Furry – or scaly – friends won’t be missing out on the Christmas joy this year, as Brits are set to splurge about £900m on their pets over the festive period.
A survey of 2,000 Brits by retailer Cox and Cox found three quarters of UK pet owners will spend an average of £25 on Christmas treats and gifts per animal this year – meaning more than £900m will be spent on the UK’s 51 million pets in total.
The survey found reptiles are the least likely to receive a present, with only 12% getting a treat on 25 December, at a value of about £5. In comparison, a huge 82% of dogs will receive a present, with a spend of about £29.
Seven in 10 (69%) cats will be gifted toys and treats worth about £18 in total, while 65% of small mammals will have £29 spent on them, 30% of fish will receive gifts worth £28 spent on them, and a third of horses will receive a present costing about £12.
Millennials – aged 25 to 34 – will spend the most on their pets over the holidays, forking out a substantial £38.11 on their beloved animal friends. This is compared to £20 for those aged 45 to 54 and just £11 for those aged 65 and over.
Bristolians are the most generous when it comes to their pets, spending about £40 per animal. Meanwhile, those in Sheffield spend the least, at about £10 per pet.
Jacqui Whitewick at Cox and Cox, said: “Our pets are part of our family, so of course we want them to enjoy Christmas Day with us.
“As long as we’re responsible with their Christmas meals and only buy them pet friendly presents, Christmas is as good a time as any to indulge your pet.
“Why not get them something they can enjoy all year round though, like a comfortable new bed to curl up in, or a new collar and lead?”
As well as presents, over half (56%) of pets will be getting their own special Christmas dinner, and one in five (21%) will even be joining the family at the dinner table for their food, the research found.
But although it’s tempting to offer your pets part of your Christmas dinner, it’s worth keeping in mind that it might not be the best thing for them, Rhiann Hobbs, from Animal Health Company, said.
“Understandably, pet owners will want to treat their animals over the festive period, However, it’s important to remember that their welfare is the number one priority,” Hobbs explained.
“Just like us humans, dogs can only handle indulgent, fatty foods in moderation. So, if you’re considering letting your pet share your Christmas dinner, stick to lean, boneless meats and avoid giving them any sweets and glazed vegetables.
“That way, you can give your dog a well-deserved treat without putting their health and well-being at risk.”