ANIMAL lovers will spend more on their dogs than their nearest and dearest this Christmas.
The nation’s cuddly companions can expect to be showered with gifts, with owners spending an average of £19.98 on their pets compared to just £14.78 on their best mates.
While dads fared slightly better and can expect to receive an average spend gift of £23.59, a new survey of 2,000 pet owners by www.animalfriends.co.uk, found that only 59% of respondents planned to buy their old man a Christmas present at all – while a whopping 71% planned to surprise their pet.
Topping the gift list for pets are squeaky toys, followed by new collars, stockings and treats.
Over a quarter of pampered pets have their own stocking, 9% have their own Christmas decorations hung up and 13% can count the days until December 25 with their own advent calendar.
But it seems our furry friends aren’t all about receiving, as over 22% of their owners will send out a Christmas card or present, on their pet’s behalf.
And as for festive feasting, over half of dogs can expect to receive some top treats for Christmas dinner, with pigs in blankets hailed the nation’s favourite seasonal snack.
Over a quarter of pets will share their owner’s roast, with owners in Brighton spending a whopping £8.78 per Christmas meal for their dog, while those in Sheffield are most likely to give their pets their normal food on Christmas Day.
Newcastle owners spend more on their pets than their friends – on average £10.28 more on dogs and £8.51 on cats. Belfast and Gloucester followed, spending £9.82 and £6.95 respectively, on their cats than their pals.
Spending the least on their pets were those in Chelmsford, followed by Portsmouth and Leicester.
Westley Pearson, of Animalfriends.co.uk: “It’s great to see so many pet owners getting in the Christmas spirit and sharing this special celebration with their animals.
“But please remember not to kill your pet with kindness this year – certain festive food items such as chocolate, mince pies and Christmas pudding are only intended for human consumption and could make your pet extremely ill, which is the last thing you want over the holiday period.
“It’s important to make sure your pet gets the same level of exercise over the festive period too, particularly if they’ve been eating lots of tasty treats.”
One in ten pets are set to lose out on their usual walk as holiday traditions get in the way over the yuletide period.