Almost half of UK pet owner buy presents for their furry friends

New research by Petplan has revealed that the UK is a nation of generous pet owners.

The study which surveyed over 60,000 pet owners across the UK found that almost half are particularly fond of celebrating their pets at Christmas.

Rabbit owners were found to be the most generous with over half (55%) opting to gift their bunnies, followed by dog owners at 47% and cat owners at 37%.

Pugs were found to be the most doted upon dogs, with a whopping 60% likely to wake up to a gift on Christmas. However, even the comparatively less pampered Greyhounds and Chow Chows have a 37% chance of finding a present under the tree.

Pet owners in the North were found to pamper their pets more than pet owners in the South. In Newcastle in particular came out top with 51%, followed by Glasgow 49%, and Liverpool 48%.

In comparison, pet owners in London appear to opt for cuddles over gift, with just over a third (39%) admitting to including their pets on their Christmas shopping list.

The study also found that over a third of pet owners would put their pet’s needs above their own. This trend extends to where we spend the festive season, with almost half of pet owner’s choice being based on their pet.

Petplan vet expert, Brian Faulkner said: “Pets have been an integral part of the family, so it’s only natural that they are celebrated when we all come together with our nearest and dearest during the festive season. Leaving a safe and healthy stocking under the tree for our pets is a great way to thank them for their companionship over the last year and recognise the pivotal role pets play in people’s lives.”

Petplan dog behaviourist, Nick Jones added: “Christmas can be a hectic time for pets as well as their owners. Animals that are used to three or four people in their home at ant given time suddenly find themselves surrounded by an influx of visitors, making their household more chaotic than ever. It’s important to make your pet feel that they haven’t been forgotten about amidst the festivities, and this research shows that the country is more conscious of that then ever.”