New research released today reveals that almost half of all pet owners will be buying a present for their pet this Christmas, and surprisingly, men are more than twice as likely as women to buy a premium-end gift for their furry friends.
The poll of 3,000 people commissioned by 3D printing experts Arty Lobster, and carried out by Google Consumer Surveys, found that nearly half (48%) of pet owners will buy their pet a Christmas present costing more than £10, more than 25% will spend up to £50 and 11% of those surveyed love their pets so much they are willing to shell out more than £250. An intriguing 1.6% of men and 1.1% of women plan to spend this amount on their animals.
Young people aged 25-34 are most likely of all age groups to buy presents worth more than £250 for their pets with two in ten saying they intend to do so. Across the UK as a whole, the figures mean that almost half a million people (429,300) plan to buy a present worth between £250 and £500 for their pet while just under 350,000 of us will spend £500 or more on our furry best friends this Christmas.
The trend is part of the growing phenomenon of pet ‘humanisation’ where we are increasingly treating our pets like people. Two thirds of animal owners now see their pets as a beloved family member, according to a recent Euromonitor survey. In addition, there is a growing market in accessories for our companion animals, and the UK pet industry is reporting significant year on year growth*.
Each year, pet owners can buy more extravagant and unusual gifts for their pets ranging from pet Advent Calendars to reindeer jumpers. There’s even been a run on exercise equipment for dogs following the launch of this year’s eagerly anticipated Christmas John Lewis advert. The ad shows a Boxer dog enjoying jumping on a trampoline – soon after retailer Pets At Home saw a 300% surge in searches for ‘pet trampolines’.
Lars B Andersen, Founder and MD of Arty Lobster, said: “Our pets give us unconditional love, so it’s not surprising that we want to treat them like other members of the family and want to give them something special at Christmas.”
Lars added: “Our research suggests that we’re spending millions as a nation on our pets with the festive season proving to be a particular time to treat our four-legged best friends.”
The latest estimated figures suggest there are approximately 20 million pet owners in the UK (excluding fish) with 8.5 million dogs and 7.4 million cats, and that one in two households now owns a pet**.
*Britons’ spending on pets surpassed £4.6bn for the first time in 2015, according to Euromonitor data.
**Latest available estimated figures from the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA).