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1st October 2012

Pup-ternity leave for the nation’s pet lovers

Rising trend in new pet owners taking time off work for furry friend

A new kind of parental leave is on the rise in the UK; an increasing number of new pet owners are using their holiday allowance in what is being dubbed 'pup-ternity leave' – taking an extended time off work to settle a new pet into the family home.

Research from Petplan, the UK's largest pet insurance provider, shows 1 in 5 pet owners love their four-legged friends so much that they're willing to sacrifice up to three weeks holiday time for them.

25% of new pet owners in London believe settling in a pet can take up to a month compared to 1 in 10 Scots that would take just a week off work for a new pet. Regardless of whether the pet owner already has pets, they will take the same amount of time off work as first-time pet parents. And furthermore, 25% of owners that have both a cat and a dog consider that it takes a month to welcome an additional cat or dog to the home.

The majority of the nation's pet owners agree that a pup needs more care and attention than a kitten, who even from its early stages demonstrates independence in day-to-day activities. One third of pet owners are of the same opinion that puppies take longest to get used to their new surroundings and overall, new dog owners take an average of six days off work, compared to new cat owners who take just half that.

Isabella von Mesterhazy, Head of Communications at Petplan comments: "The rise in new pet owners taking pup-ternity leave indicates that people recognise the importance of settling in new pets with the right support and care. The early days of a kitten or puppy's life are a vital part of the pet's early development – especially for them to become a proper member of the family."

Although rare, there even seems to be a growing trend towards employers supporting the rise of pup-ternity leave in the work-place. Just fewer than 5% of owners have even been offered paid leave from their job to undertake their pet owning duties.

New pet mum to Cockapoo puppy, Goggles, Liz Littlechild comments: "Similarly to any new mum, I wanted to make sure we gave Goggles the best possible love and attention when she came home at just 3 months old. Although it has been a labour of love at times – getting her fed at the right time, and teaching her toilet training – my work colleagues completely understood and even allowed me to take extra leave during those crucial early weeks."

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To view Petplan's award winning insurance policies, visit www.petplan.co.uk

Notes to editors

Petplan is the largest pet insurance provider in the world, offering comprehensive lifetime pet insurance cover for dogs, cats and rabbits.

Established more than 30 years ago, it is part of Allianz Insurance, one of the largest general insurers in the UK.

For more information about Petplan cat insurance, please visit:

For more information about Petplan dog insurance, please visit: