Money may earn a commission when you click on the products and services below. Opinions are our own,
but compensation and in-depth research determine where and how they appear. Learn more about how we make money.

Published: Dec 10, 2021 3 min read
A small dog peeks at a gift being opened by their owner
Money; Getty Images

Over the course of the pandemic, Americans have deepened their love of pets — whether they got a new one to cope with the loneliness of lockdown or grew closer to the fur babies they had already. As the holidays approach, many pet owners are planning to express that love by showering their hairy heirs in gifts and involving them in quirky festivities.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, millennials are going a little overboard. While 93% of pet owners buy at least one gift for their pet, millennials are most likely to purchase five or more, according to a poll of 1,036 U.S. pet owners by OneVet, a 24-7 virtual vet clinic.

Of all the pet owners surveyed, nearly 71% say they spend between $1 and $50 on their fluffy friends during the holidays, about 23% spend more than $50, and 6% spend more than $100. Meanwhile, 5% of respondents say they don’t spend anything extra on their pets at all. (Gasp!)

Not to name and shame, but: Gen Xers are the most likely age group to report that.

Keep in mind, though, that OneVet’s figures look only at splurging — not everyday pet expenses such as food and grooming, or costs like veterinary care and pet insurance. All expenses considered, Gen Xers actually spend the most out of any age group on their dogs, while millennials spend the most on their cats, according to a different set of data collected for TD Ameritrade.

Some other interesting generational findings from OneVet’s poll: Roughly a quarter of millennials say they buy holiday outfits to match with their pets. And 12% of boomers report buying more gifts for their pets than their family members.

Of course, money isn’t the only way pet owners show their love. OneVet also asked about the activities owners like to do with their pets around the holidays. More than a third of male respondents make a special meal for pets. Of all respondents, about a quarter take their pets to see Christmas lights, and about 12% send holiday cards that include their pets.

The poll also included open-ended questions to capture what other ways people include their pets in all the merrymaking.

One respondent said that they like to “put a yarmulke on my pet and have them sit at the table while lighting the Hanukkah candles.”

Honestly, we can’t think of a better way to let your pets know you love them.

More From Money:

Pets and Pet Spending During the Pandemic: A Money Report

How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost?

10 Best Pet Insurance Companies of December 2021

Get expert advice on personal finance matters. Chat now.