Nation spends £12bn on pets

British dog owners now spend a total of £12bn on their pets every year, according to new research.

The research by American Express, found there has been a marked increase in recent years as a result of both average spend per pet rising (now £1,342 per pet from £1,252 in 2016) and the total number of dogs across the nation also going up (from 8.5 million in 2016 to an estimated 9 million today).

As a result, dog owners now spend £1.4bn more in 2018 across the nation as a whole than they did in 2016. When it comes to shopping for animals, over half of British pet owners say they like to use small and independent retailers, citing quality of service and the fact that shop owners know their pets and can help find the best products for them.

Jane Higgin, owner of independent pet shop, Woofs A Daisy, said: “As a small business, we are thrilled to see that the nation loves to treat their pets and are using independent shops to do so.

“A benefit of being a small business is that we can get to know our customers and their furry friends well. We have built up a very loyal customer base in the local area and enjoy providing the products and services they love.”

When it comes to spend through the course of the rest of the year, the research found that, on average, dog owners spent £390.48 a year on dog food, while other necessary expenditure included insurance (£251.76 a year) and their dog’s health (£63.87 a year).

That means that the remaining £636.11 spent on average per pooch annually is discretionary, including toys, professional grooming, kennels, clothing and accessories.

Caroline Bouvet, VP at American Express said: “It’s no secret that we are a nation of dog lovers, and we love to spoil them. Our research shows that British dog owners are spending more and more on treats for their pets, and many of them are choosing small businesses to do so thanks to the great products and tailored service they provide.

“We hope dog lovers will show their support for the pet stores, grooming parlors and other independent pet businesses that serve them and their best friend by shopping small this Small Business Saturday, and beyond.”

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