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10 Most Popular Pets In The UK That People Are Obsessed With

The UK is a nation of pet lovers, but have you ever wondered what the most popular pets in the UK are? Well, we’re here with answers! In 2020, PDSA found out that 51% of UK adults own a pet, with dogs and cats occupying the first and second positions respectively. So, the answer to “what is the most popular pet in the UK” is “Dogs” by a very slim margin. In order to know more about pets in the UK, browse our list of the most popular pets in the UK.

1. Dogs | Most Popular Pets UK

10 Most Popular Pets In The UK

No prizes for guessing the most popular pets UK. Dogs, owned by approximately 25% of Brits in the UK are immensely popular pets. An estimated 9 million dogs live in the UK. The popularity of dogs is evident even on a global scale with 33% of pet owners choosing a dog as their preferred pet. The most common dog breeds in the UK are – 

  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Cocker Spaniels
  • Springer Spaniels
  • German Shepherds

2. Cats | Most Popular Pets UK

10 Most Popular Pets In The UK

Second only to “Man’s Best Friend”, cats enjoy immense popularity in the UK. They are one of the most popular pets in the UK with an estimated 8 million cats spread across 5 million UK households. What’s more interesting is that, out of those households, 40% have more than one cat. There are many cats in the UK but the most popular ones are British shorthairs, Bengals and Siamese cats.

3. Rabbits | Most Popular Pets UK

10 Most Popular Pets In The UK

Rabbits are among the most popular pets in the UK. Around 2% of Brits own a rabbit, making them the UK’s third most popular pet. The PDSA estimates that around 1.5 million rabbits are kept as pets in the UK. Rabbits make great pets as they are highly intelligent and have relatively low upkeep. They also come in a variety of breeds, shapes and sizes. Rabbits typically live between 8 and 12 years, so if you’re looking for a pet to be by your side for a long time then it makes sense to get a rabbit (or two).

4. Birds | Most Popular Pets UK

10 Most Popular Pets In The UK

Birds are the 4th most popular pets in the UK because they thrive in small living spaces, eat cheap food and make great companions. Pets birds in the UK can range from small budgies up to the largest parrots. A huge plus about birds is that they have a very long life span, with many bird species living more than 100 years. 

5. Guinea Pigs

10 Most Popular Pets In The UK

Guinea Pigs are immensely popular with families, thus making them one of the most popular pets in the UK. They live for around 6-8 years, so their care is long term. Their docile nature, friendly behaviour and affectionate responsiveness to handling and feeding make them a joy to be around. Guinea Pigs can live indoors or outdoors and thrive in same-sex groups or in pairs.

6. Hamsters

Around 1% of Brits in the UK own a hamster. You will be surprised to know that there are 24 different species of hamster. Hamsters don’t require a lot of attention and get enough exercise running on their wheel. The most popular hamsters in the UK are the Syrian, the Russian dwarf Campbell and the Roborovski.

7. Tortoises and Turtles

Tortoises and Turtles are fascinating pets, although they can be difficult to keep and require responsible ownership. Getting a turtle as a pet is a huge commitment as they can live for decades and require very specific housing. Take a look at the picture to know the difference between a turtle and a tortoise. 

8. Lizards

Pet lizards in the UK are more common than you’d think. Lizards are often the first reptile that pet owners choose. Though a radical choice as a pet, lizards are one of the most popular pets UK. They don’t carry the innate fear that snakes bring to certain people and they can make great display animals. The bearded dragon, leopard gecko and blue-tongued skink are some of the most popular pet lizards in the UK.

9. Domestic Fowl

Close to half a million chickens are now kept as pets in the UK, with the popularity of fowl increasing in recent years. Taking care of them is pretty straightforward. All you need is a commercial feed, a clean, dry living space and clean water. What’s more, this pet will lay eggs for your breakfast! 

10. Snakes

For all the Brits who aren’t plagued with Ophidiophobia (fear of snakes), snakes find themselves as pets in 0.4% of UK households. Common breeds that are popular with beginners include corn snakes and king & milk snakes. More experienced owners can be found with royal pythons and garter snakes.

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10 Most Popular Pets In The UK That People Are Obsessed With