More than a third of Brits say their first pet was - and still is - their best friend

We Brits love our pets
We Brits love our pets
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New research has shown our pets are our true loves, rather than our partners.

This Valentine's Day four in ten people quizzed by pet charity Blue Cross said their first pet still influences their decisions about which pet to buy later in life.

It seems for pet owners past and present in the UK, our furry infatuations are hard to top.

With today being the 'big day' in terms of all things love, pet welfare charity Blue Cross is highlighting how our love of all things four-legged can have an influence over the rest of our lives.

Research commissioned by the charity found that over half of Brits said their first pet taught them about unconditional love and the true meaning of friendship, with a third also saying their first pet was their best friend.

Our relationships with dogs, cats and other pets are often rooted in memories from childhood, looking back through rose-tinted specs on the joy and unequivocal affection that often only comes from our animal friends.

Another 40 per cent of those questioned said that if we could say one more thing to our first pet it would be 'I will never forget you'.

Blue Cross, which provides rehoming, veterinary and educational advice for owners of pets of all shapes and sizes across Britain, is encouraging members of the public to share their fondest memories of pets past and present on its website - www.bluecross.org.uk using the hashtag #firstpetlove