/ Home & Energy

Party time! Will your pet be drinking Pawsecco tonight?

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

Loading ... Loading ...
Comments
Member

How about a nice drop of Pawsecco?
Such presents appear to render dogs legless.
Spending £18 billion a year pampering two brands of pet animals is an interesting choice when we deprive our needy elderly people of proper care, but we are free to spend our money as we wish. Perhaps an extra tax on pet products might redress the balance?

Member

I thought the total spend on pet products was around £20 billion, but if £18 billion is just the amount spent on cats and dogs that is a significant under-estimate. When you add in horses, cage birds, fish, reptiles, rabbits and rodents, etc, it would probably exceed £25 billion. Austerity clearly isn’t working.

A tax on dog food is obviously necessary to compensate the public authorities for cleaning up behind them [and it’s not just the solid deposits – just look at the base of many street lighting columns where corrosion is attacking the metal].

I am not in favour of putting higher taxes on other pet foods as, properly looked after, other animals are not a nuisance. Some people are also spending money on their pussy cats and budgies that they can ill-afford, and it would be wrong to put them in even greater hardship. At least the government gets 20% VAT from pet product sales and the manufacturers have to pay corporation tax; there is probably negligible tax evasion in this market.

It does appear from idle observation that there are a lot more miniature pets around nowadays which possibly encourage pampering with their cute and winsome expressions and appealing forms, and I question whether it is fair – or philosophically acceptable – for owners to transfer their own soppiness to their pet with fussy fashions, bows and ribbons, and silly hats. Have they no respect? Owners probably say they get so much love back in return [they must believe they’re psychic and think we’ll fall for that]. Most pets love whomsoever feeds them best – we used to call it cupboard love.

Member

Like these poor dogs John?

Member

I daren’t comment…

Member

Alfa – I can’t believe anyone would do that! Is that their way of showing their affection towards a living creature? Why don’t they get a stuffed toy animal to dress up? There’s not much of the actual dogs left to see in these atrocious outfits.

I can’t stand seeing animals made to perform unnaturally for their owners; one of my relatives makes her cat stand up on its hind legs and ‘beg’ for its mixture of fish heads and horse-flesh but at least she doesn’t insult it by making it wear a party frock, frilly knickers and ankle warmers. It seems it’s mainly dogs that get that treatment – perhaps owners do have slightly more respect for felines.

Member

It’s part and parcel of the bizarre personality of some owners, where they also choose dogs whose evolution has been controlled for the owners’ pleasures, rather than the health of the animal. Not a year goes by without some comments from very experienced Vets who unequivocally condemn breeders and their appalling behaviour with some dogs.

Member

I agree. Some breeders are inhumane in my opinion but the animal welfare organisations don’t seem to do much about it.

At the risk of being controversial [as if!] I think some ‘animal lovers’, even on the welfare and protection side, are complete crackpots.

On the one hand we have some farmers who think animals are there to be prodded, slapped, and hit with a stick and on the other hand we have the sentimentally potty people who think animals are ornamental playthings to be kissed and molly-coddled and put in ridiculous clothes; they invest them with human characteristics – except dignity, of course.

Member

We have a lot to do with farmers up here, and without exception they treat their animals extremely well. We were visiting one farmer friend, and he told us that it’s not in the interests of farmers to treat their animals badly in any way, since it only stresses the animals which ends up costing money. Besides which, treating a one ton bull badly has its own rewards (!) but we do have a favourite Welsh Black bull who’s the most gentle and docile creature you can imagine. His wives are far more unpredictable, and, of course, he could easily fracture your foot accidentally.

Member

Cats suffer the same treatment…….

Member

I am disgusted. The owners should be taken out and . . .

Member

Walks in…. walks out…

Member
emily says:
31 December 2017

my dog loves pawsceso and beer