Owners across the UK are being urged to shop smart this Christmas, as new research from More Than insurance reveals that Brits will be splurging an astonishing £631.9 million on pet gifts over the festive period.

With 3.2 million households in the UK gaining a pet since March 2020, the increased appreciation for our dogs and cats can be seen in the rise in spending on pet-related items, with almost three in ten (28%) now spending more on their pet than they were pre-pandemic.

Almost a fifth (19%) have admitted to spending more money on their pets Christmas presents than their parents, and over one in seven (16%) spending more than on their partner, with two-thirds (67%) believing their pet appreciates the gifts they buy them.

Despite this increase in spending, more than a third (35%) of pet owners agree that they buy too many toys for their pet, increasing to over half (55%) among pet owners aged under 35. What’s more, a third (33%) of pet owners say that the gifts they buy often go unloved, with the majority of pets (54%) preferring to play with household items than new gifts; balls, cardboard boxes and old toys are cited as the most popular play items.

At a time when we all need to cut back on waste, the results of the survey makes for uncomfortable reading. UK pet owners will be spending over £630 million on their furry companions this Christmas, yet a third (33%) believe their Christmas presents will go to waste – amounting to £208.5 million worth of gifts.

To help combat the number of unloved gifts bought for dogs and cats this Christmas, More Than is encouraging pet owners to think more sustainably and re-gift presents that are not being used to local pet charities. It comes as the consumer appetite for ‘green gifting’ continues to grow, as over two fifths (46%) of pet owners are now considering the sustainability of their Christmas presents.

Top 6 pet presents bought by Brits

  • Treats (73%)
  • Cuddly toys (41%)
  • Beds / blankets (22%)
  • Christmas accessories (19%)
  • Games (17%)
  • Pet clothes (15%)

(Source: More Than insurance, 2021)

How to donate unwanted pet gifts

  • Use a search engine to find your local animal shelter to send donations to
  • Speak to your local charity shops to find out if they take animal toys
  • Contact national pet charities to find out about their donation services

Or… just don’t buy the unwanted gifts in the first place and instead buy only what your dog needs and give a donation to your local shelter instead!

 

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