Nation’s pets to receive plenty of paw-fect presents

More than 80% of pet owners will buy a present for their pet this Christmas, an RSPCA survey found.

The survey carried out by the national animal charity discovered that 83% of animal lovers will buy their pet a Christmas present, with 44% spending up to £10 and 28% splashing out between £10 and £20 on their furry friend.

Just over half of the animal livers surveyed will give their pet a stocking and 40% will sing their pet a Christmas song this festive season.

Sam Watson, RSPCA’s cat welfare expert, said: “The festive period sees owners splurging on their pets, as well as their friends and family, with more people buying gifts for their furry friends. We are thrilled to see people spoiling their pets at Christmas. As a welfare charity we see so many sad stories of unloved and unwanted pets, so it’s great to think that many people do in fact treat their pets as part of the family, and for so many, Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without their pets to share it with.

“We would also encourage animal lovers to spare a thought for the animals without families who are spending Christmas in RSPCA care this year. Last year, we received 55,821 calls over Christmas and expect to take in 10,000 animals this winter.”

The study also found that this year will be full of festive pictures with 57% of people saying they will snap a selfie with their pet.

Sam added: “Christmas is a wonderful time of year but for some pets it can also be overwhelming, so it’s important to ensure that you give your pets a safe, quiet place to go for some peace during the festivities.

“Giving gifts that our pets will enjoy such as a toy is a great idea. Christmas can also be the perfect time to spend quality time with your pets doing activities they enjoy, such as walks in the park, or playing with toys, however some pets may not be as comfortable with the activities we enjoy, such as taking selfies. It’s important to spot the signs that your pet may be a little worried, whether your cat’s ears are swivelled, or your dog is licking their lips, there are lots of subtle clues we can look out for and make sure our pets are happy.”

Many animal lovers will be shopping kinder this Christmas with 54% of people buying gifts from charities, as well as 47% giving a gift of making a donation to an animal rescue centre.

“It’s great to see so many people shopping kinder this Christmas, from making a donation to an RSPCA centre or buying a gift from an animal centre, we hope this year is set to be the kindest Christmas yet,” Sam said.