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Americans Believe Pets Outshine Them During Holiday Season

Survey reveals 43% think loved ones are more excited to see pets than them; 32% admit being more excited to see others' pets.

Nearly half of Americans (43%) believe that their loved ones are more excited to see their pet this holiday season than they are to see them.

Nearly half of Americans (43%) believe that their loved ones are more excited to see their pet this holiday season than they are to see them. JESSICA LEWIS/PEXELS

According to a new survey of 2,000 cat and dog owners, that’s a two-way street as 32% admit they’re more excited to see a family member or friend’s pet than they are to see them.

In fact, 20% believe that their pet enjoys the holiday season more than they do.

Almost half (48%) of respondents do something special for their pet during the most wonderful time of the year. This includes custom ornaments or decorations (64%), dressing them up in holiday clothing or pajamas (60%) as well as giving them their own tree (49%) and stocking (47%),

Half (49%) also like to give them extra treats, and 45% admit they give their pet more treats at Christmas than any other time of the year.

More than two-thirds (68%) are likely to give their four-legged friend their own special holiday meal.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Nulo, the survey found that more than three-quarters (77%) of pet owners believe that their pet is happier with increased visitors during the holiday season.

Begging for attention (51%), welcoming guests (47%) and playing with a new holiday toy (34%) are some of the top ways respondents can tell if their pet is in the holiday spirit.

Forty-two percent give them gifts for the holidays. Those respondents give an average of three gifts and will spend over $100 total ($106.54).

The most popular gifts include toys (61%), clothing (59%) and treats (56%).

But who’s most likely to spoil their pet? According to the results, their brother comes out on top (37%), followed by their pets’ grand”paw”rents, or the respondents’ father (36%) and mother (34%).

“Healthy treats and special occasion meals are a great way to involve your dog or cat in fun holiday moments – and can add a nutritional boost as a bonus,” said Heather Mendoza, Ph.D., Nulo’s Director of Research & Development.  “It’s wonderful to see that pet owners are already giving their pets special meals that align with their own holiday feasts (30%) or their favorite kind (49%) this season. The holidays offer the opportunity for quality time and memorable experiences with our families, including finding meaningful ways to show extra affection for our incredible pets.”

During the holiday season, pets are spoiled by having their person home with them (60%), going on more walks or adventures (42%) and getting to sleep more (40%).

Pets also partake in traditions such as bringing them along to celebrations at other people’s homes (59%), “opening presents” with the rest of the family (50%) and even going to visit Santa (45%).

Almost one-third (30%) have a bed for their pet in the dining room so they can be near the table during holiday meals, and 73% admit their pet is likely to be underfoot while cooking in the kitchen.

This may be because an overwhelming 78% of pet owners agree that it doesn’t feel like the holiday season if they aren’t able to spend it with their pet.

Nearly half of Americans (43%) believe that their loved ones are more excited to see their pet this holiday season than they are to see them. MAXIMILIANO I PINILLA/PEXELS

“Results showed that 40% of respondents believe Christmas is their pet’s favorite holiday – far ahead of the second favorite (New Year’s Day) at 19%,” said Mendoza. “Between more together time, more treats and more spoiling, it’s no surprise that pets love this most wonderful time of the year. Giving your pet the highest quality treats and meals can make the holiday celebrations extra tasty and nutritious!”

Survey methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 U.S. cat and dog owners was commissioned by Nulo between Nov. 28 and Nov. 29, 2023. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).


Produced in association with SWNS Research

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