A new survey has revealed that a third of people in the UK would rather spend Christmas with their pets than with their family. This news probably doesn’t come as a great surprise to any pet owner!
Christmas is supposed to be the season of goodwill but often doesn’t work out that way! Cooks suffer the stress of preparing meals for guests and satisfying the various tastes of family and friends. Arguments over what to watch on the TV are common and there is always someone who feels the need to play a game that nobody else has the slightest interest in!
Pets Just Go with the Flow
On the other hand, pets tend to be happy just to spend time with their owners and certainly won’t complain about watching the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special or a quick game of Trivial Pursuit.
Pets and Christmas Presents
The survey also revealed that half of all pet owners will be buying their furry or feathered friend a Christmas present this year – and why not? Most will ensure that those gifts are wrapped. Speaking as someone who recently wrapped a birthday gift for a friend’s dog and even added a posh ribbon, I can understand the temptation to go a little overboard.
The average spend on a pet’s Christmas present is £20 but 3% of pet owners will spend more than £50. Some owners spend more on their animals than on their aunts, uncles, siblings or mother-in-law. Nothing wrong with that! The pets are probably more grateful for what they get anyway!
13% of pet owners will even give their family gifts on behalf of their pets!
But the excesses of pet owners have prompted pet charity Blue Cross to warn people about the potential dangers of Christmas. Over a third of owners intend to treat their animals to some of the turkey roast and almost one in ten will give them special foodie treats. We have outlined the dangers lurking in Christmas food elsewhere on this blog. Suffice it to say that chocolate, mince pies and Christmas pudding should not be given to pets. You have to watch out for onion gravy too.
Pets and Obesity
Happily, one day of over-indulgence is unlikely to result in obesity. Nonetheless, Christmas excesses are symptomatic of a wider trend for increasingly hefty pets. More than half of the dogs in the UK are overweight. Those extra treats and oversized portions soon start to cause health issues. A massive helping of turkey and all the trimmings certainly won’t help and as for sausage rolls – don’t go there!
Christmas should be a wonderful time for the whole family including our pets. Unfortunately, it isn’t always possible to take your pet with you if you aren’t eating your Christmas dinner at home. This situation can represent a major dilemma for animal lovers who want to please both their families and their animals. But we all know that it is impossible to please all of the people, or all of the animals, all of the time.