Watford has seen one of the biggest increases in pet ownership in the whole of the UK, according to new data.

There has been a 137 per cent increase in ownership in the town over the last year, which is the second highest rise in the country outside of London, only behind Edinburgh.

The data, compiled by pet insurance provider Bought by Many, also shows there has been a 152 per cent increase in dog ownership in Watford – the third biggest jump in the UK.

According to the same data, the most popular breed in Watford is the Labrador Retriever, which is the second most popular breed nationally behind the Cockapoo.

Bought By Many analysed the increase in policy numbers across the UK to determine the top pet hotspots.

Steven O’Callaghan, senior insurance product manager at Bought By Many, said: "From Edinburgh to Brighton, anyone taking a quick walk through their local park will have spotted more dogs and puppies than ever before as many owners up and down the UK welcomed home a new pet this year.

"As lockdown restrictions ease, some owners will be worrying about spending less time with their pets and it’s important that pet parents continue to maintain the same level of care and attention as life returns to normal. It’s fantastic to see that pet insurance has increased in line with the rise in pet ownership, as owners are clearly wanting to safeguard their pet’s long-term health, after lockdown and beyond."

Mr O'Callaghan added: "The average claim for one off treatment if your pet is unwell pet can set owners back by £448.56 and this can quickly increase if it needs further veterinary attention, so having insurance there will give owners peace of mind that they’re protected against any unwanted surprises."