Dog in Wrapping

Photo by Jakob Owens On Unsplash

NEW YORK — Talk about a holiday snub! Nearly half of Americans (43%) believe that their loved ones are more excited to see their pets this holiday season than they are to see them. 

According to a new survey of 2,000 cat and dog owners, it’s actually a two-way street — as 32 percent admit they’re more excited to see the pets of their friends and family members as well. Twenty percent also believe that their pet enjoys the holiday season more than they do. 

Almost half the poll (48%) 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%), and giving them their own tree (49%) or stocking (47%).

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

brown short coated small dog wearing red shirt
Forty-eight percent of Americans surveyed say they do something special for their pet during the holiday season. (Credit: Photo by Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash)

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,” says spokesperson Heather Mendoza, Ph.D., Nulo’s Director of Research & Development, in a statement.  “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%).

Three in 10 (30%) have a bed for their pet in the dining room so they can be near the table during holiday meals, and 73 percent admit their pet is likely to be underfoot while cooking in the kitchen. This may be because an overwhelming 78 percent of pet owners agree that it doesn’t feel like the holiday season if they aren’t able to spend it with their pet.

“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%,” says Mendoza. “Between more together time, more treats and more spoiling, it’s no surprise that pets love this most wonderful time of the year.”

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).

About Patrisha Antonaros

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  1. Meghaan says:

    I’m happy to see my pets all of the time. I love my two dogs who sleep at the foot of my bed each night. They are each a little over 50 pounds so they are half the weight of my Old English Sheepdogs who passed away at ripe old ages a little over 10 years ago. I still miss them but the dogs I have now are loving and wonderful too. They won my heart before I ever brought them home. And, as far as my cat goes, she is so laid back she could care less. She grew up with the Old English Sheepdogs so if she tires of the dogs company, she camps out in one of her 5 foot, 6 foot or 8 foot cat trees, and at night she usually sleeps in her big comfy bed on my dresser in my bedroom. I love my pets, not as much as I love my sons, but pretty close. LOL

  2. Meghaan says:

    Love my animals!