Brits spend almost £500 annually on luxury items such as toys and special treats for their pets, research shows

Latest data into pet owners’ outlook on costs and care for pets shows over seven in 10 (71%) Brits are willing to spend more on their pet than themselves.

The new research from MoneySuperMarket analysed pet owners’ attitudes towards financing their furry friends, revealing Brits spend an average of almost £500 on luxury items each year.

Pampering pets is much higher on the agenda for younger age groups. Those aged 18-24 are spending more than double on their pets than over 55s, shelling out an average of £759 and £308 respectively on luxury pet products each year.

Concern over pet welfare is also on pet owners’ minds, especially with more people returning to offices. Just over one in three (34%) owners are concerned that their return to work will have an impact on their pets’ anxiety. As a result, over a third (35%) are more willing to purchase therapy for their beloved animals than themselves.

Even though owners are worried about their pets’ mental health, over a quarter (26%) can’t afford therapy for their pets. Similarly, other pet costs are proving to be too expensive, with nearly three in 10 (28%) saying they are struggling to afford pet insurance and two in 10 (17%) even willing to risk not purchasing pet insurance to save money.

The costs of keeping their pet healthy and happy do not cross the mind of nearly a third (31%) of pet owners, which may be why dog owners are making extravagant purchases for their pooches, including 17% giving their furry friend a sweet treat of dog ice cream. Just over a quarter (26%) of 18-24-year-olds have also introduced their pet to technology with an intercom camera, and 14% give their pet CBD supplements.

Further data shows it’s not just dog owners that are splashing the cash on their pets. 10% of cat owners purchase Meowijuana (ground catnip) and half of Brits (51%) spend hundreds of pounds on cat play towers. Vegan diets are gaining traction too, as over one in 20 (6%) purchase vegan cat food.

Top five luxury purchases dog owners are making this year: 

RankPet Owners’ top five most sought-after dog productsPercentage of dog owners buying
1Dog Calming Bed26%
2Pet Intercom Camera19%
3Dog Ice Cream17%
4Dog stairs for bed/sofa14%
5CBD Dog Supplements9%

Top five luxury purchases cat owners are making this year:

Rank Pet Owners’ top five most sought-after cat productsPercentage of cat owners buying
1Cat Play Towers51%
2GPS tracker18%
3Pretty litter (smart cat litter for monitoring health)14%
4Meowijuana (ground catnip)10%
5Vegan Cat Food6%

Pet owners have also had their say on which dogs and cats are most sought-after, with 19% making Labrador’s a priority and 18% revealing their love for British Shorthair cats.

Alex Jones, pet insurance expert at MoneySuperMarket, commented: “With 35% of pet owners willing to spend more on pet therapy than on themselves, it’s clear that we are a nation that really cares about the wellbeing of our pets, but the costs can add up.

“Our research into pet owners has showed us that many are struggling to keep up with the financial demands that pets can incur, with pet accessories often racking up big bills. Pet insurance was regularly seen as something that could be cut out in order to save money, when in reality this could lead to hefty costs in the future.

“There are great savings to be made on pet insurance policies, which can help owners balance their pets’ needs with their own budgets. By comparing and saving on the MoneySuperMarket website, Britain’s pet owners can find the perfect policy for them.”