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Dogs spark 2,000 rifts

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shaggy dog

The average dog will cause nearly 2,000 family arguments during its lifetime, a study has revealed.

A new study shows ‘man’s best friend’ can also be his worst enemy as it triggers up to three rows every single day.

That’s the equivalent of 156 quarrels every year – or 1,997 over the average pooch’s life expectancy of 12.8 years.

And the spats range from disagreeing about who should take the dog for a walk, feeding them too many treats and what to do with them when going away.

Nikki Sellers, Head of Pet Insurance at esure, said: “Owning a dog is not that dissimilar to having a baby.

“Round the clock care and responsibility throughout a dog’s life can become tiresome for any pet owner but should never be overlooked.

“Maintaining a dog’s physical health through exercise plus regular stimulation to avoid them running riot around the house should at least help avoid some arguments.

“A healthier dog may also lead to fewer costly trips to the vet too but for advice on how to look after a dog properly, owners should seek professional help.

“esure pet insurance customers can call its 24-hour ‘Health and Wellbeing’ line where veterinary professionals are available to offer advice and tips on all aspects of pets’ health.”

The poll suggests that a quarter of owners regularly argue about where the dog should be allowed to go in the house – in particular whether they should be able to go on the beds, upstairs or on the sofa.

A fifth of families frequently argue about whose turn it is to clean up the mess in the back garden, while one in 10 disagree about who should clear up the carpets should they be soiled.

But disciplining the dog is one of the biggest causes of arguments – as 18 per cent of couples often fall out because one is accused of being too harsh on the dog.

A further 15 per cent of families often row about who should be training the dog, while one in 10 people get annoyed if the dog is ‘humanised’.

Other arguments about the pooch include who chose to buy it in the first place and how much has been spent on the dog.

They’re also likely to cause unrest if they damage the children’s toys or chew the family’s shoe collection.

The study shows that while the majority of family arguments are more likely to be about the children than the family pet, 14 per cent of owners reckon they row about the dog MORE than their children.

Incredibly, in 17 per cent of households the dog disputes have got so bad that one member of the family has slept in the spare room, while a quarter of those polled have been known to storm off after things got too heated.

In fact, 26 per cent of dog owners have at some point considered getting rid of their beloved pooch after a particularly bad barney.

TOP 20 DOG DISPUTES

  1. What to do with the dog when going away on holiday / for the weekend
  2.  The fact the dog hasn’t been walked / who should walk it
  3.  Whether the dog should be allowed on the beds
  4.  Whether the dog should be allowed upstairs
  5.  Who should clean up the mess in the back garden
  6.  One of you is being too harsh on the dog
  7.  One of you lets the dog onto the sofa
  8.  How much you have spent on the dog
  9.  Training the dog
  10.  Someone feeds the dog from the table
  11.  Who should babysit / look after the dog for you
  12.  Grooming the dog
  13.  Damage has been caused to the house by the dog
  14.  Who chose to buy the dog in the first place
  15.  Who should clear up the mess when the dog goes to the toilet on the carpet
  16.  Who should clear up the mess when the dog is sick on the carpet
  17.  One of you insists on treating them like a human
  18.  One of you lets them into a room of the house they are not normally allowed into
  19.  The kid’s toys have been eaten
  20.  Shoes have been chewed


Owning a dog is not that dissimilar to having a baby. Round the clock care and responsibility throughout a dog’s life can become tiresome for any pet owner but should never be overlooked.

Nikki Sellers, Head of Pet Insurance at esure



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