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Dogs are man’s best social media friend... by a whisker!

26th August 2014 Print

Although cats are often thought of as ‘top dog’ in the world of social media, new research by The Co-operative Insurance reveals that dogs lead in the popularity stakes.

The research uncovers that over a year the average dog owner, takes 527 pictures and selfies of their pooches, compared to cat lovers, who notch up an average of 482 pictures and selfies over the same period.

And the research shows that whilst two fifths (40%) of cat owners regularly post pictures and updates of their cats on social media, this is topped by almost a half (45%) of dog owners doing likewise.

The findings also highlight that dogs are also ahead of cats, but only by a whisker, when it comes to having their own dedicated social media presence. Overall the results show almost 1 in 4 dogs (24%) and cats (23%) have their own social feed or page.

Facebook is the most popular for feline updates, with 13% of cats having their own page, followed by twitter, where 9% of cats have their own feed. Dogs lead the way on instagram, where 6% have their own instapics, and 2% even have their own blog.

According the research, pet owners in London, the Midlands and the North East are the most active in promoting their pets on social media.

The enthusiasm people have for their pets, is further evidenced by almost two thirds of pet owners (64%) admitting they spoil their animals. Cat owners cite the ‘independence’ of cats as the best thing about their pet, whereas dog owners value most the ‘companionship’of their pooch.

Despite the affection that people clearly have for their pets, the results do also highlight that the majority of pet owners haven’t got pet insurance, with only 38% of cat owners and 55% of dog owners having insurance in place for their pets.

Andrew Nevitt, Pet Insurance Manager at The Co-operative Insurance comments:

“These findings show that dogs very narrowly come ahead of cats, on the social media front. We are a nation of pet lovers, and people clearly enjoy showing off their pets. The ease of being able to regularly share updates and photos of pets with friends, family, and wider circles on social media means this is a trend that is likely to continue.

“However given the important role that pets play in many families’ lives, it is important that people also give adequate consideration to their wellbeing and ensure they have insurance in place, to cover against any unexpected eventualities such as trips to the vet.”

Social Petworking: 5 pets that star on social media

*Boo the Dog

He looks a little bit like a teddy bear and has taken the internet by storm. Boo the dog has been entertaining his Facebook fans since 2009. With over 15 million Facebook likes Boo is now classed as a public figure on Facebook.

*Grumpy Cat

With her miserable features and personal interest of disliking everyone, Grumpy Cat is a star on Facebook with over 6 million fans and Twitter where 29,000 people keep an eye on her grumpy updates day in and out.


As the pet pooch of Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg, it is no surprise that Beast has nearly 2 million Facebook Friends. As a Puli, a type of Hungarian Sheepdog, one of Beast’s favourite hobbies is herding things.

Larry the cat

Regularly accused of sleeping on the job, and even being disliked by the Prime Minister and his wife, life on Downing Street hasn’t been easy for Larry. But proving far more popular than any politician, in 2013 the public mounted a #savelarry campaign and 23,000 Tweeters follow his every move.


As one half of dancing duo Ashley and Pudsey and the 2012 winner of Britain’s Got Talent, Pudsey has his own movie and has been privileged enough to conga with Kim Kardashian and fly in Simon Cowell’s private jet.