Four out of five pet owners are happy to be home for the holidays with their pet, noting that their animal friend makes all vacations better (81%), according to new research.
A survey of 2,000 pet owners found that as we near the start of seasonal festivities and celebrations, new research finds that families and individuals with pets focus more on their animal companions during this time of year.
39 percent of pet owners always get something to do for the holidays, and most said they have the most time to spend quality time with their pets during the holiday season compared to other times of the year (51%).
To get their pet in the holiday mood, pet parents are looking to spend an average of $50 on their pet’s holiday gift this year. But many would be open to going over that amount (41%) to delight their pets with new pet toys (74%), treats (73%) and clothes (29%).
Others get their pets into the holiday spirit by feeding them more treats (54%), feeding them human food (30%) and taking them out more (31%).
Made by OnePoll for Pet life insurancethe survey found that more than a third of respondents had given a pet to a family member or friend (35%), and 38% of respondents who had children had given their children a pet as a holiday gift.
Half of parents said it was their child who asked for a pet as a holiday gift (51%), and went to lengths such as asking multiple times (58%) or trying to prove their responsibility (50%). A fifth of parents said their children gave a presentation on why pets are a good addition to their family (21%).
“There are many things that people may not immediately think about when they adopt or introduce a pet this holiday season,” Brian Jorgensen, president of pet insurance at MetLife, SWNS and Talker News, tells SELF. “Considering short- and long-term responsibilities such as your pet’s safety and health from the start can ensure that all memories with your furry family members—through the holidays and beyond—are happy ones.”
Nearly a quarter of parents who got their pets after having kids said they were more excited than their children (23%), but 48% were just as excited.
Furthermore, the months leading up to the holidays may also be key to adopting a pet, with one in six saying fall is the best season to do so.
This may be because 41% of the participants needed to spend up to a week at home trying to get their pets acclimated to their new environment.
Whether or not the pet is a new addition to the family, the survey revealed that pet parents have a lot to keep in mind as they care for their animal companions during the holiday season and beyond.
The survey found that pet owners would be reluctant to leave their pets behind during the holidays, especially since nearly a third of them have spent the holiday season away from their pets in the past (31%).
These respondents stated that when preparing to leave, they worried about feeding their pet adequately/on time (55%), finding somewhere their pet would be happy (46%) and providing their pet caretaker with all necessities (46%).
Most pet owners also spent at least a week researching the nature of their pet ownership (55%) and considered other parts of the decision-making process such as the size of the pet (56%), costs such as food or insurance (53%) and the type/breed of the animal pets (53%).
To prepare their home, pet owners purchased appropriate pet furniture such as a bed or dressers (47%) and secured their homes by blocking small spaces and securing electrical cables (36%).
As pet parents consider the long-term responsibilities of caring for their pets, many are concerned about their pets’ movement (42%), sight/hearing problems (35%) or arthritis (32%) as they age.
“The holidays are a special time to make memories with your loved ones — including your pets,” said Jorgensen. “Many people are considering adding an animal to their family during this time, and with proper consideration, this can make for a really happy holiday season.”
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