The UK is renowned as a nation of animal lovers, with half of all British adults having a furry, scaly or feathery friend at home. Owning a pet comes with essential costs – food, insurance, vet bills etc – but that doesn’t stop many of us from splashing out a little extra on them.
But where to draw the line? Using recent data, we’ll see if Brits go overboard when pampering their pets.
It was found that pet owners in Britain collectively spend £180million per month on their special friends, working out a £1,498 per year per pet!
The spread of spending is not quite equal across the board – some animals command more money to keep healthy, while owners in different parts of the country seem willing to part with different levels of cash when it comes to their pets.
For example, horses understandably require a greater average spend each month – around £280! – while small dogs generally have £60 spent on them. While just 1% of the population owns a horse, nearly a fifth of all the UK’s pet owners (19%) have a small pooch at home.
Large dogs (£106) and medium dogs (£87) understandably have more spent on them per month than smaller breeds. If you’ve ever seen a rottweiler at dinner time, it won’t be hard to imagine where the extra money goes!
It seems our pets are treated to different levels of luxury depending on where we live in the country as well as how old we are.
Animals in Sheffield (£32 per month), Cardiff (£39) and Leeds (£40) must listen with envy as they hear tall tales about the monthly spend afforded to other pets that live in Bristol and London, where four-legged friends have just shy of £100 spent on them every month!
It seems that older pet owners aren’t as keen to spoil their special friends as their younger counterparts. Those aged 25-42 spend just under £125 per month on average on their pets, while the 65 and overs stick to just £35 per month – perhaps as they are most likely to own a cat or medium-sized dog.
How Much is Too Much?
Ultimately, it’s up to each individual owner what they spend on their pets – provided proper financial considerations are in place.
When compared to the average UK salary of £30,420 – which works out at £585 per week – maybe £30 of that being spent on a furry friend doesn’t sound too far-fetched after all.
What’s your monthly limit on treating your pets?
10 ways to Pamper Your Dog on a Budget
Have you ever felt bad for not pampering your pet because of money constraints? There is no need to worry anymore because we will tell you all about how to take better care of your dogs and your wallets will not get any lighter in the process. Census says that Americans, in general, spend about $3 billion each year on their pets, excluding health services. This is the money Americans spend just to give their pets everything to make them feel special. However, some people might not have that much cash lying around to give their precious pooches the luxury and pampering they truly deserve. If you are one of them then, this is the place for you to be. Here are the 10 ways to coddle your dog.
1. Homemade Meals
One of the best ways to make your dog feel like it is a part of your life is to cook for him. Keep him alongside you and fix it a homemade meal, instead of the commercial market dog food. In this way it way cheaper and you get to spend some time with your pet. Show him what you are making and make him excited about the meal.
You could also get them some fancy plates or dog bowls to make the mealtime more fun. Dog bowls are not that expensive and if you consider it as an investment rather than a purchase and consider how happy it will make your four-legged friend to eat out of his awesome bowl, then the money wouldn’t feel like a burden at all. While cooking, however, just remember to avoid certain ingredients that are harmful to the dog or something your dog might be allergic too. There are many recipes on the internet that can help you out.
I have to admit some dogs are not big fans of taking a bath or being groomed, however, if you make it fun you can make your dog do it. Pampering shouldn’t necessarily mean just buying things for your pet. As an owner, you should understand the specific and unique needs your pets might have and try to fulfill them even if they give you a tough time for it. And usually, when it comes to dogs, they can be annoyed during the grooming process but once they are done they feel super refreshed and energized.
Try to make the baths as innovative and relaxing as possible. In addition to scrubbing, make small strong circles all over their body while getting the soap on so that it feels more like a massage than torture. Reward your dog with treats and cuddles once they have sat through the bath like a good boy. Keeping your dog clean isn’t just pampering him but also looking after his health.
You should also try to clean up after them and their area. This just ensures that they stay cleaner for longer. Clean the paper, their litter, sleeping rugs, play area, water bowls, toys, and whatever they might own. The effort you make to do this will be recognized when your pets see other dogs and feel different.
There is no doubt that more family pets just love to be around people, and you are his favorite person in the entire world. So if it would crave anybody’s touch or cuddles it would be yours. So cuddle a lot with your mutt. You don’t need to learn massaging techniques to do so. Just do the best you can and if you are still unsure then check out some videos online.
Make a “petting” session with your floppy-eared friend and make sure it is long. Pay attention to your dog’s body language and find out the areas where massaging makes it more relaxed. Once you feel that your dog is just laying on your lap all relaxing and droopy than you know you have succeeded. There is nothing better than a nice long massage session with your favorite person in the world for the dogs.
4. Teach a New Trick
One of the main reasons why most dogs are always eager to learn something new is because during that time he has your complete attention and there is nothing that a dog is fonder of then its master’s undivided affection and attention. Learning something new is not only just coddling your baby when a dog learns something new it gives him confidence and stimulates its brain. When you think of the fun time you will have with your pet, it doesn’t seem like so much work a lot.
You can start by making sure that your darling dog is getting its regular exercise. Be with him and make sure he isn’t lazy-ing around. You can also start by teaching your dog the basics commands like sit, jump, stand, fetch, etc. if you still have time and energy left for your dog then try some athletic or agility training like herding, swimming, dock diving and anything that your dog breed is specialized in.
5. Homemade Snacks
One thing most dogs have in common is that they love to eat and will eat anything that their teeth can chew. So a dog treat doesn’t necessarily have to be some out of the ordinary or delicious or extravagant. It could be pieces of meat or cooked vegetables like carrots and beans. Your adored dog will love anything that’s going to its mouth as long as its master gives it to him with affection and warmth.
You can easily bake some dog treats and store them so every day uses too. You just have to make sure you don’t use ingredients that might be harmful to our canine companion, like onions. However, you must remember that a dog should get its nutrition from his meals, not snacks. So giving snacks of a big amount or too frequently can lead up to health issues for the dog. Not to mention that he will lose the idea of snacks being a reward for being a good boy. So you must be cautious and remind yourself not to go overboard.
6. Go on an Outing, Walk or Car Ride
To matter how lazy your dog is they are always up to go outside. You can take them to the local park or playground where your canine buddy can socialize, make new friends, and stretch its legs. Something as simple as taking a walk around your neighborhood or going on a slow car ride can cheer up dogs to a level you can’t imagine. It can pick up new smells and sounds around the town, see some new sights and spend some one on one quality time with their favorite person in the world.
Regular walks help improve your pet’s mental and physical health. Being in crowds can help pups get rid of social anxiety and reach the best of their personality. You and your buddy can make it an adventure every time you step out of the house. If you take some homemade treats and snacks then it can even be a picnic. Regular outings also help dogs to get to know the surroundings which help develop their behavior, comfort, and trust with you. Also, it’s safe for your dog to know its way around the neighborhood and the people in it so that it can get help if it gets lost.
7. Give Them Their Own Space
It doesn’t matter if you are a human or a dog or any other animal, it’s the animal instincts and bodily needs to want to take some rest during the day. If you build your pooch a space that is just for him, he is bound to feel special. You don’t need much, just some cozy warm blankets with the food and water bowls and toys in a corner of the house where he can retire in his leisure time. That ought to do it.
It’s important because dogs, just like humans, sometimes can feel threatened or scared. It could be you or somebody new in the house. They need to know they have their place to gather themselves. Pets do need a place where they can just be themselves without the pressure of pleasing their owners and loved ones. So a place where it can lay down, take a nap, or stretch is of the utmost importance when it comes to mollycoddling your pet.
8. Homemade DIY Toys
Taking up some time and energy to make the perfect toy for your pooch is one of the sweetest things you can do for it. And I can assure you it will be one of its cherished earthly possessions. Not only your pooch stay busy with the toy and gives you time to get around the household chores, but you are also deepening the bond that you two share without even actually being with him. And if you play with them with the toys you made for them then playtime will be the time they will look forward to all day.
It doesn’t have to be something complicated or sophisticated. Dogs who loved to fetch, find them a stick or a squeaky ball. You can tie up knots for your dogs and they will spend hours trying to untangle them. You can make a Frisbee with an old pair of jeans. There are so many ideas and methods to make such things online. Just pick the one that you think your canine companion will enjoy the most and follow the steps.
9. Fun Playtime
Can you name one dog who doesn’t like to play? You can’t and playing with their favorite people is what they keep on waiting for all day. Instead of the usual games try introducing some new ones like hiding and seek or treasure hunt. Dogs that love to swim, teach them to race you. And give them rewards for winning. Instead of a game of fetch in the park, take your buddy to hike nearby.
As you expand the number of activities you will see the mental growth within your pet. It will become smarter and more eager to do other things, which indicates the good mental and physical health of your pet. Not to mention they will be the happiest spending so much time with their two-legged friend.
10. Arts and Crafts
Take an afternoon to make some homemade crafts with your chum. Doing something different would surely make them more interested and active. Whip up a batch of salt dough and make a plate with the dog’s paw print. Or dip their paws in non-toxic paint and make them walk on a canvas. You can even dress them up in different costumes and take pictures to create a photo album. Not only will it be fun, but it will also be something you can keep for a long time, something to remember them by even when they are gone.
If you thought to pamper your pet was going to be expensive then this write-up is ought to change your mind. There is a couple of things you should keep in mind, however. You must know the difference between pampering and spoiling your pet. If you do too much pampering, your dog will get used to that. Given our busy lives, it’s unlikely that you will be able to keep up such coddling. This could result in bad behavior, temperament, and health in your pet, which is harmful not only for your pets but for your family as well. Finding a way to keep a balance is essential here.
Given that pampering your dog can be super fun and a wonderful way to show him how much you care and love him. As it is quite evident in the passage above that the thing the dogs crave the most is its owner’s time and affection. You give them some quality time and your love, and that will be the best pampering for your four-legged buddy.