The bond between pet owners and their pets has always been special, and in recent times, this connection has manifested in new, heartwarming ways. Valentine’s Day, traditionally reserved for human loved ones, is now an occasion for UK pet owners to express affection for their furry, feathery, and even scaly companions. A recent survey conducted by Jollyes, a renowned pet expert, sheds light on how deeply entrenched this trend has become in 2024.
According to the survey, which included 1,180 UK pet owners, a significant 30.4% have previously celebrated Valentine’s Day by buying gifts for their pets. This statistic is particularly striking when compared to a 2024 GroupOn survey indicating that only two-thirds of UK consumers purchase Valentine’s gifts for their human partners.
The survey highlights that millennials, particularly in the age group of 25–34, are the most likely to treat their pets on this day, with an impressive 49.04% indulging in this act of love. Interestingly, men are more inclined than women to buy their pets a gift on February 14th, with 34.81% of men doing so compared to 26.84% of women.
Pet pampering on Valentine’s Day is not evenly distributed across the UK. Greater London leads the trend, with 48.32% of pet owners planning to buy a gift. Belfast and the West Midlands follow closely, while regions like the South East and Scotland show comparatively lower rates of pet-centric gift-giving.
Dogs top the list, with 33.74% of dog parents buying gifts. Cats are not far behind, with 27.95% of cat owners participating. Birds, rabbits, and other pets also enjoy a share of the love, though fish are less likely to receive special treats on this day.
When it comes to expenditure, most pet owners spend between £10 and £25 on Valentine’s gifts for their pets. Around 15% are willing to spend between £26 and £50, and a small proportion (1.63%) spend over £50. The average cost of a pet’s Valentine’s present is £21, with some pet owners willing to spend up to £50, surpassing the average of £32 spent on gifts for human partners.
The survey reveals that food and treats are the top choices, with 85.93% of pet owners opting for them. Toys, bedding, and clothing also make the list, with millennials particularly favouring pet outfits, clothing, and accessories.
Phil Turner-Naylor, head of marketing at Jollyes, said: “Our latest study reaffirms that pets hold a special place in our hearts as cherished family members deserving of affection, even on Valentine’s Day. After a surge of pet owners purchasing Christmas gifts for their companions, it’s only right we see so many more pet owners expressing appreciation for their furry friends with thoughtful gifts for other occasions, too.”
This emerging trend in the UK points to a deeper cultural shift where pets are increasingly being seen as integral family members. The enthusiasm with which pet owners are embracing occasions like Valentine’s Day to pamper their pets underlines the growing bond between humans and their animal companions. It seems that for many, pets are not just pets; they are family, friends, and deserving recipients of love and affection on all special occasions.