One in three cat or dog owners prepared to spend more on pampering their pets than themselves
– Nearly a third of 2,000 cat and dog owners surveyed say they are prepared to spend more money on, and worry more about, their animal’s health and well-being than their own
– On average this could equate to £8,000 for a cat and nearly £7,000 for a dog over their lifetime
The old adage ‘it’s a dog’s life’ has arguably never been truer than it is today. A new study of 2,000 British cat and dog owners by Pet Insurance from John Lewis Finance reveals nearly a third (31%) of those surveyed admit they are prepared to spend more money on their pet’s health and well-being than their own.
On average, respondents say they spend £576.72 a year on health and well-being , which could include exercise classes or activities, toys and treats, specialist nutrition, grooming, vet visits and insurance. Over the average lifetime of a cat and a dog this could equate to £8,074.08 and £6,920.64 respectively.
In addition to choosing to spend more on their favourite four-legged friend than themselves, nearly a third (31%) say their dog or cat’s health and well-being is of greater concern to them than their own. This rises to 36% among millennials (aged 18 – 34), with this generation also having the highest proportion of respondents who say they are prepared to spend more ensuring their pet is fit and healthy than on their own well-being (38%).
The findings also reveal that younger pet owners like to take a more varied approach to maintaining the health and well-being of their dog and cat, including doing yoga together. This activity is particularly popular among respondents aged between 25 and 34, who are nearly three times more likely to do yoga with their cat or dog than pet owners surveyed as a whole (11% compared to just 4%). Other activities that people of all ages enjoy doing together with their furry friend include jogging, cycling and swimming.
The most common ‘human style’ treats that Brits like to provide for their pets include buying them a cuddly toy (63%), making them a special meal on their birthday or at Christmas (38%) and leaving the TV or music on when they go out (36%). One in 10 (10%) said they even choose to pay for pampering treatments such as pet massages.
Leaving the TV on or playing music for their pet is particularly popular among people in the North East of England, where nearly half (49%) of respondents said they do this when going out. More than four in ten (43%) of those surveyed in the East Midlands say they prepare a culinary treat for their cat or dog on their birthday or at Christmas, while people in the West Midlands are the most likely of all the UK regions to fork out on pampering treatments for their favourite canine or feline friend, as selected by 14% of pet owners in the region.
John Brady, Head of Banking and Insurance, John Lewis Finance, said of the findings: “There is no doubt that we are a nation of animal lovers and it’s heart-warming to see the many ways in which Britons care for their pets. The pet health and well-being industry has grown exponentially in recent years and this has been supported by the willingness and selflessness of pet owners to ensure their pets are fit and healthy. An important part of this is ensuring pets are covered in case they require treatment for either a one-off mishap or for a more prolonged medical condition. The peace of mind that their health and happiness is protected throughout their lifetime is invaluable to many pet owners in Britain.”
Andrew Moore, Veterinary Consultant, added: “There are plenty of ways that pet owners can help with their pets’ wellbeing. This includes ensuring they get regular exercise and play time, and appropriate amounts of good quality food. Regular grooming and visits to the vet for check-ups and vaccinations are also of the utmost importance. Finally, last – but most definitely not least – lots of love and attention will go a long way to keeping your pet happy.”
 OnePoll research based on a sample of 2,000 dog and cat owners in the UK (30 June 2017 – 5 July 2017).
 Respondents were asked in relation to their oldest dog or cat.
 Longevity and mortality of owned dogs in England O’Neill, D G and Church, D B and McGreevy, P D and Thomson, P C and Brodbelt, D C (2013) Longevity and mortality of owned dogs in England. VETERINARY JOURNAL, 198 (3). pp. 638-643.