Study reveals Brits are obssesed with taking photos of their pets (1,464 each year) – much more than they take of family & friends

Pets are more popular than our partner or friends according to new research which has lifted a lid on just how pet-obsessed our country is.

Research conducted by photo printing specialist CEWE into the photo taking and sharing habits of the UK has revealed that when it comes to our favourite photos to look back on, we’d rather pause for a moment to look back on pictures of our pets (28%) than our partner (26%) our friends (21%) or important life events (14%), such as graduations or weddings.

This preference is even more pronounced amongst women, with 31% of women saying their favourite photos to look back on are pictures of their pet, compared to just 23% who said their partner.

The research also revealed that pet owners take more photos of their cute companions than they do their friends or family. The average owner takes 1,464 photos of their pet every year, compared to 1,259 photos of their family and 927 photos of their friends.

Despite this huge number, some cities in the UK are taking it to a whole other level, with owners in Oxford taking 3,340 photos of their pets every year.

Top pet-obsessed cities in the UK (by number of photos they take of their pets each year)

  1. Oxford – 3,340
  2. Coventry – 2,941
  3. Leeds – 2,672
  4. London – 2,073
  5. Sheffield – 1,664

When it comes to what pet owners do with all the photos they have taken, the most popular choices are keeping them on their phone to look back at and sharing with friends and family. However, some owners like to get creative with their photos, with one in five making photo books dedicated to their pet.

Our favourite things to do with our pet photos are:

  • Keep them on our phones to look back on – 51%
  • Send to friends and family – 33%
  • Share them on social media – 31%
  • Create a photo album – 20%

Commenting on the research, Clare Moreton, photo expert at CEWE, said:

“We know that the UK is a nation of pet lovers but we were really interested to see just how much they are influencing what photos we take, and what pictures we choose to look back on. Pets bring so much joy to our lives, so it’s no surprise that people are choosing to take pictures of their pets, to capture all the happiness they bring us.

“However, with the average pet owner taking 1,464 pictures of their pet every year, it’s important that we take the time to look back on those memories, as well as capturing them. We know that looking back on photos is a great mood booster so it’s so important to take the time to look back at the memories you’ve made whenever you can – whether that’s a photo of family or a picture of a pet!”

Commenting on the psychology behind looking at our favourite photos, Jo Hemmings, behavioural psychologist, added: “It’s never been easier to take a photo or post one on social media – they are the visual language of our lives. But, because of that ease, we often forget to look back at our carefully curated photos, and that means we are missing out on all the joy that they can bring. 

“Photos remind us of people, pets, places and activities that we love as well as remembering the past. This has been shown to reduce our stress and enhance our mood and overall wellbeing. Research has also shown that having ‘real’ photos in our home, provides regular psychological positive reinforcement by reminding us of ‘social bond enhancement’ – essentially what and who is important to us!

“Taking the time to look back on our treasured memories can be truly beneficial for our wellbeing as it can help to evoke feelings of positivity and happiness. Because of this, and especially at times like this, we should take more time to appreciate and look back on them.”

To find out more about how you can pause for a moment and take time to look back at the photo memories you have made, go to:

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