Dogs in Newcastle and London were the most pampered pets over Valentine’s Day this year, according to new research.
Twice as many pet owners in the North East and London gave their pet a Valentine’s Day gift this year than the rest of the UK.
And the most pampered pets were dogs, with owners spending an average of £95 on them compared to £30 for cat owners, according to the research from Vets4Pets.
The research also revealed buying a Valentine’s gift for our pets may be more of a recent trend, with one in ten 18-34 year olds admitting to buying their pet a Valentine’s present compared to one percent of 55+ year olds.
Dr Huw Stacey, vet and director of clinical services at Vets4Pets, said: “We are known for being a nation of animal lovers in the UK, but our research clearly demonstrates just how much we really care for our pets.
“While many UK pet owners often buy gifts for their pet, it’s important to note that gift giving does not directly lead to a happier or healthier pet.
“There are a lot of other important factors contributing to our pet’s mental and physical wellbeing, including exercise and diet.”
Vets4Pets’ research also revealed that large numbers of owners admitted to buying their pets presents on their birthdays, at Easter, Christmas and even Halloween.
Dogs benefit the most on their birthday, with 50 percent of dog owners admitting to buying a present for their dog’s ‘special day’, compared to 29 percent of cat owners.
And 46 percent of pet owners admitted that they would spend more on their pet’s birthday present than on a close family member’s gift.
Rabbit owners are apparently the pet owners willing to spend the most on their pet’s birthday present, spending £47 on average on the gift, in comparison to £27 for dog owners.
“It’s great to see that the UK’s pet-owning population are willing to spend money to try and make their pets happy,” added Dr Stacey.
“While buying presents won’t directly make pets happier and healthier, there are gifts available that can help improve a pet’s fitness, health and mental state.
“Fishing rod toys are great at keeping cats mentally stimulated, as well as puzzle feeder toys, which are useful for keeping both cats and dogs entertained and active.
“Tunnels and pipes are ideal for keeping the likes of rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters stimulated, as they will encourage burrowing behaviour, whilst certain dog chews can help keep their teeth strong.
“Pet obesity is still one of the top issues in pet welfare, so it’s important to remember that all treats must be given in moderation and taken into account when measuring out daily meals.”
The pampering of the UK’s pets doesn’t stop there, with dog owners declaring they spend £48 on average for grooming products or treatments for their pet every month, whilst cat owners spend half of this, at £24.
However, cats are happier to be pampered than dogs, with more than half of cat owners saying their cat is happiest when being pampered.
“Grooming pets is a great way to help keep our pets happy and healthy, as not only does it help with their general hygiene, it improves bonding between pet and owner too,” added Dr Stacey.
“Even though toys, treats and grooming can bring our pets joy, they will always be generally happiest when spending time with their owners.
“Therefore, we would encourage owners to spend as much time playing and exercising with their pet to help them maintain a happy and healthy lifestyle.”