A survey of Britain's veterinary surgeons has found that their perfect pet is a mongrel called Poppy, or a domestic short haired cat called Maisey.
As part of the survey, carried out by VetSurgeon.org, this country's vets were asked about their lifestyle and choice of pet. VetSurgeon.org Editor Arlo Guthrie said: "We thought vets' collective choice of pet might prove instructive for members of the public thinking about buying an animal."
Dogs were the most popular pet, owned by 66% of vets, with cats in a close second, owned by 63%. Fish came third at 18%, followed by small furries in fourth (16%), farm animals (16%), horses and ponies (13%), reptiles (7%), and birds (6%).
One remarkable finding was the number of rescue animals owned by vets. 75% of the cats they've given a home to and 44% of the dogs are rescued. Arlo said: "Imagine if doctors were that charitable with their patients. Joking aside, it does highlight the importance of re-homing a rescue animal if you can. Vets don't do it because they're somehow better qualified; they pick family pets for the same reasons as you and I."
Mongrels were by far the most popular choice of dog, accounting for nearly a third (28%) of all those owned by vets. Of the various breeds, Labrador Retrievers were the most popular (accounting for 15% of the dogs owned by vets), followed by Border and Jack Russell Terriers (both at 5%), Border Collies (5%), English Springer Spaniels (3%), German Shepherd Dogs (2%), Cocker Spaniels (2%), Whippets (1%) and Bull Terriers (1%).
Caroline Watt, veterinary surgeon at Blue Cross said: "Different breeds of dog have different traits depending on what they were originally bred for, so it's very important to do some research before choosing which dog to go for to make sure they will fit in with your lifestyle. But it really is worth considering a rescue pet too.
"Many of the dogs at rehoming centres like Blue Cross are crossbreeds and so less likely to have the exaggerated behaviour traits and underlying health problems associated with certain breeds. They can make fantastic pets and you'll be giving a deserving animal a second chance in life."
The most popular names that vets chose for their dog were: Poppy, Molly, Meg, Jack, Sam and Monty.
Amongst cats, the mixed- or cross-breed was again the most popular, accounting for nearly 80% of all the cats owned by vets. The most popular breed was the semi-longhair (5%), followed by the Burmese (2%) and the British Shorthair (2%).
The most popular names that vets chose for their cat were: Maisey, Milly, Charlie, Sid, Molly and Tom.
Caroline added: "Rescue centres are also inundated with fabulous moggies in need for happy new homes, so it really is worth making them your first port of call if you're looking for a cat. If you do go for a pedigree cat, do make sure you find out all about their character traits first - some are much more demanding than others!"
Interestingly, the survey found that those vets who are parents were significantly more likely to own dogs, fish, 'small furries' and farm animals, than cats, birds, reptiles and horses or ponies.
The full survey results, along with the complete list of pet names chosen by vets can be found on www.whatvetsthink.org
Notes to Editors: 449 veterinary surgeons took part in the survey.
For further information, contact: Arlo Guthrie. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Telephone: 0207 183 2511. Mobile: 07770 221333.
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