Brits set to spend £100m on pampered pets this Christmas

December 14, 2010

Pets are set to be the real winners this Christmas with the nation planning to spend almost £100 million* on our feline friends and canine companions over the festive period.

According to new research by The Co-operative Insurance, this Christmas dog and cat owners are planning to spend 10 per cent more on their pets than last year, with an average of £11.78 being spent per pet on an array of treats.

By contrast one in four respondents admit they are not buying Christmas presents for friends, family or colleagues at all this year and of those still spending, nearly half (44%) are spending less than last year in an effort to save money.

Proving that we are a nation of pet lovers, over half of pet owners (52%) believe pets are part of the family and should automatically receive a present; nearly a third of people buy their pets presents simply because they love them; while 7% believe their pets deserve to be treated.

In comparison, those who have decided not to buy for friends and family have done so to save money (37%), as they have fallen out with family (27%) and because they have no money left (24%). One in ten have decided to give money to charity instead (10%) or save up for a big holiday in 2011 (6%).

The research also highlights that pets in the North East are set to be the most spoilt this Christmas with an average spend of £14.34 per animal whereas those in the South West will receive the least expensive gifts at Christmas:


Region Spend per pet
1 North East £14.34
2 Wales £14.31
3 London £14.00
4 Northern Ireland £12.50
5 North West £12.23
6 West Midlands £11.51
7 Scotland £10.81
8 Yorkshire and the Humber £10.40
9 South East £10.30
10 East Midlands £10.26
11 East Anglia £9.04
12 South West £8.98


Lee Mooney, Head of Pet Insurance at The Co-operative Insurance, said: “The results of the survey clearly show that the UK is a nation of pet lovers. Dogs and cats are increasingly seen as part of the family and we appear to be determined to show this at Christmas.

“Cats and dogs provide companionship to many people and at Christmas it is apt that these animals are shown just how appreciated they are. As dogs and cats are such valued members of the family their health is of massive importance and it is vital that people ensure that they have adequate pet insurance in place to ensure that their pets are protected throughout the year.”

The Co-operative Insurance has today entered the Pet Insurance market and will be offering dog and cat owners the peace of mind that if their animal is ill or injured, at home or abroad, that their treatment will be covered**.

Dr Roger Mugford, Animal Psychologist, said: “The relationship between pets and their people is essentially the same as that between a parent and a child.  Christmas is seen as a time of giving when parents hope to be generous to their children and it is exactly the same for pet owners who don’t see why their pet should be denied little luxuries at this time

“Whereas people postpone expenditure on goods for the home and themselves, they will not scrimp when it comes to caring for their pet. The generosity and kindness of people towards their animals seems to grow and grow with each generation of pet keepers.

“There seems to be a fundamental need for animal companionship, which works because our pets do not answer back, do not criticise, they make us laugh and give us unconditional love.  Pets are the great anxiety relievers, which is an appropriate gift to we humans at this otherwise stressful time of year.”

The Co-operative Pet Insurance is available online at or by calling 0800 294 1021.


For further information please contact

Jenna Moss / Catherine Laycock
The Co-operative Financial Services Press Office
Tel: 0161 903 3831 / 3833
Email : /
Twitter: @CFSpressteam


Notes to editors:

*Research conducted by on behalf of The Co-operative Insurance questioning 3,000 cat and dog owners
£100 million calculated as follows:
**Estimated Cat and Dog population in UK = 14.5m (Datamonitor report 2008)
Percentage people buying pets Christmas presents = 58%
8,410,000 X £11.78 (avg spend) = £99,096,800 
Further information available on request

The Co-operative Pet Insurance is provided by Allianz Insurance Plc.


About Dr. Roger Mugford

Dr. Roger Mugford (BSc, PhD) is the UK's leading animal behaviourist and expert witness in animal related legal issues. He founded the Animal Behaviour Centre in 1979 and later created the Company of Animals, which develops and produces products which improve the wellbeing of pets.


About The Co-operative Financial Services

The Co-operative Financial Services (CFS) is part of The Co-operative Group, which is the world’s largest consumer co-operative with around five million members, over £14 billion turnover, and core business interests in financial services, food, travel, pharmacy and funeral care. The Co-operative Group has over 5,000 retail trading outlets.

Following the merger with Britannia Building Society on 1 August 2009 CFS is one of the largest and well diversified mutual businesses operating in both retail and corporate markets.

As part of The Co-operative Group, the new business is characterised by its unique ethical and member reward policies and very high levels of customer advocacy.

The combined business has £70 billion in assets, 12,000 staff and nine million customers. It has over 300 high street branches, 20 corporate banking centres and a major presence in Manchester, London, Leek, Plymouth, Skelmersdale and Stockport.

It is the only mutual organisation that enables its members to earn financial rewards for the products they hold, as well as giving them the opportunity to have a say in how the business is run.

Dr Roger Mugford can be contacted via