Irish people love dogs more than children, according to a new survey.
Research has revealed the extent that Irish life is centred on our furry friends.
A massive 69% of people think a family dog makes a house a home - compared to 55% who think children do the same.
Some 84% of all participants consider having a dog as a great way to teach children responsibility, while 82% strongly agree that dogs contribute greatly to children’s development and growth.
And 72% think stated that “having a dog "completes the family".
An impressive 97% of all dog-owners admit they talk to their dogs - with the majority, 60%, also using a silly 'childlike' voice when talking to their pet.
While 68% believe a person with a dog can often be more attractive as a potential date or partner.
When it comes to selecting a name for a dog, 51% chose a human name for their furry friend with 49% preferred using a traditional dog name.
A whopping 74% of all dog-owners admit they have images of their dog that they carry around with them, with the habit more popular amongst female respondents.
Some 52% of dog-owners buy treats or toys for their dogs now and then - with considerably more females (58%) than males (45%) buying a treat or toy for their dog in the weekly shop.
15% admit that their dog is more welcome in the bed than their partner, and 16% let their dogs sleep at the bottom of the bed.
The research by iReach for Purina is part of their support for DSPCA’s on-going Pet Adoption Drive.
This weekend busy shoppers will be encouraged to consider adopting an animal for the DSPCA, with specially designed cut-out images of dogs looking from homes placed in Harvey Norman Airside Swords.
The DSPCA is appealing to the public not to buy a dog or cat for Christmas, but to consider adopting.