A survey we conducted has revealed that animal lovers are expected to spend about £300 million pampering their pets this Christmas.

Jack Russell Terrier standing in snow © RSPCA PhotolibraryNine out of ten owners (91 per cent) are buying their pet a present this year, with almost a fifth (18 per cent), admitting they will be spending more on their pet than their mother-in-law.

Our poll of almost 900 pet owners revealed most (54 per cent), will be spending up to £10 on their pet’s present. However some (3 per cent), will be splurging more than £50.

With about 18 million cats, dogs and rabbits in the UK*, owners are expected to clock up an estimated £300 million on gifts for their furry friends.

The survey also revealed:

  • 55 per cent of pets will have a Christmas stocking
  • A quarter of pets (26 per cent) have an advent calendar
  • One in ten pets (10 per cent) will be watching the Queen’s speech
  • Most owners (53 per cent) spend more on their pet than on their colleague
  • A third (39 per cent) spent more on their pet than their friend
  • 18 per cent spend more on their pet than their mother-in-law
  • 7 per cent spend more on their pet than their partner and 3% spend more on their pet than their child.

Pets are part of the family

Darren Parrish, manager of our South Godstone Animal Centre in Surrey, said:

“It’s lovely to hear that a vast majority of pet owners consider them to be part of the family and really include them in the Christmas celebrations.


“It goes to show we really are nation of animal lovers with nine out ten owners buying their pet a pressie, a quarter having an advent calendar and more than half having a Christmas stocking.


“It’s amazing that animals lovers will be spending about £300 million on their pets this year – that would pay for Christmas dinner for our animals until the next millennium.”

4,600 animals will be spending Christmas in our centres

Dog and RSPCA employee © RSPCAMr Parrish is buying his two pet cats and two dogs Christmas presents this year, and is encouraging animal lovers to treat the animals in his centre to a pet-friendly Christmas dinner too.

A lot of human food is actually poisonous to dogs, so the Christmas dinner will be a carefully selected to ensure it is safe for them.

He said:

“It would be wonderful if animal lovers could share a bit of their festive joy with some of the RSPCA’s 4,600 animals spending Christmas in our centres this year.


As little as £3 could feed an RSPCA cat or dog at Christmas or maybe you could think about offering one of our animals a place in your family. Who knows maybe you could be watching the Queen’s Speech with your RSPCA rescue pet next year.”

If you want to pick up a Christmas present for your pet or your family take at look at our gifts at shop.rspca.org.uk

We can’t do it without you

To be a hero for animals donate online or text HERO to 88010 to give £3. Text cost £3 plus one standard network rate message.

— *The Pet Food Manufacturer’s Association estimates there are 18 million cats, dogs and rabbits in the UK in 2013. Figure of up to £300 million is based on 91 per cent of these owners spending the same as mentioned in the RSPCA survey in the same proportion. For the option of over £50 the figure of £51 was used.