A dog's life: more than half of owners envy their pet

Do you ever look at your pet, curled up in comfort or bounding about without a care in the world, and wish you could trade places? If so, you’re not alone.

More than half of pet owners are jealous of their four-legged friend because they never have to work, have no enemies and get more affection from loved ones, according to research from animal charity SPANA.

A third of the 2,000 dog and cat owners polled believe their partner actually prefers their pet’s company to them, and nearly half (47%) wish they could live the life of their pet — by sleeping wherever they want, receiving plenty of snacks and treats, and never having to go to work.

SPANA, which provides free veterinary treatment to working animals in developing countries, commissioned the survey to highlight the differences between the lives of UK pets and animals in developing countries, including the lack of access to veterinary care for many working animals overseas.

“Our pets do seem to have pretty comfortable lives — and it’s natural to feel envious of a cat or dog snoozing in front of a fire, with few worries,” said the charity’s chief executive, Geoffrey Dennis.

“But, sadly, it’s a very different story for many other animals, such as working animals in the world’s poorest communities.

“These horses, donkeys and camels often lead short, painful lives, carrying backbreaking loads in dangerous conditions.

“While we may take for granted basic vet care for our animals, most working animals overseas simply have no help available when they are sick or injured.”

The top five reasons why Brits are jealous of their pets are:

1. Sleeping whenever they want

2. Having no worries or stress

3. Not having to go to work

4. They don’t have to pay for things

5. They never have to make hard decisions

A narrow majority of those polled think that felines have the most enviable life, with 36% saying they would rather be a cat and 35% opting for being a dog.

And 75% of owners said that they have easy access to vet care, with seven in 10 able to get an appointment the same day if necessary.

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