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Do we love pets more than people?

Co-op research shows cats and dogs will have a Merry Xmas

Published on December 14th 2010.

Do we love pets more than people?

As a nation, we’re planning to spend almost £100m on our pets over the festive season.

According to new research by The Co-operative Insurance, which has just entered the pet insurance market, dog and cat owners are planning to spend 10 per cent more on their pets than last year, an average of £11.78.

By contrast one in four admit they will not be buying Christmas presents for friends, family or colleagues this year and of those still spending, nearly half (44 per cent) are spending less than last year.

Proving that we’re a nation of animal lovers, over half of pet owners surveyed (52 per cent) 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 seven per cent 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 per cent); because they have fallen out with family (27 per cent) or because they have no money left (24 per cent). One in ten people have decided to give money to charity instead or save up for a big holiday in 2011 (six per cent).

The research also shows that pets in the North West will get an average of £12.23 spent on them this Christmas.

Lee Mooney, head of pet insurance at The Co-operative Insurance, said: “The results of the survey 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.

Animal psychologist Dr Roger Mugford says 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.”

Lee Mooney, head of pet insurance at The Co-operative Insurance, said: “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.”

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