Brits set to spend £125m on Christmas gifts for dogs after a ‘ruff’ year

Brits say canine companions have “kept them going” during lockdown and seek to reward their pooches with an extra special Christmas


  • American Express Shop Small research reveals the average dog owner will spend £21 on their pooch over the festive season, treating them to gifts, stockings and even a dog-friendly Christmas dinner
  • One in ten will spend more money on their dogs than on their partner this year
  • In 18% of dog-owning households this year, pups are more likely to don a festive jumper than their owners
  • 37% say they’ll aim to buy gifts from small, independent stores wherever possible

According to new research by American Express Shop Small, dog-owners across Britain are set to spend over £125 million on Christmas gifts and treats for their dogs this year*, which equates to £21 per pooch.

The poll found that 82% of dog owners say their pet “kept them going” during lockdowns this year with a further 72% stating that they wouldn’t have gotten through the last few months without their pup by their side.

To express their gratitude, dog owners are hitting the high street to treat their pet this year, with treats due to be bestowed upon faithful furry friends including presents, Christmas stockings and Christmas jumpers. Over a third (39%) of dog owners will even lovingly prepare a dog-friendly Christmas dinner for their pooch.

In many households, this canine devotion even overrides other loyalties, with over half (56%) saying they’re more likely to buy a Christmas present for their dog than for family members they won’t be seeing this year. Meanwhile one in ten dog owners confess that they plan on spending more on their dog’s Christmas gift than their partner’s.

When it comes to sourcing these gifts, only the best will do for man’s best friend. Almost half (49%) said the quality of the gifts they buy for their dog matters greatly to them, and 37% will aim to buy from small, independent stores wherever possible.

The nation’s canines are also set to look suitably dashing this festive season, with 18% of owners admitting that their dog is more likely to wear a Christmas jumper than they are.

One independent shop that has benefitted from the boom in gifting Christmas presents to our dogs is Woofs A Daisy, based in Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey. The store sells a range of high-quality pet products, including a wide range of natural foods, many of which are sourced from trusted local suppliers.

Jane Higgin, owner of Woofs A Daisy, said: “As an independent business owner and huge dog lover myself, it’s fantastic to see that the nation is continuing to treat their pets and are shopping small to do so. This year has been like no other, and there’s something encouraging about knowing people are still spoiling their pooches to bring a bit of festive cheer.

“As an essential retailer we’ve been fortunate enough to remain open during the second national lockdown, and seeing our loyal customers (and their furry friends) throughout the year has been a source of comfort. We’ve built a very loyal customer base in our local area and we’re so happy we have been able to continue providing the products and services they love.”

American Express is encouraging shoppers across the nation to support their local small businesses like Woofs A Daisy through its Shop Small Offer, which gives Cardmembers £5 back when they spend £10 in participating businesses.

Lucie Moseley, Vice President at American Express, said: “This year has not been easy for anyone, and small, independent businesses, that play such an important role in our local communities, have been hit harder than most. We’re running our Shop Small campaign again to continue to support these businesses when they need it most.  Whether you’re seeking a truly unique gift to spoil loved ones – canine or otherwise – or even a little indulgence for yourself, our local high streets have so much to offer and we hope that people will discover and visit them – not only this Christmas, but into the new year and beyond.”

Research conducted by Censuswide with 2045 dog owners between  02.12.20 to 07.12.20. Censuswide abides by and employ members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles

*Total dog population based on PFMA Pet Population report which showed there were 9 million dogs in Britain in 2020. Calculation based on 66% of dog owners saying that they will buy their dog a Christmas present this year. Of those who are buying their dog a Christmas present, the average spend is £21.09, equating to a total of £125,274,600

£1.1 billion figure for national spending calculated using ONS estimation of the UK adult population.


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