NEW JERSEY -- New Jersey residents lead the nation in holiday gift spending on their dogs, according to a new survey by TheNosePrint.com, a pet-focused website.
The poll asked 3,000 Americans about their dog-related holiday habits, including whether their dog is involved in gift-giving, stocking-stuffing, Christmas sweater-wearing, and other holiday traditions. TheNosePrint.com's Santa Dog Index determined that 71% of U.S. dog owners will give their pet a gift this holiday season. New Jersey tops the list of spending on holiday gifts for dogs.
1. New Jersey: $30.01 (average spend per dog. The national average is $23.10.)
2. New York: $29.55
3. Pennsylvania: $28.75
4. Utah: $27.75
5. Georgia: $27.04
Maria Ackerman of Scotch Plains bought her new puppy, Ariel, a bed. Laurie Gallahue of Fanwood reports that "Santa brings our Lulu a new bed, bone & toy every Christmas." Karen Falkowkski said that her dogs, Saint and Croix, are hoping for Milo's Kitchen steak grillers from Santa. Meanwhile, her daughter, Caitlyn, bought the dogs some toys.
Abby Wean explained that by the fifth night of Hanukkah, her dog, Waffles, looked longingly at her when the candles were lit -- presumably in anticipation of another present. Waffles' top Hanukkah gift this year was an elk antler. Lisa Hunt, who took a picture of her dog sitting on Santa's lap, also opted for the chewable antler.
Carol Jaekel Rachko's dog, Nora, always gets a squeaky toy that doesn't last long and an antler to chew. "She's already told Santa."
"Many people have indicated that they are buying treats for their dogs or for a friend's dog," said Paul Raphael, co-owner of Scotch Plains-based Woof Biscuits, a homemade dog treat company. "We've even had a few people buying for their "grand-dogs. Our most popular biscuits have been Peanut Butter Blast and Cheeseburger and our Chicken Jerky has been a big seller too."
The poll also identified the Top 5 reasons that Americans give gifts to their dog:
1. To express love to my dog: 72%
2. Because it's fun for me: 60%
3. To help my dog feel included like a family member: 54%
4. To give my dog a moment of happiness: 53%
5. To feel closer and bond with my dog: 43%
Additionally, the study examined inclusion of dogs in the following holiday traditions:
- Hang a Christmas stocking for their dog: 48%
- Include their dog in a photo for a family holiday card: 43%
- Post photos of dog on social media with a holiday message: 32%
- Dress up their dog in a holiday-themed outfit or costume: 29%
- Make or buy dog-themed holiday decorations: 22%
TheNosePrint.com is an online hub from Big Heart Pet Brands (makers of Milk-Bone, Pup-Peroni, and other treats).