They may be our most faithful companions, but it seems our four-legged friends must be stylish too. Indeed, Mintel’s Petcare 2017 Report reveals that a quarter (24%) of the UK’s pet owners say that it’s important to keep up-to-date with the latest styles of pet accessories.

Just as Brits regard their pets as style and status symbols, today’s pet owners truly believe their fur babies are enjoying the gifts they bestow upon them. More than half (56%) of pet owners say that pets appreciate being given new accessories, rising to 62% of owners aged 16-44. What’s more, highlighting the importance of looking good, almost a quarter (23%) of owners believe that the style of pet accessories matters more than the quality.

And it seems that dressing up our pampered pooches is not only enjoyed by the likes of Paris Hilton and TOWIE’s Jessica Wright, as 31% of pet owners say that outfits for pets are ‘cute’, rising to 42% of owners aged 16-34.

Last year, animal loving Brits spent a furtastic £884 million on petcare accessories*, while in 2017 sales are set to increase by a further 3% to reach an impressive £908 million. By 2021, Brits are expected to shell out in excess of £1 billion on accessories for their beloved pets.

Jane Westgarth, Senior Retail Analyst at Mintel, said:

“People indulge their pets, including them in celebrations, buying them gifts, stylish accessories and toys. Humanisation of pets means that owners will spend more to help their pets feel happy, healthy and remain active. More than half of pet owners believe that pets appreciate being given new accessories and this trend is helping bolster the market for stylish accessories, as well as premium healthcare items that mirror trends in human supplements and toiletries. In the home, demand for stylish pet beds and houses is growing, as people want their pet accessories to fit with their décor.”

As many as 84% of pet owners have bought petcare accessories over the past year rising to 89% of dog owners. On average, pet owners spent £43 on pet accessories each month*. Men (£57) are the highest spenders but there is a decrease in average spend with age. Indeed, Millennials (aged 18-37) are more inclined to buy toys and a wider range of accessories for their pets, spending around £65 on average each month.

Highlighting the importance younger consumers place on treating their pets, some 51% of 16-34s agree that it is important to buy gifts for their pets to celebrate occasions such as birthdays or Christmas. As many as three in ten (30%) 16-24s bought a Christmas stocking for their pets in the last 12 months.

Overall, when it comes to the most popular accessories, toys are top dog, as more than half (55%) of pet owners have purchased a toy in the past 12 months. Meanwhile, more than a third (35%) of pet owners have splashed out on beds, baskets and bedding and 33% have indulged in collars, leads and leashes.

Over two in five (43%) pet owners agree that automatic toys and accessories for pets, such as ball throwers and automatic feeders, are an attractive idea. Half (51%) of pet owners are interested in wearable activity monitors and 27% believe that fitness monitors would improve their pet’s activity levels. Finally, a third (33%) of pet owners are interested in an interactive games console for pets.

“Humanisation of pets is also extending to include fitness monitors that make sure the pet is getting the exercise it needs, as well as performance accessories, such as cooling jackets, for active dogs. While Brits are keen to lavish pets with the latest technology, today’s time pressed owners are seeking out convenience and this is driving demand for automated accessories that can feed or entertain a pet left alone.” Jane concludes.

* Pet accessories are products that are either worn by, played with, treated on or used on pets which are not physically consumed by the pet itself. Pet accessories also include animal health and hygiene products.

Press review copies of the report and interviews with Jane Westgarth, Senior Retail Analyst at Mintel, are available on request from the press office.

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