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Happy Howlidays! Times Might Be “Ruff”, But Pet Supplies “Plus” Survey Shows Owners Aren’t Forgetting Their Four-Footed Friends This Year

November 16, 2009

pspavatarFARMINGTON HILLS, MI – (For Immediate Release) – It may be dog days for the economy, but pet lovers aren’t about to play Scrooge with their furry friends this holiday season. At least that’s the conclusion of a shamelessly unscientific survey of 1,412 pet owners conduct by Pet Supplies “Plus” in October 2009. According to the survey, 96 percent of respondents will buy holiday gifts for their pets this year, with more than half spending more on pet gifts than they did last year.

The online survey also found that pet lovers plan to spend an average of $44 on holiday pet gifts. Over half (57%) of those polled said that they will spend more on their pets this year despite the economy.

Finding just the right gift for a pet has its challenges: six out of ten survey respondents said it was more difficult to select a present for their pets than other family members.

However, this effort has its rewards. Asked to rank how much pets like the holiday gifts they receive on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the most positive, people scored their pets’ appreciation level at 8.9. When asked the same question about other family members, the appreciation level was only 7.6.

Although fun, the holidays can also be stressful for pets, just as they are for people. According to the Pet Supplies “Plus” survey, the least favorite things about the holidays for pets rank as follows:

1. Being apart more than normal from other family members – cited by 29.9% of respondents.

2. Not being allowed to get treats from holiday parties — 25.6%* (However, Pet Supplies “Plus” strongly urges pet lovers not to succumb to plaintive expressions and give pets table treats, since they’re harmful to animals.)

3. Having more visitors come to the house — 14.5%

4. Traveling to visit relatives — 4%

Since pets normally don’t receive fruit cake for the holidays, it didn’t make the least favorite list.

Pet Supplies “Plus” offers the following holiday safety tips for pets.

*Do not give your pets chocolate from holiday candy and deserts. Chocolate contains Theobromine, which can be fatal to dogs, cats and other pets.
*Table scraps from holiday dinners should also be on the “do not serve” list. The fat from meats and sauces can cause serious gastro intestinal issues for pets.
*Eggnog, with or without alcohol, attracts some dogs and cats, but should never be offered to them.
*Be wary of decorations. Tinsel, icicles, glass ornaments and other dangling decorations may look pretty and festive, but they can cause serious problems if your dog or cat ingests them. Likewise, keep electrical cords and strings of lights away from pets. Also, pets should never be left unsupervised in the area of a Christmas tree.
*For the same reason, wrapped gifts should not be left under the tree when a pet is around, since some dogs and cats are drawn to the bright paper and ribbons. Also, any food gifts left under a tree are likely to be raided.
*Set up a “safe zone” in the home where pets can escape if the holiday activities become too much for them. Choose a room with a door, and make sure your pets have food and water, favorite toys and something soft to lie on. Don’t forget to include a litter box for Kitty!

Here are the results of the 2009 Pet Supplies “Plus” Holiday Survey:

*Do you plan to buy gifts for your pet this holiday season? 96% yes
*How many gifts will you buy? Average answer: 3.1
*How much money will you spend? Average answer: $43.84
*Will this be more or less than you spent last year? 56.9% answered “more”

Founded in 1988, Pet Supplies “Plus” is the nation’s third largest pet store chain with 240 locations in 22 states. For more information on the chain, visit http://www.petsuppliesplus.com. For more information on the survey, call Fucini Productions, 248-374-2882.

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