Festive fury friends: 75% of UK pets will be getting a present this Christmas

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Our fury (or scaly) friends won’t be missing out on the Christmas joy this year, with three-quarter (75%) of them set to receive their own Christmas present, according to a recent survey with pet owners from Cox and Cox.

The research found that UK pet owners spend an average of £25 per animal on Christmas treats and gifts, meaning a collective £900 million is spent on the UK’s 51 million pets over the festive period.

Reptiles are the least likely to receive a present, with only 12% getting a treat on 25 December, at an average value of £5. In comparison, a huge 82% of dogs receive a present, with an average spend of £29.

Millennials (25-34) spend the most on their pets over the festive season, forking out a substantial £38.11 on their beloved animal friends. This is compared to £20 for those aged 45-54 and just £11 for those aged 65+.

Bristolians were the most generous when it comes to their pets, spending an average of £40 per animal. Those in Sheffield spend the least, with an average of £10 per pet.

Pet TypePercentage receiving a presentAverage amount spent
Dogs82%£29
Cats69%£18
Small mammals65%£29
Reptiles12%£5
Fish30%£28
Horse33%£12

As well as presents, over half (56%) of pets will be getting their own special Christmas dinner, and one in five (21%) of them will even be joining the family at the dinner table for their food.

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. 

“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.”

Jacqui Whitewick, from 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?”