Pampered pets to receive festive cards, dinner and gifts at Christmas

Nearly seven in 10 dog and cat owners will give their pets Christmas presents, a survey has found.

Some 69% of owners said their dogs and cats will receive gifts as they join in the festivities, while nearly half (46%) said their pets be tucking into their own version of “Christmas dinner”, Co-op Insurance has found.

Some will have their pets sitting at the table for Christmas dinner as families get together.

More than eight in 10 (83%) dog and cat owners will involve their pets in their Christmas celebrations in some way – which could lavishing them with more treats than usual, dressing them up, giving them toys and Christmas cards as well as presents or a special dinner.

Those giving their pets gifts spend £56 on average, while one in eight (12%) will spend more than £100 on presents for pets, the survey of 2,000 pet owners found.

Younger adults tend to be particularly generous when buying gifts for their pets at Christmas – perhaps because they may not yet have children accounting for much of their Christmas budget.

Pet owners aged 18 to 25 spend an average of £171 on their animals at Christmas, the Co-op found.

More than a quarter (26%) of pet owners surveyed claim they are certain their pets know it is Christmas – and a fifth (22%) say their pet sits at the table for Christmas dinner every year.

David Hampson, head of pet insurance at Co-op said: “Increasingly, we’re looking to include our pets in family traditions, with Christmas being a time when pet owners obviously want to make sure their dogs and cats are included in the celebrations.

“This study provides an insight into how much our pets really mean to us.”

Mr Hampson said while it is important for people to include their pets at Christmas, they should also make sure they are safe.

“So keep them away from those Christmas chocolates and ensure they’re away from any decorations or presents that could cause harm or injury,” he said.