Half of UK pet care buyers spend more money on pets than themselves

Over half of UK pet care buyers would rather cut back on spending on themselves than on their pet, says new research from Mintel.

The research from Mintel confirms the nation’s passion for pets shows no sign of abating as 40% of pet care buyers would spend just as much money on their pet at special events as on a friend.

The research reveals that it is Britain’s Millennials (aged 19-38) who are the most prepared to lavish love on their animal friends, with 54% saying they’d prefer to cut back on sending on themselves.

Around 30% of pet care buyers aged between 19 -38 say they like their pet to keep up with the latest trends, compared to an average of one in five (19%) buyers.

Overall 59% of British consumers own a pet, with full-time workers the most likely to own one (66%). Proving that dogs really are a man’s best friend, ownership peaks among men, with 35% of men owning a dog, compared to 31% of women.

Meanwhile, the study shows that cat ownership peaks among Brits aged 25-44 and while the old -age argument over whether cats or dogs are better is guaranteed to send owners into a frenzy, as it seems dogs have the edge with a third (33%) of Brits owning a dog compared to three in ten (29%) owning a cat.

Chana Baram, retail analyst at Mintel, said: “As pets increasingly become viewed as family members and are ‘humanised’, pet owners are willing to offer them their own products and unique items, which often carry a higher price tag, and help to drive category growth. This ranges from animal-friendly pancakes and wine to dog hiking boots and animal sleeping bags.

“While the more pampered of pooches even enjoy dog beds with memory foam mattresses. Our research shows that millennials are particularly devoted to their furry companions. As the ages of having children increases, we know some young people are opting to first get a pet and treat them as a family member. Additionally, there are many pet ‘influencers’ on social media, which are likely to appeal to the millennial demographic, such as ‘Doug the Pug’, a dog with 3.6 million Instagram followers.

“There are already pet Christmas and birthday presents available from a number of retailers, but the willingness to spend just as much on a pet as a friend shows that there is an opportunity for retailers to offer more event-specific products. Having pet products for seasonal events such as Valentine’s Day would likely prove popular with young consumers, and this could extend to other key events, such as weddings or funerals.”