Sweet lab puppy sleeping on wrapped gift

Do You Buy Luxury Gifts for Your Dogs? You are Not Alone!

Do you feel a little embarrassed to admit that you buy your dog presents for the holidays? Even more, do you indulge in luxury gifts for your dogs, and not just 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.

The trend for giving luxury and holiday gifts to dogs has steadily increased over the past several years This trend spiked even more during the COVID pandemic as families spent more time at home and less time commuting and working. They suddenly had the time to adopt and raise a pet. And, their new canine pals offered comfort and companionship during the isolation of social distancing. Adoption of pets spiked drastically which was good news for mutts who had been living in shelters.

Alongside the adoption trends, annual spending trends for pets have increased as well. According to Bloomberg.com, Americans spend more than $100 billion on pet expenses in 2020. In 2021, pet stores as well as non-pet stores like Walmart, Target, and even Nordstrums are significantly increasing their offering of pet gifts and supplies.

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. 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–9 Luxury Gifts Your Dog and You Will Love! as well as my recommendations for Dog Toys.

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
  • Balls
  • Tennis Ball Launching Devices
  • Treat Throwers
  • Chew Toys
  • Sweaters, scarves
  • Blankets
  • 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 %
http://www.vetstreet.com/96%
https://www.rover.com/blog/holiday-shopping-report/89%
American Owners Who Give Their Dogs Gifts

Each survey included a different size sample and scope, but you can see that buying pet gifts in America is quite popular! And since pets are considered part of the family, some pets are getting people-type gifts for the holidays. Dogs get clothing with their name on it as well as personalized collars, bowls, and Christmas stockings. Pets at Home reported selling 70,000 advent calendars for dogs in 2021!

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!

Pets Are Family Members Too!

“American pet owners are transforming the cultural definition of family,” aurent-Simpson says. ” Dogs and cats are treated like children, siblings, grandchildren. “

Andrea Laurent-Simpson, SMU Sociologist

Something that pet owners have known for a long time is now being confirmed by a sociologist. SMU sociologist Andrea Laurent-Simpson has written a book entitled, “Just Like Family: How Companion Animals Joined the Household” (New York University Press: 2021) in which she discusses the multi-species family. Families now include pets as important members. She believes this trend is here to stay.

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 is no reason to feel guilty or embarrassed about buying your dog a holiday or luxury dog gift. Everyone is doing it. And, humans have co-habitated with dogs for centuries. Dogs have been bred to live with us, work with us and for us, and to be our companions throughout life. They are welcomed members of our family and have an important place within our household.

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!

Scroll to Top