Owning a dog may improve your love life according to a survey that has also busted several myths about so-called 'cat' and 'dog' people.

Four hundred cat and dog owners took part in the survey, which showed many long-held beliefs about the animals and their owners simply aren't true.

The results suggested having a dog may help you find love, as more than 80 per cent of dog owners who took part were married or in a relationship.

It also revealed cat owners were a diverse group and far from the "stereotypical eccentric lady hiding in a house with 20 strays".


Rather than being either cat or dog people, Kiwis are simply pet people, the survey found, with 40 per cent of those who identified as a 'dog person' also owning a cat and six per cent of 'cat people' having dogs.

Cats are typically seen as low maintenance compared to canine pets, but this is not necessarily the case, according the the survey.

A quarter of dog owners said their pet was high maintenance, while more than half of cat owners thought their cat missed them during the day.

"We often have this idea that people who own cats are high-maintenance, independent individuals. Similarly, we think of dog owners as being really social and dependent on others' company due to the recreational nature of owning a dog. The results we've uncovered show that it's not so clear-cut," said Beth Bryant, a spokeswoman for Purina New Zealand who commissioned the survey.

Like their owners, pets had very individual personalities, the survey found, but many owners saw similarities between themselves and their cat or dog.

More dog owners thought their pet reflected the kind of person they are, while more cat owners thought they looked like their pet.