We may have long been a nation of cat and dog lovers, but the extent to which we’re going to incorporate our beloved pets into our everyday lives has now never been more extreme. Some owners are even going as far as having their pets baptised, or including them in their will according to new research.
The study, which has been commissioned by MORE TH>N, reveals in the full the lengths owners are going for their pets.
It has been timed to coincide with the launch of ‘Pet Peeves’ – a new comedy web-series in which a dog and a cat are given their moment in the spotlight to air various light-hearted grievances about their owner. Voiced by stand-up comedian Russell Kane, the videos are designed to encourage owners see things more from their pet’s perspective.
Beyond revealing some of the more common ways we are guilty of pampering our pets, with over half of owners (53%) admitting they let their pet sleep in their own bed, and 63% confessing that they regularly feed them human-food, the study also uncovered some more unusual trends.
Among these findings were that one in five (20%) would consider including their pet in their wedding day. 18% meanwhile confessed they would consider leaving them as a beneficiary in their will, while 7% of those surveyed even admitted they would consider having them baptised.
Owners have even put their pets on social media - 8% have set up a Facebook, Twitter or Instagram page for their dog or cat, with each of these accounts having an average of 177 followers. 59% said their pet has more followers than them on social media, with a third (34%) saying that they post more on their pet’s account than their own.
Celebrating together on special occasions proved to be another instance of the lengths people are going to when it comes to catering to their pet. A whopping 89% of owners said they buy their cat or dog a Christmas present each year, with 12% spending upwards of £50 on the gift.
Almost half (45%) also admitted that they celebrate their pet’s birthday. The most popular ways of doing this included giving them a birthday present (77%), giving them a birthday cake (33%), take the day of the work to spend time with them (9%) and even throwing them a birthday party (8%).
Furthermore, no expense appears to be being spared when it comes to ensuring pets look their finest throughout the year, with 21% of owners spending upwards of £200 on having their dog groomed over a 12-month period.
Premiering online for the first time this week, the ‘Pet Peeves’ web-series features a clever canine and feisty feline - both voiced by Kane – doing stand-up comedy as a means of airing various gripes about their owner. It has been created to help people better understand their pets.
An example of a gag the dog tells includes: “Listen up, I’m all for physical contact. But lingering embraces… they make me uncomfortable. As a general rule, if you’re squeezing your Chihuahua and one of its eyes pops out flies across the lounge, I’ve reckon you’ve just crossed that line.”
The cat meanwhile jokes: “Kids? Who’d have them – not me. But, seriously, when they pull my tail, which is basically my spine, my claws come out. A gentle stroke! Yes please. My vertebrae being yanked out by a five-year-old off his head on sugar. I don’t think so!”
Gail Parker, marketing director at MORE TH>N said: “It’s fair to say that, as a nation, our beloved pets have never played a bigger part in our everyday lives. Above and beyond seeing them as a member of the family, the fact that so many people are going as far to include them in their wills and on their wedding day is testament to how fundamental a part of our lives they’ve become.”
“At the same time however, it’s remains important to appreciate that, however much we love them, they will undoubtedly have their own needs when it comes to the way we treat them, which is our new Pet Peeves video sets out to portray in a fun, tongue-in-cheek way – I’m sure all owners will be able relate, one way or another!”