Science claims that people tend to choose a pet that looks similar to them and Gerrard Gethings, a professional animal photographer, has taken it upon himself to prove this. In a series of striking comparisons called #doyoulooklikeyourdog and #doyoulooklikeyourcat, he compares the portraits of humans and their pets and highlights the similarities they share.

Pets also increasingly formed part of family portraits, “usually as a symbol of fidelity, domesticity and completeness, though sometimes…as an emblem of mischievous irreverence”. These sitters sometimes included animals to make an ideological point about youth or domesticity or virtue, but clearly many owners were just very fond of them.