Nearly half of all animal owners confess that they’ve pulled a ‘sicky’ to pander to a poorly pet.
A poll of 2,000 pet-lovers found that 42% have lied to their boss and bagged a day off to attend to their ailing animal.
And 33% of respondents admit that on their return to ‘full health’, they sneak off during office hours to comfort their cuddly companion.
Despite feeling guilty about it, a third of people think it should be a company policy to have time off to look after their sick pets, as the average Brit forks out £75 per year on dog sitters.
The new research, compiled by animalfriends.co.uk, revealed that dog and cat owners use up 23% of their sick days to tend to their pets - amounting to 2 days every 5 years.
But it seems that men are the most honest with their gaffers, as 63% are more likely to tell them the truth compared to just 54% of women.
However, men are less likely to think their employers should give the time off for pet sickness - just 27% compared to 35% of women.
Five per cent of men admit they’ve taken as many as ten days off over five years, to mind a furry friend.
Westley Pearson, Managing Director of Animalfriends.co.uk, said: “It’s nice to know that people are so attached to their pets that they’re willing to spend so much time with them - especially when their companions are ill.
“Our stats show that the average person is only leaving their pet alone for 6.5 hours per week - getting neighbours or friends to check on them while they’re at work.”
The poll also divulged that women are more likely leave their sick pet home alone than men.
And 40% of 18-24 year olds have taken time off to care for a sick pet, compared to only 18% of over 55s.
The younger generation are more truthful than their elders too, with just 29% hiding the secret sick days versus 41%.