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Which pet is top dog? Our reviews are back

Is a dog a Best Buy? Should you hopt for a rabbit over a goldfish? It’s not fake meows; our reviews help find the best value pet, even if you’re on a budgeet.

Dog, cat or budgie, goldfish or gerbil? Which type of pet will give you the best value?

That’s the question we asked in August 1977 when we analysed data on 2,088 pets. 42 years later, we’ve fetched our pet reviews from the past and have brought them back for 2019, with quite a few updates.

Cats vs dogs: a blast from the past

Are you a cat person or a dog person? Actually, nevermind. More to the point, which one should you be from a money-saving perspective?

There were 750 dogs in our original reviews, but for 2019 we’ve embarked upon something much more ambitious.

As many as 1,000 dogs took part in this year’s reviews. Things got a bit hairy in the office with so many visitors, but fortunately we know exactly which vacuum cleaners are best at picking up pet hair.

As you can see below, dogs fared pretty well in 1977:

But will that hold true today? The price of everything from pet insurance to  harnesses could make it a rough day for the dogs – will that leave the door open for cats to take the Best Buy title this time round?

Our new CATegories

Our new reviews take inspiration from the originals, but with a few twists.

Durability becomes reliability, because we know how important reliability is to Which? members. After all, no one wants stratospheric vet bills.

And then there’s our new Energy Consumption Rating (ECR). How much will they knacker YOU out? That’s where our fitness trackers come in:

Next up, social media. Should you get a canary that tweets? Or is that an idea that just isn’t gonna fly?

We’ll also be giving each pet an Instagram rating – an essential in 2019. We’ve got a crack team to go over the analytics, including Computing Editor Kate Bevan and her cat, Daphne:

We suspect that this may be an area where the cats get a purrfect score.

Which pets are a Best Buy?

Dogs (35%, 200 Votes)

Cats (33%, 193 Votes)

Unicorns (27%, 153 Votes)

Hamsters (3%, 18 Votes)

Snakes (2%, 13 Votes)

Total Voters: 544

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What do you think of our new Which? pet reviews? What other categories should we check and update? See the full results here.


The title needs a tweak: Our reviews are bark…

I note that the chipmunk has munched the full results [try the link at the end of the article].

I also note the date.

With recent improvements in AI and robotics, cyber pets should now be a viable option.

Do readers dream of electric sheep?

I always have done.

George wrote: “As many as 1,000 dogs took part in this year’s reviews.” It would be interesting to know what they thought of their owners.

It’s just a pity that most of them ate the surveys.

I suppose I should believe everything I’m told this morning. 🙂

@wavechange I suppose I should believe everything I’m told this morning.

Yes, you totally should!

My cat just read this Convo. He would like a word about the puns, @gmartin.

What about a pet goat? Well, ewe did ask, didn’t ewe and I don’t like to pass the buck, though there are times when this gets my goat.
As a child we were always taught that “nanny knows best” but the motto to suit most pet goats is that on their Goat Of Arms: Pasturem Gratuitas.
The pet goat is a “bovid”, therefore he/she likes Greek Tragedies.
However, if you want to stop your pet goat charging, just take his/her credit card away.
To ensure your goat has the best of everything, you should enrol it on Goatbook and Goats Reunited, not forgetting Bleater, where goats can bleat their friends by sending bloats and blots.

There are many pet goats to choose from:
Don Goat: – he does the Goat Compare Adverts,
The Toggenburg: in charge of fleeces and duvets.
The Irish Goat: the very unpopular inventor of Irish Stew.
Alpine Goat: one to take skiing, of course.
Damascus Goat: into spiritual conversions.
Hasi Goat: Hasi? No he hasn’t.
Booted Goat: ouch!
Maltese Goat: into light centred chocolates.
Repartida Goat: Comedienne.
Stiefelgeiss Goat: philosopher.
Haupi Goat: working on fire extinguishers (howpee)
Kaghani Goat: brain surgery (two left hoofs)

Well this just goats to show what April the first can do to one, high on tea and toast, and in procrastination mode.

He’s not kidding about with those goat puns.

@gmartin Daphne would like a word with you

You tell him, Daphne!

My caption for Kate’s photo is: “It wasn’t me that….”

That or “Human, my bowl has been empty for exactly 22 seconds and you were not here to refill it. I may never forgive you.”

Better, says Daphne, but rather late in the day …:large

Good job I told them about it, eh 😉

The unicorns are creeping up on the dogs!

Just going to leave this here…

Never mind the dog with the horn. The guy holding it has pointy ears.