While it’s not uncommon for us to include our pets in the festivities, this Christmas it’s predicted they’ll be more spoilt than most. Amongst all the prezzies, over a quarter of pampered pets will even get their own stocking!

Our cuddly companions can expect to be showered with gifts, with owners spending an average of £19.98 on their pets compared to just £14.78 on their best mates.

While dads fared slightly better and can expect to receive an average spend gift of £23.59, a new survey of 2,000 pet owners by Animalfriends, found that only 59 percent of respondents planned to buy their old man a Christmas present at all – while a whopping 71% planned to surprise their pet.

Topping the gift list for pets are squeaky toys, followed by new collars, stockings and treats. Nine percent also have their own Christmas decorations hung up and 13 percent can count the days until December 25 with their own advent calendar.

Overall in the UK, Newcastle owners spend more on their pets than their friends – on average £10.28 more on dogs and £8.51 on cats. Belfast and Gloucester followed, spending £9.82 and £6.95 respectively, on their cats than their pals.

Spending the least on their pets were those in Chelmsford, followed by Portsmouth and Leicester.

But our four-legged friends aren’t all about receiving gifts, as over 22 percent of their owners will send out a Christmas card or present, on their pet’s behalf.

Festive feast

It’s seems it’s not just the present giving part of Christmas that our dogs get to share. Over a quarter of pets will also share their owner’s roast, with owners in Brighton spending a whopping £8.78 per Christmas meal for their dog, while those in Sheffield are more likely to give their pets their normal food on Christmas Day.

If feeding your dog table scraps, please remember that many parts of a Christmas dinner are unsuitable, and can even be fatal, for dogs. It is always best to treat them to a dog-friendly alternative which many pet shops sell.

Westley Pearson, of Animalfriends.co.uk, “It’s great to see so many pet owners getting in the Christmas spirit and sharing this special celebration with their animals.

“But please remember not to kill your pet with kindness this year – certain festive food items such as chocolate, mince pies and Christmas pudding are only intended for human consumption and could make your pet extremely ill, which is the last thing you want over the holiday period.

“It’s important to make sure your pet gets the same level of exercise over the festive period too, particularly if they’ve been eating lots of tasty treats.”

With one in ten pets expected to lose out of their usual walk over the Christmas break, why not treat your pet to an extra special winter walk? It’s free and your dog will love you for it!

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