Ask any dog or cat owner whether they consider their canine or feline friend to be a member of the family and they'll no doubt say yes – and it turns out Google thinks the same way!

Thanks to a new update to the Google Photos app, smartphone users can now label all of their dog- or cat-centric snaps by name, thanks to the search giant's object recognition system.

Prior to the update, which is expected to roll out today (17 October) to most countries worldwide, users could sift through all of their puss or pooch pics by searching for "dog" or "cat" within the Android or iPhone app.

Following the changes, the standard face grouping feature that was previously reserved for fur-less humanoids now applies to individual pets too.

Labeling a pet by name will now make it easier for users to pull up images in the Photos app of that particular pet. The app can then collate the pictures into an album or even a short movie using Google's Assistant helper.

"In addition to now grouping your pets, Google Photos fur-tunately already has a few other features to help you honor your paw-some pet," wrote the search giant in a blog post. "You can search by breed to see photos of your Poodle or Maine Coon or search by emoji."

While pet owners with, say, two Bengal cats may find a bit of overlap when searching, a Google spokesperson told Buzzfeed: "This is just the start, and that if you have a number of pets that are the same breed (such as a few yellow Labs), you might need to help the app by removing photos of a misgrouped pet, so the app can tell Lassie from Fido."