Three out of five Swedish animal owners intend to give their pets special Christmas presents this year, a survey by pollster Yougov carried out on behalf of the insurance company 'If' among 1,500 pet lovers, has shown.
The most popular pet gift consists of extra tasty morsels of animal food (42 percent). Many pets will get a toy to celebrate (32 percent). By contrast, fashionable clothing proved to be one of the least popular alternatives, as only four percent of Swedish pet owners intend to present their companions with new garments, the Mydesknews news portal reported.
Pampering companions with Christmas gifts is more common among the fair sex, as 13 percent more women intend to give something extra to their pets.
"Pets are often part of the family and many do not want to leave them without Christmas presents. I think it's nice that for pets to be included in the Christmas celebrations," If information manager Caroline Uliana, a proud owner of a golden retriever who will receive a cuddly toy, said.
"Ribbons can cause severe damage to the intestines when swallowed. You should also take precautions to ensure that the Christmas gift does not contain anything poisonous or toxic. For instance, sweets containing raisins or chocolate should be avoided," Uliana said.
Every third Swedish household has at least one pet. Almost every fifth Swedish family owns a cat, while every tenth owns a dog. The Nordic country of 10 million is estimated to be home to almost 1.2 million cats and approximately 780,000 dogs, the most popular races being Alsatians, various kinds of retrievers and Jack Russell terriers.
This year's survey by pollster Sifo concluded that an average Swede spends SEK 3,108 ($370) on Christmas presents, the Aftonbladet daily reported.