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Christmas is a busy time for buying gifts for your pets
With more than 10 million dogs and 9 millions cats residing in the UK, the poll by Cox and Cox (2019) suggests that pet owners are spending £25.00 per pet on Christmas treats and gifts, meaning around 900 million British pounds is spent on the UK’s 51 million total pets over the festive period.
Dogs fare better than other pets with an estimated £29.00 spent whilst exotic pets such as snakes, much less. The research suggests that 75% of the UK’s pet population will receive a pressie.
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Christmas starts with buying Pet Charity Christmas Cards
Charity Christmas cards have been an important part of British festivities since the Victorian times, from the 1840s. With more than 168,000 registered UK charities currently in England and Wales, it provides a huge platform for choice. Needless to say, it’s important to buy charity cards despite the pitiful amount some charities receive from retailers who sell them.
Each year there are dismal newspaper reports monitoring what UK charities actually receive from retailers.
There have been moves by larger retailers in recent years to provide charities with a fixed lump sum donation to the charity, or charities, that their business elected to support that year rather than pay on a percentage basis.
What is currently unquantifiable is the awareness of the pet charity brand name of those receiving the cards, but an important marketing stream.
Cards produce around 300 tonnes of waste according to Recycle Now but still we vote with our pockets to continue posting cards, by about 85% of the UK population. According to Statista just 15% of the UK population would prefer to receive an e-card.
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Pet Gift Cards Vouchers And e-Cards
Millions in the UK will be buying gift cards at Christmas for loved ones and friends to spend on gifts of their choice. The gift card industry has grown to nearly a 7 Billion UK pound industry according to GlobalData and UKGCVA with dedicated gift sites selling retailers cards and coupons for virtually anything including events and experiences, and including pet retailers.
The benefits possibly outweighing the down sides of buying gift cards, coupons and vouchers with smaller businesses in the pet industry preferring to use their budgets and marketing expertise promoting their products, customer service, reviews and ensuring new customers become repeat customers.
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Pet-Friendly Christmas Trees
More than 6 million UK homes decorate their homes with Christmas trees, a tradition that was attributed to Prince Albert during the 1840s which many other Victorian Christmas traditions we still follow today.
Christmas trees are mostly the fir variety which have prickly needles when they drop after being displayed in our centrally homes for several weeks over the festival and can cause pets harm and injury, if trodden on and eaten.
There are some firs such as the Blue Spruce or Nordmann Fir that are renowned for not dropping their needles and are more pet-friendly to use, although most are grown with the use of pesticides which can cause further problems for pets.
Over recent years, there’s been further moves to waste less and buy Christmas trees in pots so they can be kept living and displayed year-after-year, or planted out in the garden after the festivities.
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Pet Christmas Hampers
Hampers for pets are just the present when you really don’t know what to buy.
Derived from the British hamper, bought by millions, usually containing luxury foods and wines – and so why shouldn’t all our pampered pets receive the same!
Another great tradition along with Christmas trees and decorations given to us by the enterprising Victorians from the 1840s onwards.
Numerous retailers large and small like to sell hampers – a collection of pet treats or pet toys or a combination or both – in a smart traditional wicker basket or where price constraints are important in branded smart cardboard boxes.
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Fabulous Pet Crackers
We all like pulling a Christmas cracker, in fact, a staggering 100 million British pounds worth each year. Naturally our beloved pooches and paws now join in the act and have crackers but sold without the ‘snap’ which first appeared back in the 1860s where Tom Smith (Tom Smith .com cracker company) is attributed with its invention.
The best crackers are those that are filled with a robust, non-destructible toy that will keep your pet occupied for days, or nutritionally balanced treats with a taste of Christmas flavours, or both! Crackers start at modest prices but can escalate where there are companies specialising in luxury handcrafted and personalised crackers for your pets.
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Pet-Friendly Christmas Candles
Candles are a beauiful present to give at Christmas but many people do not realise that they may not be as human and pet friendly as you believe. Candles have been made with paraffin wax since Victorian times however there are better alternatives to buy to possibly avoid lung and respiratory problems for recipient and pets ingesting the vapours.
Those candles made with base ingredients such as beeswax, coconut wax, rapeseed wax, sunflower seed wax, vegetable based wax or soy wax tend to better and blended with a selection of essence oils such lavender, peppermint, frankincense, copaiba and petitgrain. To get the full list of do’s and don’t read our blog.
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Buying Your Pet-Friendly Wrap and Ribbons
Kraft paper, brown paper is by far the best pet-friendly wrapping to use crafted from sustainable forests. The paper can be printed on and recycled. There are similar sustainable and recyclable tissue papers that can be used for wrapping presents.
Unfortunately the UK population is expected to give each other and their pets up to 28 presents a year and that’s an awful lot of non-recyclable paper that now finds it’s way into landfill as most is actually lined with a fine coat of plastic.
Ribbon in recent years has done better where there are many companies now selling re-cycled ribbon made generally from old plastic bottles, printed in an array of colours.
However the biggest problems of all is when your pet decides to help you wrap your presents when your back is turned or forage around unexpectantly and perhaps when the Christmas presents are left unattended.
Our blog ‘Choosing Your Pet-Friendly Christmas Wrap And Ribbons’ provides a grisly picture of 3 feet (almost 1 metre) of ribbon being cut out of a cats intestines by the local vet after the cat decided to help themselves. Fortunately the cat is much better after the ordeal but it serves as a reminder as to whether we really need to wrap presents.
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Choosing Your Pet To Eat A Vegan Christmas Lunch
It’s estimated that they may now be up to 2 million vegans living in the UK as we leave 2020 and many vegans want their pets to follow their lifestyles.
This can raise issues when it comes to pet food and especially at Christmas time as to what vegan raised pets can and can’t eat.
Vets are cautious asking vegans to consult with them to ensure pets are not suffering mineral imbalances and that their pet is healthy to follow a vegan lifestyle.
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What’s Our Traditional Christmas Lunch?
British Study Centre provides a list of the most popular 10 foods that we eat at Christmas time festivities. With most households enjoying roast turkey served with brussels sprouts, roast potatoes, parsnips, red cabbage, carrots, ‘pigs in blankets’, redcurrant, jelly, cranberry sauce, a selection of seasoned stuffings and gravy. Variations to this menu can include ham, roast beef and sometimes a salmon fish starter. Some families also enjoy a Yorkshire pudding served with their main course.
With so many new pet owners now estimated at more than 1 million during 2020, it’s important not to give certain foods to pets because it can cause toxicity.
Vets see up to 30% more pet owners with their pets in their A&E clinics over Christmas due to a Christmas related accident and that includes severe food poisoning which can be fatal in some cases.
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