UK cat and dog owners use about a quarter of their sick days to tend to ill pets

PawsJonas Vincent / UnsplashOur pets need some TLC sometimes.

Pet owners, be honest — have you ever called in sick when it was actually your furry friend who was unwell?

You might have heard parents complaining that they had to take sick leave for a poorly child, but according to a survey by Animal Friends pet insurance, pet owners take it one step further.

The research found that a third of UK workers have skipped work to take care of their animals.

The company surveyed 2,000 British workers, and found that 42% of them had lied to their boss about being ill when it was actually a pet they were looking after.

People in Birmingham were the biggest culprits, with over 50% admitting to playing doctor to their fur babies.

Men were more likely to own up, with 63% saying they would opt to tell the truth, compared to 54% of women. However, women were also more likely to leave their sick pet at home than men.

The younger generation were the most reluctant to leave their sick pets, with 40% of 18 to 24 year olds saying they had taken time off for that purpose. This was compared to just 18% of people over 55.

Rather than take holiday to look after ill pets, dog and cat owners said they used nearly a quarter (23%) of their sick days on pet-minding.

However, rather than making them feel guilty, about a third of people polled thought it should be a company policy to give time off to look after sick pets, because it can be costly otherwise.

The average pet owner pays about £75 a year on dog sitters, and if poorly pets are left at home alone, there may be a lot of mess to clear up at a steep cost.

And it appears that attitudes could be changing. Several companies in the world now offer “pawternity leave” when their employees get a new puppy, so your boss might be more compassionate than you’d think about you taking time off when you have a poorly pet in the future.

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