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70% of Dog and Cat Owners Pamper Their Pets During the Holidays, Study Suggests

Most are buying special gifts or treats.

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ROCKVILLE, MD  Pet owners unable to socialize with friends and family have turned to their pets even more than usual for companionship and comfort. The deeper bonds they’ve developed make them more likely to spend generously on home-based pet health, recreation, and pampering. It’s a trend that bodes well for the Christmas/winter holiday season, according to market research firm Packaged Facts.

For example, Packaged Facts found that a good indication of the prevalence of holiday pet pampering is that a substantial majority of dog owners (77 percent) and cat owners (71 percent) get special gifts or treats for their pets during the Christmas/winter holiday season.

“As pet owners cling to their furry family members more tightly than ever during the crisis, their tendency to downsize economically could be partially offset by a desire to pamper, interact with, and keep the ‘kiddies’ busy while the parents are working from home and celebrating the December holidays, as well as to purchase better quality and more fashionable products designed both to be highly functional and to complement the home décor,” says David Sprinkle, research director for Packaged Facts.

The pet pampering trend is part of the overarching “pets as family” phenomenon that has shaped the U.S. pet market over the past decade. Most marketers and retailers have entrenched “pets as family” into their marketing, product development and even product names

Year after year, surveys of pet owners confirm that the “pets as family” trend remains in full force. Packaged Facts survey data show 95 percent of dog owners, 94 percent of cat owners, and 85 percent of other pet owners agree that “I consider my pets to be part of the family”— and this was even before the coronavirus pandemic had consumers retreating to their homes, and to the companionship and comfort they can find there, notes Sprinkle.

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