Holiday Gifts: Why Pet Parents are Spending More on Their Furry Friends - PetFirst
Holiday Gifts: Why Pet Parents are Spending More on Their Furry Friends
Pet Care & Health

Holiday Gifts: Why Pet Parents are Spending More on Their Furry Friends

by MetLife Pet Insurance
2 years ago

Are your pets’ names on your holiday shopping list this year?  Do you have stockings hanging by the fireplace for your furry friends?  If so, you are definitely not alone. 

According to Rover’s Holiday Shopping Report, nearly 80 percent of dog owners said they plan to buy their dogs holiday gifts this year6. While last year alone Americans spent $95.7 billion on their pets, according to the American Pet Products Association’s 2019-2020 National Pet Owners Survey7.  

Shopping for your furry friend this year? Keep reading as we discuss why pet parents are spending more on their pets this year.

Holiday Gift Spending

A recent survey, where 4,000 pet-parents were polled, found that approximately half of the respondents indicated they will buy pet food and pet supplies this holiday season. About a quarter of the people polled plan to spend nearly $100 on items such as gifts for their own pet or a friend’s pet. While one in four of the pet parents surveyed plan to buy pet toys, pet-themed decorations, and pet accessories8

So why are people spending so much on holiday gifts and necessities for their pets this holiday season? Here are a few reasons:

New Pets and Pet products

Many people have recently welcomed new pets into their homes. Shelters across the country were reporting a higher number of adoption applications coming in while foster families ended up falling in love with and keeping the pets they were caring for. This year, many newly-adopted pets are celebrating their first holidays with their new families.

Rod Sides, Vice Chairman of Retail and Distribution at Deloitte, said that a pet parents will need supplies for their new pets – even if their budget is limited this year9.

Humanization of Pets

More people view their furry friends as members of their family rather than just animals in their homes. Because pets are considered members of the family, they are treated the same.

People who study the human-animal bond believe people are willing to spend more money on their pets because they feel as closely bonded with them as they do with human family members.  This shift is referred to as the “humanization of pets10.” 

Pets and Connection

Busy schedules and multi-parent working families have resulted in less time for face-to-face human connection and relationships. For many, social media and online connections have taken the place of real human interaction. However, even with the Internet, there is no substitute for personal contact. Pets provide the connection that people are missing in their lives. 

Pets, particularly dogs, also help widen one’s social circle. They are great conversation starters as people are more likely to start talking to someone who has a dog by his or her side. If you do pet-related activities, such as take your pup to the dog park, you are more likely to meet others who have pets as well.

More pet-Products on The Market 

Many pet-parents might have treated their pets to all the luxuries 20 years ago, had the options been available.  The pet-market just didn’t exist at that time. 

Today, having a pet is like having a child in that one can research everything from the very best doggie daycare to the best memory foam, heated, adjustable pet bed. Pet boutiques, pet spas, pet hotels, and gourmet pet food stores have all become popular among millennials in urban areas11. In short, there are just many more things to buy for pets today.

Clearly, people love their pets. They are our furry companions, best friends, daily doses of cuteness, emotional support, and so much more.

So, go ahead and buy your pet those holiday toys, that new food dish, good winter coat, or whatever it is you’ve had your eye on! Just do your research and make sure it is safe and healthy for Fido or Fluffy before you shell out the cash.

Here at PetFirst1, we know accidents and illnesses can happen to all pets – even during the holidays. PetFirst Pet Insurancecan help cover unexpected vet visits2 and can provide peace of mind. PetFirst Pet Insurance1 has cat and dog insurance policies2 to fit every budget. 

Consider getting pet insurance for your furry friend today.

1PetFirst Healthcare, LLC (“PetFirst Pet Insurance” or “PetFirst”) is the program administrator authorized to offer and administer pet health insurance policies underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company, a Delaware insurance company, with its main office at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, or New Hampshire Insurance Company or The Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania, each with its main administrative office at 500 West Madison Street, Suite 3000 Chicago, IL 60661. For costs, complete details of coverage, and a listing of approved states, please contact PetFirst Healthcare, LLC.

2Like most insurance policies, insurance policies offered by PetFirst Healthcare, LLC contain certain exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force.

6The Dog People: Rover’s 2020 Holiday Shopping Report

7Pet Industry Market Size & Ownership Statistics

10Pet ownership: What costs the most money? 

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