"Bark Obama Effect" Expected to Lead to Surge in Demand for Portuguese Water Dogs

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Sainsbury's Bank warns against choosing a pet on the basis of fashion or trends

Following the Obama's announcement that their new pet dog will be a Portuguese Water Dog, Sainsbury's Bank is predicting that the resulting "Bark Obama effect" will lead to a surge in demand across the globe for this particular breed of dog.

"Celebrity" pet choices have a history of influencing people's decisions. The number of Chihuahuas insured by Sainsbury's pet insurance, for example, increased by a staggering 417% between 2006 and 2008(1), the Bank believes this was significantly influenced by a growing number of celebrities owning such dogs, including Cheryl Cole, Madonna, Katie Price (aka Jordan), Jennifer Lopez, Paris Hilton and Britney Spears. The impact of the Obamas' choice could well be even stronger.

Sainsbury's Bank urges people thinking of choosing a Portuguese Water Dog, which is similar to a Poodle, that while they are renowned for their excellent temperament and good looks, their pedigree background means that they are unfortunately susceptible to a number of hereditary illnesses and can therefore be more expensive to care for than a crossbreed. As with any pedigree, potential owners should consider the possible financial implications of owning a Portuguese Water Dog and consider taking out pet insurance as early as possible.

Neal Devine, Sainsbury's Pet Insurance Manager, said, "We advise against being guided by fashion trends when purchasing a dog and instead urge people to understand the physical, mental and financial needs of a particular breed first. Generally speaking, the cost of looking after a pedigree animal is more expensive than for a crossbreed."

"Taking out good quality pet insurance as early as possible, when the animal is still a puppy, is the best way of making sure that you don't end up facing large vet bills for fees and ongoing treatment costs. It's important to remember that any condition that arises before a policy is in place will generally be excluded under pre-existing conditions terms."

Portuguese Water Dogs are known to be susceptible to the following problems(2):

  • hip dysplasia
  • eye disorders e.g. cataracts, Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) - an inherited disease that causes blindness - and distichiasis.
  • a rare heart disorder called Juvenile Dilated Cardio-Myopathy.

Quality pet insurance does not need to be expensive and good cover at a reasonable cost can be found by shopping around. Sainsbury's Pet Insurance is designed to offer some of the widest range of benefits available at a competitive price. For further information call 0800 056 5758, log on to http://www.sainsburys.co.uk or pick up a leaflet in a Sainsbury's supermarket.

Sainsbury's Finance provides savings accounts, personal loans, life insurance, home insurance and more.

For further information, please contact:
Georgiana Varey / Phil Anderson
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
020 7638 9571

Notes to Editors:
Sainsbury's Pet Insurance is underwritten by AXA Insurance UK plc which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.
(1) Based on analysis of Sainsbury's Pet Insurance data, September 2008
(2) Source: Wikipedia
Sainsbury's pet insurance cover: (note, a lower level cover option is also available)

Sainsbury's Bank:
To view our latest press releases and product information, please visit the Sainsbury's Bank online media centre at http://www.sainsburysfinance.co.uk/media.

Sainsbury's Bank offers a range of quality, competitively priced, award-winning products. It opened for business on 19th February 1997 and was the UK's first supermarket bank. It is a 50:50 joint venture with Sainsbury's and Lloyd's Banking Group.

Sainsbury's Bank offers the following products: Credit Cards and Loans, a range of Savings products and Car Insurance, Life Insurance, Home Insurance, Travel Insurance and Pet Insurance

For further information and general Sainsbury's Bank enquiries customers can call the freephone number on 0500 40 50 60 or visit http://www.sainsburysbank.co.uk.


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Dan Goodwin

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