets with affection and food.
  • Some 56 percent said the dog is pet they would most like to spoil while 24 percent preferred to spoil their cat.
  • Three percent would prefer to spoil their pets with clothing and vacations abroad.(
November 15, 2008)

Pets are best medicine for sadness and stress

People who want a happier, less stressful lifestyle should consider getting a dog or cat.

That is the conclusion of a study done by

The survey found:

  • 90 percent have a pet for companionship.
  • 85 percent have a pet to get the endorphins flowing to make them feel happy.
  • 48 percent have a pet for health benefits such as stress reduction.
  • 44 percent have a pet for exercise benefits to get healthier and improve their lifestyle.
  • 13 percent own a dog solely for protection or to guard their property.
  • Pet parents also expressed their 10 worries. The survey found:

    • 93 percent are concerned about large veterinary bills.
    • 92 percent worry about losing their loyal companion because of illness or old age.
    • 84 percent are concerned about the cost of medicines.
    • 82 percent worry about being adequately insured.
    • 73 percent are concerned about their pet being stolen.
    • 72 percent worry about their pet having a healthy diet.
    • 67 percent are concerned about their pet maintaining a healthy coat.
    • 54 percent worry about their pet getting adequate exercise.
    • 53 percent are concerned about their pet being over or under weight.
    • 46 percent worry about the quality of boarding kennels.
    The study found that kennels and catteries are falling victim to the hard economic times as only 18 percent of pet parents using them when they go away. Some 25 percent leave their pets with a relative and 27 percent with a friend or neighbor. Pet parents usually give the caretakers a gift or souvenir bought on their travels. (November 8, 2008)

    Pet parents come up with unusual dog names

    Move over Lady, Bear and Max, and say hello to Rush Limbark, Sirius Lee Handsome and Rafikikadiki.

    Those are the top three most unusual names pet parents gave to their dogs, according to a survey by Veterinary Pet Insurance. VPI had its employees select 50 unusual dog names and then vote for the 10 most unusual names.

    "For many pet parents, naming a pet is an opportunity to express personal creativity," VPI official Curtis Steinhoff stated in a press release. "We often highlight the popular names, but the truth is that the majority of pets have a unique name or a name shared by very few other pets."

    Rounding out the top 10 unusual dog names are: Low Jack, Meatwad, Peanut Wigglebutt, Scuddles Unterfuss, Sophie Touch & Pee, Admiral Toot and Spatula.

    Bobbi Dobbler of Smock, Pa., explained her golden retriever's unique name, Sophie Touch & Pee. "Every time you would touch her, she'd get so excited you had to watch your shoes," Dobbler said.

    Buena Silverman of Holicong, Pa., named her dog Rush Limbark after she noticed she appeared to enjoy listening to the conservative radio talk show host. (October 25, 2008)

    Lady, Bear are most popular dog names

    The most common dogs names in the United States are Lady and Bear, America Kennel Club registration statistics show.

    "Traditionally names based on a puppy's physical appearance or personality, such as Spot or Sassy, have been popular with dog owners," AKC spokeswoman Lisa Peterson said in a press release. "Today, we are seeing human names, such as Jack and Molly, and names that reflect a pet's stature in the home, such as King and Princess, gain in popularity as more people consider their dog a valued member of the family."

    According to the survey of 2007 AKC registrations, the top-10 male names are Bear, Blue Max/Maximus/Maxwell, Duke, Buddy, Jack, Prince, King, Bailey and Rocky. The top-10 female names are Lady, Belle/Bell/Bella, Princess, Mae/May, Rose, Daisy, Grace/Gracie, Baby, Molly and Maggie. (October 11, 2008)

    Labrador Retriever most popular pooch

    The Labrador Retriever is the most popular insured breed, according to research by the largest pet health insurer in the United States.

    Veterinary Pet Insurance of Brea, Calif., made the determination after analyzing its 2007 database.

    "Labrador Retrievers have a strong reputation as loyal, obedient dogs that do well with children and adapt easily to their surroundings," said Carol McConnell, VPI's vice president and chief veterinary medical officer.

    The Labrador Retriever was the most popular by far, the research found, with 38,591 listed in VPI's database. The Golden Retriever was a distance second at 19,313 and the Yorkshire Terrier was third at 14,074.

    Rounding out the top ten are: Shih Tzu, 13,149; Boxer, 10,281, German Shepherd, 8,829; Chihuahua, 8,581; Maltese, 8,064; Pug, 7,404; Cocker Spaniel, 7,187.

    According to registration data from the American Kennel Club, the Labrador Retriever has also been the most commonly registered breed for the past 17 years. The breed is the only one to occupy the top position on both the VPI and AKC lists. (
    October 4, 2008)

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