Is ‘pet parenting’ on the rise?

Have your customers called their dog or cat Poppy, Molly or Jack? Earlier this week, The Mirror pointed out the connection between the Office of National Statistics’ (ONS’) new list of 100 popular baby names and some of our favourite monikers for pets.

Eight of the ten most common names for male dogs and cats (provided by insurer PetPlan) are also favourites for babies. Female furries scored even more highly. Every single one of the choices in their pet top ten also turned up on the ONS’ list.

So, are we treating pets like children? Euromonitor, an organisation that charts the amount the UK spends on pets, estimated that two thirds of our pet owners are ‘mainstream humanisers’, namely people who spoil their pets with brands that convey an ‘indulgent’ feel.

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If pets are an integral part of the family, it’s also reflected in the amount some owners choose to spend. In 2014, UK owners splurged £4.6bn ($7bn) on pets.

Business is also booming for our American counterparts. Last year $19.7 billion was spent on pet care in the United States. The figures were released following a Nielsen survey conducted by Harris Poll. The larger expenditure reflects the US’ population size – around 318.9m people in comparison to the UK’s 64.1m.  

The Nielsen survey revealed that 95 percent of US pet owners see their companion as part of the family. They’re also happy to open their wallets; $2.6 bn of the $9 bn or more Americans spend annually on dog food is purely used to buy treats.

Judging by these figures, I’d say not only do owners love their pets, they’re willing to indulge them a little, too.





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