The UK’s four-legged friends
Three quarters of pets receive Christmas presents, according to a survey of Animal Friends Pet Insurance. It also found that the average price of each gift reached £19.98 — £5 more than the amount that we spend on our friends.
Of course, our love for dogs is present all year round, not just at Christmas time. Typically, dog owners will spend in excess of £18,000 on their pooch throughout their pet’s lifetime, according to a study of 2,000 dog owners carried out in preparation for World Animal Day 2017. This figure includes expenses relating to vet bills, dog food, treats, toys, and accessories — just one year of which will tot up to around £1,384!
“The UK is undoubtedly a nation of animal lovers and pet owners are prepared to go to great lengths — and costs — to ensure their companions enjoy a happy and healthy life,” commented the chief executive of the SPANA charity, Geoffrey Dennis.
Dogs are truly a part of our families. In fact, 40% of people say that they let their pooch sleep on their bed and 25% admit to letting them under the covers.
How much do dog owners shell out each year on their four-legged friends?
· Food: £373
· Vet costs: £285
· Insurance: £188
· Grooming: £150
· Treats/presents: £146
· Kennels: £134
· Accessories: £107
The life of luxury
Just 8% of dog owners were unhappy with the amount they spent on their dog, showing how much we enjoy treating them.
From gourmet treats (20%) and luxury leads (12%), to designer clothing (10%) and dog-friendly holidays (10%), some owners like to splash out on luxury items to treat their pooches. Many of us will even have bought our dogs bottles of ‘pawsecco’ to let them celebrate the new year with us, while others might have even treated them to a bottle of doggy cologne for Christmas. However, there’s a huge range of bizarre products out there for your dog that you might not know about.
Dog-friendly treadmills are even available for those dogs who don’t want to step a paw outdoors! Or why not invest in a smart camera so you can check on your dog when you’re at work? FitBarks work like FitBits by capturing your pet’s activity and sleeping habits, while dog doorbells make a perfect solution to standing in the chilly doorway as your dog wanders in the back garden.
We clearly take pride in ensuring our dogs’ lives are as enjoyable as possible. 81% of dog owners claim that they treat their pets like family. So, is it surprising that we’re willing to invest in products to help our four-legged family members?
The UK’s dog-friendly venues
And our canine companions like to give back — dog ownership can actually extend your life. The study into 3.4 million people showed that dog owners had a 33% reduced risk of dying due to cardiovascular disease and an 11% minimised chance of a heart attack.
Owning a dog improves physical exercise and socialising with others, which could be a reason for dog owners’ longer lives. Since previous studies have shown that people who reside alone typically are at a higher risk of cardiovascular death, letting our dogs help us socialise is a potential contributor to our appreciation of them.
You and your pup can visit many places together, as Britain becomes increasingly dog friendly. From dog-friendly cafes and pubs, to pooch-appropriate beaches and restaurants; more Brits are choosing to take their dogs with them when they head out to a public place. DoggiePubs, a non-commercial guide of places where you can dine with your dog, features more than 5,000 places that you can enjoy with your pet, while Scotland recently opened its first residential dog café.
"Dog owners will spend in excess of 18,000 on their pooch throughout their pets lifetime!"
Cottages in Northumberland
Nowadays, even dog-friendly cottages are available. It seems that our affinity for socialising with our dogs is gaining momentum.
Special services for pups
Pets At Home research found that we’re racking up billions in money spent on canine services. This includes insuring, grooming and taking our animals to the vet — and both grooming and insurance sectors are set to grow. So, which pamper sessions do we already treat our dogs to and what can we expect?
Your dog can now enjoy a wealth of special treatments. From facials and pedicures to aromatherapy shampoo treatments — we have it all! In China, dog owners are taking their animals to luxury pet hotels and many animals there are also treated to stress-busting acupuncture treatments at a cost of approximately £29 a session!
The US is leading the way when it comes to pet-oriented resorts. In fact, one place in Virginia costs around £750 for an eight-day stay. But, for some owners, offering your dog indoor walking tracks, agility fields, indoor swimming pools, mud bath treatments, and ‘pawicures’ (which can include nail varnish) might be worth the investment.
Analysts of the global pet grooming market have predicted a 4.19% growth in the grooming industry between 2016 and 2020. The lines between a human service and pet service are clearly blurring, and it’s fair to suggest that we can expect more dog-friendly treatments in the future.
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