Brits Plan to Spend £157m on Pets This Christmas

Published: Wed Dec 16 2009

This year, cats and dogs across the UK can look forward to a very Happy Christmas indeed – with an estimated £157m* worth of festive goodies in their Christmas stockings.

New research** from leading insurance comparison website reveals that most owners (69 per cent) will be buying Christmas presents for their pet, spending on average £10.86 on each animal. Food treats (59 per cent) and toys (56 per cent) top the gift list. Over a third of dogs and cats can expect to wake up to a Christmas stocking, while a quarter will receive a special Christmas meal and 11 per cent already have an advent calendar.

The majority (63 per cent) of cat and dog owners admit they will spend more on Fido and Mog this Christmas than on many of their close friends. Many will also spend more pampering their pet than their partner or close relatives. Fourteen per cent plan to spend more on their pets than their partner, 13 per cent say their parents will be getting less than their pets, while over a quarter (26 per cent) say that they will give more expensive gifts to their cat or dog than to other close relatives.

However, the research also showed that despite the lavish spending, nearly 60 per cent of cat and dog owners still don’t have pet insurance, though it can start from as little as £3.70 a month***.

Lee Griffin, business development director at, said, "For many people their cat or dog is as much a part of the family as Auntie Mable, so it is perhaps only natural that they should want to share the joys of Christmas gift giving with them. Sadly, it looks like more thought may have gone into the dog’s present than for some of the other people sat round the Christmas table this year. It is a growing trend, and retailers are being more creative each year with their pets Christmas range, so it looks like catnip advent calendars and Santa costumes for dogs are set to become Christmas traditions in this country.

"However, it is important to remember that caring for our pets doesn’t just mean including them in the Christmas celebrations. Vet’s bills can rival the post-Christmas January credit card statement when it comes to unwelcome surprises, therefore having insurance to cover such events can make a lot of sense." launched its pet insurance comparison service for cat and dog owners earlier this year.’s service is the first true pet insurance comparison to be provided by any UK comparison site. Currently, visitors to can compare 16 different per insurance policies and see at a glance which policy gives them the right cover for the right price.

For further information please contact: Lynsey Walden or Anders Nilsson at on 01633 654 055 / 01633 657 599
Gordon, Jason or Liz at MAW Communications on 01603 505 845

Notes to Editors:
*According to the Pet Food Manufacturers Association (PFMA) there are 7.3 million dogs and 7.2 million cats in the UK. Therefore 14.5 million cats and dogs multiplied by the average spend per animal of £10.86, gives us a total spend of £157m.

**Research commissioned by Carried out with 1500 UK adults in December 2009 by Loudhouse Research.

***Cover provided by Animal Friends Insurance. This is a ‘max benefit’ policy that provides £10,000 worth of cover towards vet’s fees in the event of an accident, up to a maximum of £2,000 per ailment, per year. launched in November 2006 to help people find the right insurance cover at the right price. It was founded by Hayley Parsons who has worked her entire career in the insurance broking and aggregator markets and was the first comparison site to focus on displaying product features rather than just listing prices. It was this philosophy that led to becoming the first price comparison site to be invited to join the British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA) in May 2008 and helped force older comparison sites to change their ‘quick quote’ ways and stop using assumptions to calculate estimated figures. Today, provides one of the most comprehensive online car insurance comparison services in the UK as well as comparing home, motorbike, van, pet insurance and breakdown cover. is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

Press Contact:
Anders Nilsson
Imperial Courtyard
Newport Gwent NP10 8UL
01633 657 599
Contact Name: Anders Nilsson
Contact Email:
Contact Phone: 01633 657 599

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