Is It Weird to Buy Your Dog a Christmas Present?

Picture of a dog by the Christmas tree

Ah! The joys of the Christmas season! We hear songs on the radio leading up to the big day itself which extol the virtues of chestnuts roasting and winter wonderlands, and our hearts soar with the spirit of Christmas. Choosing the perfect tree to adorn our homes is a simple pleasure, and decorating it once it assumes pride of place is a time-honored family affair. Once the stockings are hung, all of the decorations are in their place, and the first viewing of Christmas Vacation has occurred, it’s time to shop for presents. How exciting it is to leisurely peruse the stores in search of the perfect gift for Mom, Dad, and the kiddies. We even take great joy in picking up a little something for the people in our lives that provide services to us each year such as our hairdressers, mailmen, and sometimes even the lady that always gets our coffee just right at Tim Hortons each morning. Giving to others is a vast part of the true joy of the season. But when you do your shopping, do you pick up a few little odds and ends for Fido to find under the tree on Christmas morning too? Is it weird to buy your dog a Christmas present?

To Buy or Not to Buy, That is the Question!

A recent study conducted by Vetstreet revealed that 96 percent of all dog owners purchase Christmas gifts for their beloved pooches. So if you happen to fall in the category of canine present purchaser, you are in excellent company! Though the cat-loving population seems equally as happy to shell out some bucks for their favorite felines, research shows that dog owners spend 38 percent more money on a gift for Fido than they do for Fifi.

So, we can easily determine that the vast majority of the dog-owning population DOES indeed buy at least one Christmas gift for their dog which tells us one of two things: either it is quite normal, or the world is in peril because 96 percent of its dog-loving inhabitants have taken a ride on the crazy train!  It’s plain to see that pooches will find plenty of presents under the tree this year, but what are the specs on them?

Here is a little examination of the Christmas present choices of owners who buy gifts for their pets:

  • The Cost

Though the price range and number of gifts per pup varies from owner to owner, research shows that 48 percent of the dog Christmas present buying public chooses to spend between $10-$25 on gifts for Fido. 26 percent of dog owners are willing to go up a price bracket to the $26-$50 range, but very few extend their canine gift-giving ways to $100 or more.

  • The Shopping Locale of Choice

With the convenience of one-click ordering from the comfort of your home, you would think the average dog owner would select online shopping over a trip to the mall, especially at this time of year. But the hard facts show that dog owners prefer a mix of the two, and if the balance is swayed in one direction, actual physical stores score higher points than online retailers. What is not known is if dog owners take Fido along to the store with them to help with the Christmas gift selection process.

  • The Present Itself

So, we know the vast majority of the dog Christmas-present buying contingent is spending between $10-$50 on gifts for their pooches, but what we don’t yet know is what they are actually buying. For most dogs, special treats top the list of items mostly likely to be found in a stocking or under a Christmas tree. Toys are hot on their heels with items like beds, novelty clothing, and leashes and collars falling far lower on the list. One thing all dog owners agree on is that gift certificate for future services such as grooming or training classes land at the very bottom of the list. Makes sense…it’s pretty hard for a dog to get all excited about a piece of paper under the tree; especially when that piece of paper offers the promise of a future bath, blow dry, and nail cutting session! That is sure to inspire a “Bah Humbug” rather than the “Merry Christmas!” you were hoping for and is the canine equivalent of receiving a gift certificate to have your legs waxed. Nothing says Noel like a little post-Christmas torture to look forward to!

Other Interesting Facts

Interestingly enough, people who buy gifts for their dogs share many common traits with each other. 66 percent of people who buy gifts for their own dogs also opt to buy presents for dogs who belong to their friends, showing they are an extremely generous group of people.

By comparison, non-pet owners fall a little lower on the scale when it comes to gift-giving for Fido. A whopping 72 percent have a “No Fido gifts allowed” policy. 5 percent always purchase a gift for their friends’ dogs with 23 percent choosing to do it only when the mood strikes. And when these non-dog owners go shopping, what are they most likely to buy? The resounding answer is toys, and Fido heartily agrees that these are always a most appreciated gift.

If you were to ask Fido what he hopes to find under the Christmas tree this year, his answer might surprise you. While our dogs appreciate every little trinket, toy, bauble, or treat given to them in love, the number one thing on Fido’s Christmas list is typically a food puzzle. Who wouldn’t be delighted with an item that includes all of their favorite things in one package? Food, fun, and a chance to use their body and their brain—what could be more fun?

If you find yourself on the hunt for the perfect Christmas gift for the pooch in your life, rest assured you are not alone, and you are not crazy! People with dogs love to go a little nuts at Christmas and buy some special presents for Fido to enjoy. Whether you prefer to shop online or head straight for the nearest mall, you are sure to find some treasures that will make Fido’s Christmas merry and bright! Happy Shopping, dog lovers!



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