Christmas: It’s a furry affair – £773 million to be spent on pets this Christmas

24 December 2018

  • Seven out of ten pets receive Christmas presents¹
  • A tenth spend over £100 on their pets at Christmas
  • Nearly half of all pets get a Christmas dinner

A new study from Co-op Insurance has revealed that the majority of pet owners are including their furry friends in Christmas festivities with cat and dog owners across the UK set to spend an average of £773 million on presents for dogs and cats this Christmas².

More than eight out of ten (83%)¹ dog and cat owners in the UK say they involve their pets in Christmas, with seven in ten (69%) dogs and cats receiving their own Christmas presents, and nearly half (46%) getting a Christmas dinner.

Ways people include their pets at Christmas time:

  1. They get Christmas presents (69%)
  2. They have a Christmas dinner (46%)
  3. They have special Christmas toys (35%)
  4. They have more food treats (32%)
  5. They go on a special Christmas walk (18%)
  6. They get dressed up/have a Christmas outfit (18%)
  7. They're allowed to sit on the sofa (13%)
  8. They're allowed to sleep in owner's bed (11%)
  9. They have an advent calendar (10%)
  10. They're allowed to get away with more/be more naughty (9%)
  11. They get a card (8%)

When it comes to pampering pets during the festive period, owners are spending an average of £56 on gifts, with one in ten (12%) spending over £100 on presents for pets.

Women are more likely to buy their pets Christmas presents – three quarters (74%) do so in comparison to two thirds of men (66%). However, the study reveals that when men do buy their pets presents, they’re more generous, spending an average of £76, compared to £33 for women.

Pets with owners aged 18-25 are likely to be the most spoilt, with these owners spending an average of £171 on their pets at Christmas.

Furthermore, over half (51%) of pet owners provide their dog or cat with their very own Christmas stocking, with three quarters (74%) of 25-34 year olds ensuring their pet has a place to put its presents. Londoners also want their pet to feel the festive cheer with the majority (75%) providing their felines and pooches with a stocking.

Over a quarter (26%) of pet owners are absolutely certain that their pets know it’s Christmas, which may explain why a fifth (22%) say their pet sits at the table for Christmas dinner every single year.

The younger generation is even more keen to include their pets in Christmas dinner, with over half (53%) of 25-34 year olds admitting that their pet sits at the table every year.

David Hampson, Head of Pet Insurance at Co-op says:

"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, so although it’s important to many to include their pets in Christmas – and in many cases take the opportunity to spoil their pets, it’s important to keep our furry friends 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."


Notes to Editors

¹Research was conducted among 2,000 pet owners in November 2018 on behalf of the Co-op by Atomik Research.

²20 million cats and dogs are pets in the UK and 69% are bought presents which is 13,799,999.9 x average spend (£56) = £773 million spent on cats and dogs over Christmas.

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About Co-op Pet Insurance

Co-op Pet Insurance is part of Co-op Insurance Services Limited and is underwritten by Allianz. Full policy details can be found here:

About Co-op Insurance

Co-op Insurance is part of the Co-op, one of the world’s largest consumer co-ops, owned by millions of members. Alongside Co-op Insurance, we have the UK’s fifth biggest food retailer, the UK’s number one funeral services provider, and a developing legal services business.

As well as having clear financial and operational objectives, the Co-op is a recognised leader for its social goals and community-led programmes.