The shops went crazy for pet presents this Christmas. Are special pet drinks a fun way for them to join in with tonight’s New Year’s celebrations or is it just a load of flat fizz?
It’s New Year’s Eve so no doubt you’ll be turning your attention to a celebratory tipple or two. What to choose this year? How about a nice drop of Pawsecco or a mellow Pinot Meow?
Oh no, hold on… these aren’t for us humans to drink – they’re designed for our pets. I’ll say that again. PETS.
Bombarded by pet products
While our animals used to be content with a new stuffed mouse or a few dog treats, a whole new world of products is opening up to pampered pets this year. As well as alcohol-free pet prosecco and wine, you can also treat your furry friends with a dog ‘beer’ called Bottom Sniffer and a meat-flavoured one called Snuffle.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a pet owner and I love my cat to bits. She’s had some extra treats during the festive period – we’ve overindulged so why shouldn’t she? She even had a present under the Christmas tree. But to me, a pack of nice treats or a little toy is plenty – after all, she clearly has no idea what is going on and can’t even open the wrapping.
But this year I’ve been confronted by festive pet products at every turn. I’ve seen advent calendars for dogs, cat stockings and even a dog cologne made by Barbour. Apparently, Tesco expanded its Christmas gifts for pets range from 12 items last year to 50 this year.
Growing pet market
It’s easy to see why marketeers are jumping on the pet bandwagon. According to a 2015 Mintel report, over a quarter of pet owners admitted they like to pamper their pets, with one in five splurging £20 a month on outfits for their dog or cat.
The 2016 PFMA annual report said there are 8.5 million dogs and 7.5 million cats in the UK, and Mintel says the UK spends over £10bn a year on their dogs and £8bn on cats. That’s a huge market.
Animals are pretty simple creatures – they require a few basics: food, warmth, exercise and attention – and providing those things are ticked off then they’re content. So why bother with all the trimmings? To me, it feels like this whole industry is less about the animals and all about the owners.
This quote from Ina Mitskavets at Mintel, sums up my thoughts pretty well:
“The bond between a pet and their owner is starting to resemble very closely that between a parent and a child. Such shifting attitudes pave the way for new industries to develop and grow around pet doting and pampering, as pet parents seek to demonstrate how dedicated they are to their non-human companions.”
Surely the likes of Pawsecco and designer dog cologne is just feeding our desire to spend more money on stuff we really don’t need. I’ll be cracking open a bottle of prosecco to see in the new year tonight, but I’m afraid my cat is going to have to make do with water. OK, maybe a bit of cat milk if she’s lucky…
Do you have pets? Do you eagerly await the next development in pet products so you can buy them for your furry friends?
How much have you pampered your pet this Christmas?
Just a little present and/or a few treats (50%, 1 Votes)
Not at all (50%, 1 Votes)
They've had lots of presents and extra treats, just like us (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 2