A growing number of British dog owners are ‘humanising’ their pets with lavish gifts for Birthdays and Christmas, as well as luxury foods and accessories.
British pet owners are spending more than £4bn a year on their pets. Market analysts Mintel reported that this figure has risen by 25% over the past five years and is showing little sign of abating. Dog owners are revealed as the most likely to spoil their pet, despite the reduction in people choosing to own a dog over the same period.
The report also highlighted a spending phenomenon which sees people continually humanising their pets. Choosing premium pet foods, spending on luxury items and services as well as celebrating birthdays are said to contribute to the ‘child substitution’ concept suggested in the report.
Rising veterinary fees have contributed to the trend in higher spending, but attitudes towards pet ownership are believed to be equally responsible for the huge surge in spending over the past five years.
Birthday Presents for Dogs
The report, which spoke to 1,006 pet owners, found that the concept of celebrating of a dog’s birthday was completely normal to over a fifth of owners. Even owners who didn’t know the exact date of their pet’s birthday, admitted to celebrating with presents, cards and even special meals on a given date each year.
Paul Pates, Managing Director of pet accessory mail order catalogue, Wishbone (www.wishbonedirect.co.uk), has been quick to encourage phenomenon.
“Nowadays dogs are part of the family, they live inside, they eat at set times with the family, and they even go on holiday. So why not celebrate their birthdays? We have a free doggie birthday club, where every member receives a free present from us when their owners place a birthday order. We also send special offers throughout the year to club members, including Christmas”.
Christmas presents too, are deemed to be a natural part of the pet owner’s budget, with the same percentage admitting to buying their dog at least one present to celebrate the festive season.
Dog owners in North Yorkshire are the most generous with their spending, with memorials to deceased pets as well as cosmetic care such as manicures and pedicures forming part of the budget.