Current Affairs

From Pet Owners to Pet Parents

A survey of over 1,000 pet owners carried out by the newly-launched online pet boutique, Astar Pets, reveals that the UK is changing from being a nation of pet owners to a nation of pet parents. This is based upon the level of care and money that the UK public are now happy to invest in maintaining healthy and happy pets.

Currently there are 65 million pets in the UK with 45 percent of households owning a pet. Figures show that expenditure on pets has increased dramatically over the last 50 years, now ranking well ahead of cosmetics, cakes and UK holidays. Astar Pets’ survey reveals that owners now see their pets as members of their family, with 88 percent admitting to giving their pets as much care as they give to their children with pets typically having seven toys. One in six respondents admitting to spending more on presents for their pets than their partner. And it’s not just fun and pampering. Almost half of respondents said that they bought specialist or organic food for their pets and 28 percent included vitamin supplements in their pets’ daily meals. All respondents claimed to visit the vet at least once a year for a check-up.

The Astar Pets survey also revealed that many owners felt guilty when when leaving their pets for extended periods, with a third organising pet-sitters or walkers when they are out during the day and 58 percent buying a present for their pets if they have been away on holiday. With the average pet owner spending £70 a month on their furry friends and 60 percent of pets receiving a treat each week, the UK’s love for pets seems to have no boundaries. 

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Other facts thrown up by the survey include:

– 30 percent of pets are taken on playdates with other pets
– 90 per cent of pet-owners buy their pet a Christmas present, and 66 per cent a birthday present
– 84 percent of pet-owners allow their pet on the sofa, with 66 percent extending the privilege to the bed
– One in six pet owners take their pet to the groomers on a monthly basis
– Almost half spend over £50 a month on their pet, while a generous five percent spend over £250.

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