Last updated on November 25th, 2023 at 08:09 pm
Do you, as a devoted dog lover, feel a little embarrassed to admit that you buy your furry friend presents for the holidays? Are you the type to indulge in luxury gifts for your four-legged friend, and not just stick to the run-of-the-mill, everyday dog treats and chews?
Well, rest assured you are certainly not alone! In fact, the majority of dog owners often buy elaborate gifts for their furry for Christmas; Hannukah, and other special occasions. A handful of surveys on this topic, all point to the same conclusion that the majority of dog owners give gifts to their beloved fur babies.
Trends in Luxury and Holiday Gifts
The trend of giving luxury and holiday gifts to dogs, including plush toys and a personalized box of organic treats, has steadily increased. This trend spiked during the COVID pandemic, with families adopting rescue dogs and treating them with items like fun toys, a Versace dog bed, or even a personalized dog bowl, emphasizing their role as beloved family members.
According to Bloomberg, Americans spent a staggering amount over $100 billion on pet expenses in 2020. Retail giants like Walmart, Target, and even Nordstrom are significantly increasing their collection of gifts for pets. The offerings range from luxury dog toys to stylish accessories for the discerning pet parent.
More young people are adopting dogs as part of this trend. And, they have more income to spend on their beloved fur babies. They have more disposable income to spend on pet items such as gifts, clothing, and supplies over basic necessities such as dog food.
Types of Gifts
Pet owners definitely lean toward non-essential, luxury gifts for their dogs during holiday seasons. From a new squeaky toy to a lavish sleeper sofa dog bed and stainless steel dog bowls engraved with the dog’s name, the options are endless.Not only will they give Fido new toys, but he may end up with a new scarf, sweater, or even his own Christmas stocking to hang on the fireplace.
For great gift ideas be sure to see my web page under recommended products–8 Luxury Gifts Your Dog and You Will Love! as well as my recommendations for Dog Toys page for great ideas, including a range of products suited for different sizes, from small dog breeds to the majestic Great Dane.
I was surprised to learn how much dog parents opt to purchase fun things and clothing for their pooches as gifts over basic necessities such as food. The most popular gifts seem to be:
- Dog food puzzles
- Agility toys
- Squeaky toys
- Tennis Ball Launching Devices
- Treat Throwers
- Chew Toys
- Sweaters, scarves
- Special Beds
- New Collars
- Special Treats
- Dishes with engraved names
Surveys of Dog Owner Gift Giving
I was also surprised by the number of people who do buy gifts for their dogs. I found three different surveys about gift buying for pets:
|Source||% of Owners Who Give their Dogs Luxury Holiday Gifts|
|American Pet Products Association (per bloomberg.com)||51 %|
Surveys reveal a high percentage of owners buy luxury holiday gifts for their dogs. From personalized collars to Christmas stockings with the pet’s initials, the array of available gifts is vast. ‘Pets at Home’ even reported selling 70,000 advent calendars for dogs in 2021, indicating the popularity of such festive treats.
Pets Are Family Members Too!
And part of the fun is allowing pets to open their own gifts. Once they get the scent of some tasty new chew toy or bag of treats, they happily rip away the paper to get to it!
Andrea Laurent-Simpson, an SMU Sociologist, in her book “Just Like Family,” highlights the evolving role of pets in our lives. American pet owners, she notes, are transforming the cultural definition of family, with pets being considered as important as children or siblings. This reflects in how we include them in our life decisions and family activities.
She writes, “American pet owners are transforming the cultural definition of family,” Laurent-Simpson says. “Dogs and cats are treated like children, siblings, grandchildren. In fact, the American Veterinary Medical Association found that 85 percent of dog-owners and 76 percent of cat-owners think of their pets as family.”
The Southern Methodist University website phys.org featured her book and noted that Americans increasingly consider their pets when buying homes, making job changes, preparing a budget, and travel plans.
Pet owners love to sign holiday cards with their pet’s name, take them to daycare, and even have doggie play dates! I almost always include my two dogs’ names on texts to my close friends and families. And, I often refer to them as “the girls.” My two dogs are definitely members of my family. So, why not buy them holiday gifts as well?
Go Ahead and Splurge on Your Pet!
There’s no reason to feel guilty about buying your dog a holiday or luxury gift. Dogs have been our companions for centuries, and treating them to special gifts like a luxury bed or a fun interactive toy is a way of celebrating our bond. Including them in your holiday gift checklist, whether it’s a smart bone or a fashionable accessory, is a way to acknowledge their significance in our lives.
So, go ahead and include them on your gift checklist each holiday season as well as on other special occasions, like their birthdays. Celebrating our pets is celebrating our bond with them as part of our family. You will certainly be in the majority if you do!
Deanna Euritt is a dedicated dog enthusiast with over three decades of experience in raising and training a diverse range of dogs, including many rescue pups. Her practical expertise is rooted in real-life experiences, where she has successfully navigated the challenges of nurturing rescue dogs into confident, well-adjusted companions. Residing in Northern California, Deanna’s days are filled with adventures along trails and beaches with her beloved dogs, Charlotte and Georgia. In her writing, she offers insightful, compassionate advice to fellow dog lovers, leveraging her extensive personal journey in the world of dog care and training. See About Us.