Humanisation of our Pets
Over lockdown, the British population has turned to pets for comfort. In fact there are 3.2m new pet owners. Of that 59% have been under the age of 35 years old and it has been predicted that by 2025, 1 in 3 pet owners will be millennials. 51% of the UK dog population weighs less than 10kg, with the most popular breeds being Yorkshire Terriers, Mini-Dachshunds and Chihuahuas.
In 2020, the Petcare market was £2.9bn in the UK. In comparison the UK baby & toddler market was £920m.
An interesting emerging statistic is that pet owners spend 26% more when they shop then non-pet owners. People spoil their pets just like you would a child. Children and pets are both bought ‘treats’ and are pampered with gifts.
Dogs & Cats are people’s children
There are strong everyday correlations between children and pets:
- Take your dog to the groomer and your child to the barber. Sniffe & Likkit are purveyors of fine pet care. A fantastic brand with dog gifts and grooming treats. Perfect gifts for your dog as well as gifts for your fellow pet owning friends. Biscuit, a beagle/basset and the Co-Founder of Pets Lets, loves the Paw Balm and The Give A Dog Cologne.
For a hound, that is quite something as she does not normally like pleasant smells! Sniffe & Likkit are a prime example of the rise of upmarket pet brands. This proves the point of how much people are spending on their pets. Pet owners are demanding more than ‘bog standard’ products for their cats and dogs.
- You see a growing number of dog ‘boutiques’ just like children clothes ‘boutiques’.
- There has been an increase in organic/ healthy dog & cat foods just like toddler foods.
- Just like there are child activities and babysitters, there are dog sitters, dog walkers and dog boarding homes when you are away from home.
- Go shopping for your dog or child. There are shops full of the latest pet and child accessories and toys. People cycle with their dogs just like a baby seat.
- When you go abroad, people will arrange a pet passport just like you would apply for a child’s passport.
- With many when they meet up with friends, the dog is doted on just like a child.
- The Dogs Trust slogan of a A Dog is for life mirrors that of a child. It is a big decision and not to be taken lightly. Both children and dogs are given up for adoption when people cannot cope.
- Having a dog in particular, is like having another child. Your children go to school and then your dog comes over to you and literally says ‘what about me’. I need a walk.
- With Millennials and Generation Z, many see having a pet as an introduction to having a child later. You are responsible for another ‘family member’, behaviour/ training, nutrition and their general welfare. It prepares people’s mindset for having children. You become more aware of what to anticipate.
- The final point which sums it up. 72% of pet owners refer to themselves as the pets Mum or Dad.
Lockdown has seen a boom in UK dog ownership, which has become a ‘pandemic puppy’ poo problem. Some people pick up the poo but leave the bag on the ground. Others just leave the poo to be trodden on.
Every day you see it and people are talking about it more and more. It is rising up the social agenda as a concerning topic of conversation and is becoming an issue across the UK. How long before councils take further action and letting your dog freely off the lead becomes a thing of the past like in some other countries.
When you break it down further; in 2021 there are 12 million dogs and the same number of cats in the UK. On average a dog deposits 340g of waste a day depending on the size of the dog. That equates approximately to 3,000 tonnes.
Lockdown highlighted positive links between pets and mental health
The pandemic lockdowns have brought about a period of adjustment between humans and their pets. Both in the UK and abroad, vets for example have been allowed to remain open as essential services, showing the importance of the link between pets and their owners. It was essential that if you were stuck at home and your dog or cat was sick, that you were able to visit a vet. Research has shown there is a strong connection between pets and peoples mental health. They are a part of the family and to many are their children.
In France, ‘adopting a pet’ was listed as a permitted reason to leave your home over the lockdown period. In Spain, people were allowed to go out to walk the dog. On the other hand, children were confined to their homes for 45 days. It was reported that neighbours were borrowing dogs just get out their front doors and stretch the legs.
At Pets Lets we are all about pets and London property. Therefore, we have quickly noted a real correlation between puppy and property prices. Human nature is to see an opportunity and make the most of it. If you want something, you have to ‘pay’ for it.
With property you research into locations, budget and type of property. With dogs you need to research into type of breed, costs, environment and where you live and kind of property. Do you have a garden and of course, if you rent, are you allowed a cat or dog
Walking the dog is not just about getting your four-legged friend some exercise and do its ‘business’. It also concerns you as a dog owner also getting some exercise, clearing your head which is good for your mental health. Dogs and mental health make a good combination.
Modern day life is stressful. City life can be fast paced. Walking the dog gives you the ability to ‘take a breather’, get away from your desk if you are part of the increasing number of people working from home.
What makes life easier is having your dog and cat by your side during those calls, whether they are sitting on your lap, on your desk or on their beds next to you. It brings comfort to you, especially when the meetings are back to back during the day. Others do not mind if they see a ‘furry face’ in the picture. It is no longer a case of being ‘unprofessional’ if your dog or cat or child is seen or heard in the background. Lockdown has made people generally more relaxed during working hours.