Eight in 10 dog owners say their pet pooch makes Christmas more fun, study finds

The best things about having a dog at Christmas include seeing them rip wrapping paper to shreds, photobomb festive family pics, and fall asleep in front of the TV, a study has found. A poll of 2,000 dog owners, who celebrate Yuletide, found 82 percent believe their furry friends make family Christmases, and the traditions associated with them, more fun.

Other joys include seeing their excitement when guests turn up, and the respite they provide from the chaos of festive period – because they need walking twice a day.

In fact, they’re such an integral part of the household, that 81 percent will buy their pet a present, spending an average of £26.

And 60 percent will prepare a festive feast for them, while 46 percent will even give their dog a stocking, and 29 percent will get them an advent calendar.

Luke Mangion, veterinary surgeon at MORE THAN insurance, which has partnered with Dogs for Good for their Winter Appeal, said: “Every dog owner knows first-hand the magic that dogs bring during the festive season – and we want everyone to recognise this.

“Whether it’s going out for walks, or spending time together with family, our research shows just how central dogs have become to celebrating traditions.

“However, while dogs bring countless moments of joy, it’s important that we adapt these traditions – and embrace new ones – so that they feel at ease.”

The study also found 82 percent believe Christmas “wouldn’t be the same” without their beloved dog – with 73 percent claiming they’d be “completely lost” if they weren’t around.

Reasons for this are evident in a top 10 list of what Brits believe to be the best things about having a canine chum during the holidays – which include the routine and companionship they provide during a busy time.

Other favourite things about pet pooches at Christmas time include their calming influence, and their excitement when guests arrive to take part in the celebrations – which can help put visitors at ease.

These findings are likely to be especially pertinent to the 28 percent who think their dog helps break the ice with guests, as well as for the 51 percent of owners who find family interaction stressful – particularly during Yuletide.

Further to this, 27 percent went as far as to say their furry friend has “saved” Christmas at one time or another – by making what could have been an indifferent or disappointing occasion, an enjoyable one.

The study, carried out via OnePoll, also found 32 percent will be expressing their gratitude to their canine pals this Yuletide, by donating to dog charities.

Ed Bracher, CEO at Dogs for Good, which is raising money to support more families with autistic children for its Winter Appeal, said: “We see daily how dogs can have a transformative impact on a family’s happiness, especially at Christmas time.

“We regularly hear from autistic people and their families that Christmas brings change, which can be challenging. Dogs can help them feel a sense of calm and companionship when everything can feel stressful, by lowering parental stress and fostering quality time.

“Dogs can contribute to children’s development and boosting their confidence and communication skills – dogs are our connection to the world.”

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