IF a mongrel was a breed of dog it would be the most popular for pets in Spain, a recent study has confirmed.
Murcia, Valencia and Aragon were found to be the regions where the most mongrels are kept as pets, while for cross-bred cats the top regions were the Basque country and Valencia.
The study by Veterinary Management Studies for QVET analysed data for 448,924 pets registered in the country in 2014, 368,473 dogs and 80,451 cats and found that 52.1 per cent of dogs in Spanish homes were mongrels or cross-breeds.
The most popular pure-bred pets were found to be Yorkshire Terriers, German Shepherds and Labradors followed by French Bulldogs, Cocker Spaniels and Chihuahuas.
The average age of dogs was found to be five years, three months, and pet cats were also reported to have an average age of just over five.
Size-wise, an increase in popularity of small dogs as pets was noticed, with an increase from 47 per cent in 2011 to 49 per cent last year.
The breeds that registered the highest increases in popularity were Maltese and Chihuahuas followed by Labradors and Retrievers.
Cats were classified by hair length rather than size, with 85.7 per cent of pet cats reported to be of short-haired varieties.
Pure-bred European cats were the most frequently registered pets at 32 per cent, while cross-breeds accounted for 26.8 per cent.
British Shorthairs and Maine Coons are the breeds that have increased the most in popularity over recent years, the study found.