ONE in six pet owners in the south have admitted they regret choosing their pet's breed, according to new research.

Finding from Sainsbury’s Bank Pet Insurance reveals that more than half of Southern cat and dog owners don’t research their pet’s breed before ownership and only 21 per cent spent more than a week researching the right breed for their lifestyle.

A total of 18 per cent of people have rehomed an animal.

Sainsbury’s Bank Pet Insurance has launched the Pawfect Match tool to enable future pet owners to make informed decisions when choosing the most suitable breed for them.

The tool enables dog and cat owners to research various breeds including how much exercise they will need, how excitable the animal is and how well they get on with children.

TV vet, Dr Scott Miller commented: “I am saddened to hear that so many pet owners are regretting the animals they have chosen as companions. Dogs and cats come in all shapes and sizes, and have different temperaments.

"Looking after a pet is a huge commitment so it is important that people undertake adequate research before buying a pet to ensure it is a happy experience for you and the animal.

“If a pet owner is struggling to look after their animal, I urge them to speak to a professional for advice.

"The Sainsbury’s Bank Pet Insurance website also includes top tips for each dog and cat breed on how best to care for these incredible creatures.”

The study found more than half of cat and dog owners across the South of England (56%) decided to get a pet for companionship and 39 per cent because a pet can offer unconditional love.

Jason King, customer director at Sainsbury’s Bank said: “Britain is a nation of animal lovers and pets are part of the family.

"We understand how important it is to undertake research before adopting or purchasing a pet, including what type of pet insurance is best suited to your dog or cat’s needs.

"Sainsbury’s Bank pet insurance now offers lifeline cover for cats and dogs so that their owners can have peace of mind should anything happen to their four legged friends.”