• 16% of full time workers start a new relationship whilst out with their pet
  • One in three widows have been able to make new friends through their pets
  • Over half of pet owners say they are very satisfied with their love life
  • 41% said their pet has brought them closer to their partner

With many people looking for new relationships online and via smartphone apps, new research from comparethemarket.com has revealed that our next friend or partner could just be a ‘dog walk’ away - with nearly one in five (17%) full time workers meeting a new friend and 16% starting a new relationship whilst out with their pet.

The study also revealed that having a pet could help people who have suddenly found themselves living alone. 45% of widows have struck up a positive conversation with a stranger whilst out with their pet and one in three (34%) have been able to make new friends.

It is an established fact that having a pet makes you happier, with the new research confirming that 55% of pet owners are extremely happy with their life. Having a pet also improves the quality of relationships too - with over half (55%) of pet owners saying they are very satisfied with their love life and 41% saying their pet had brought them closer to their partner.

The research has shown a distinct difference between North and South. Northern pet owners seem to be much friendlier with 44% starting a positive conversation whilst out and about with a pet, while only 25% of Londoners do the same.  But lack of space in London may be affecting some people’s ability to own a larger and more social pet, and their chances of meeting a new partner – dogs were most popular in the northern parts of the country (67%), with more space to exercise them, whilst less social animals like cats were the pets of choice in London (51%).

Gemma Sonfield, Head of Pet Insurance at comparethemarket.com explains: “As a nation of pet lovers, many of us will be familiar with the list of benefits they bring to our everyday lives. These results just go to show how pets can help break down those social barriers and anxiety that some people suffer from. Pets are a great way to push us out of our comfort zone, expand our social circles and generally make us feel happier in life.”

Full findings can be found at comparethemarket.com.

About the Institute of Inertia

The Institute of Inertia, a partnership between comparethemarket.com and the University of Sheffield, launched in 2015 and looks at the psychology behind financial inertia to help consumers save wasted time and money.

The Institute of Inertia is a network of experts and academics led by The University of Sheffield’s Dr Thomas Webb, a specialist in consumer behaviour.

A programme of qualitative and quantitative research tranches inform the Institute of Inertia to help shape and test potential solutions to drive behavioural change.  

For more information on the Institute of Inertia, please visit www.Instituteofinertia.org   

About Meerkat Movies

Meerkat Movies is comparethemarket.com’s customer rewards programme. It was officially launched on 3 April 2015.

Meerkat Movies offers comparethemarket.com customers, who have made a qualifying purchase, 2 for 1 cinema tickets for a whole year from date of purchase, redeemable at participating cinemas every Tuesday or Wednesday.

You can only have one Meerkat Movies membership in any 12 month period. It can take up to 48 hours to activate your membership.

For more information visit http://www.comparethemarket.com/media-centre

About comparethemarket.com

• comparethemarket.com was launched in 2006 and has grown rapidly over the past nine years to become one of the UK’s leading price comparison websites.

• comparethemarket.com provides customers with an easy way to make the right choice for them on a wide range of products including motor, home, life, travel and pet insurance as well as utilities and money products such as, credit cards and loans.

• comparethemarket.com actively works with its brand partners to help provide great services to customers.

•  comparethemarket.com is a trading name of BISL Limited.  BISL Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered Address: Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough, PE2 6YS. Registered in England number 3231094