A study of family spending in the UK by the Office for National Statistics has revealed that household spending has increased and is now back to pre-recession levels. The average amount of money spent weekly by a household has risen from £533 to £554.20 with the biggest increases being on transport and recreation.
But when you break these figures down into age categories, it’s clear that the over-65s are leading the way when it comes to pampering their pets. The report found that people under 30 are spending almost half the amount of money per week on recreation and culture as those aged between 65-74. The statisticians involved in the survey said that pets, pet food and package holidays were the most popular purchases with over-65s spending around one-fifth of their disposable income within the recreation category.
It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that we are more willing to spend money on our pets these days. A 2013 study undertaken by Ancestry.co.uk revealed that 90% of pet owners consider their four-legged friends to be part of the family, with one in six seeing their pet to be more important than their cousin. And as we wrote a few weeks ago, a survey carried out by OnePoll uncovered that more than a third of owners prefer their pets to their partners. Another recent survey by insurers Animal Friends showed that pet owners are willing to spend more money on a Christmas gift for their pet than for their friends.
Opinium recently carried out research on behalf of Asda Pet Insurance which revealed that pet owners in the UK are spending somewhere in the region of £11.6 billion every year on activities, food and gifts for their cats and dogs. Unsurprisingly, the biggest spend was on vet bills at a cost of £150 per year. However, other significant expenditures were more recreational with £43 a year being spent on grooming and £41 a year being spent on holidays.
Considering the facts and figures from recent surveys, it wouldn’t be surprising if spending on our pets continued to increase in the coming years.