More than 9 out of 10 pet owners will get a Christmas present for their pet!

A survey conducted by pet-insurance Petplan on 5,427 pet owners revealed that 93% of them will be buying a Christmas present for their pet!

As such, from December 1st, Petplan will be launching their very own Pet Advent Calendar. From cosy cat caves to paw-fect pet stockings, or even a weekend away at a dog-friendly cottage, there’s a prize for every furry friend (and their humans too).

There are over 1,000 prizes to be given away, with a different prize up for grabs each day from 1st – 24th December and items suitable for dogs, cats, rabbits, and horses.

Prizes range from Petplan’s tennis balls and blankets, through to a variety of Christmas themed toys and treats from brands such as Lily’s Kitchen, Dreamies, Pets at Home and Gus and Bella. The Advent Calendar will finish with some bigger ticket items such as a custom pet portrait, pet monitoring cameras and a £500 holiday voucher.

As well as the pet prizes, Petplan will also run two charity donation days, where people can nominate a charity from a supplied list to receive a donation.

You can find the advent calendar here and updates on prizes will also be available on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok!

Expert advice

With many brands offering matching Christmas jumpers for pets and their owners this season, two vet experts, Brian Faulkner and Nick Jones offer advise for whether it is actually useful for a dog to wear a jumper? And how long should they keep it on if they’re inside?

Brian Faulkner, Veterinary Surgeon: “Some breeds feel the cold more acutely than others, depending on the length and nature of their coat.  Short-coated breeds don’t have the option of trapping as much air within their fur that acts as a natural form of insulation. Fortunately, the climate in the UK isn’t as extreme in terms of the winter freeze as other parts of the Europe and North America.  That said, some breeds will benefit from and appreciate a little extra insulation when the weather is particularly cold.  Short-haired breeds will benefit from a light jacket or thin ‘jumper’.  However, it is important to remember that dogs do not radiate heat nearly as efficiently as human beings do since they do not sweat. This makes dogs particularly prone to over-heating, especially when they exercise.  It is therefore important to consider whether a coat used whilst walking is still required when running.   There is generally no need for any healthy dog to wear any form of clothing whilst inside the home. Dogs do not have the same thermoregulatory mechanisms as people and unfortunately well-intentioned gestures can cause more issues than they resolve. 

Nick Jones, Dog Behaviourist and Dog Expert Witness: “There can be a grey area where fashion meets function, and so each dog can be looked at on its own merits.With my now departed Max, a Wire-Haired Vizsla, he did not have the thickest of coats and so post play in the sea, I would place a dog appropriate sweater on him should we then go to a cafe and he was still wet to a degree after towelling down, as this would stave off the shivers.Overheating and not letting the dogs coat regulate the dogs temperature in the home may be encountered when wearing a garment in the home, so I would encourage the home to be a balanced temperature for both humans and dogs and no dog garments in the home. Some smaller, less active dogs can benefit from a body cover and this could be another good example of when a cover or jumper may help. Some of the poodle mixes coats once wet do not dry off as most other dog coats would, they hold the wet and dirt much more than a dog with a smooth short coat such as a Labrador, whippet or Vizsla would, so a coat for these dogs is perfectly acceptable in inclement or muddy conditions. Otherwise, I encounter very little dressing up of dogs (maybe the owners keep it secret) and most people take a sensible approach to this subject.”