WE will spend a record £900million this Christmas on luxury hampers, designer clothes and the latest cutting-edge toys . . . for PETS.

And many of us will splash more on our furry friends than loved ones.

Luxury gifts include a £125 Digby Baker Boy tweed dog hat designed by pet boutique Lish London.

Harrods, meanwhile, is taking dog treats to a whole new level with a £90 hamper including ice cream, a smoothie and a puppicino.

Boffins are also rolling out the world’s first interactive dog bone. The Wickedbone, which promises to keep pets entertained long after Boxing Day, will cost £89.99.

And Argos is transforming dog walks by selling Nerf Dog Ball Blasters that fire fetching balls 35ft into the air. Other goodies on offer include jewelled collars, pet-pampering spa days and luxury personalised blankets. Stockings are also being filled with monogrammed leather poop bag holders.

It’s not just cats and dogs who are in for a treat. Hamster Hampers are being sold, along with stockings crammed full of rabbit munchies.

UK pet owners fork out billions throughout the year on animals.

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But experts say this year is expected to be a record-breaking one for Christmas gifts.

Around £162million was spent last year on dogs alone and that is predicted to hit £200million, with hundreds of millions more spent on cats, rabbits, horses and other pets. Online home-improvement marketplace ManoMano says sales of pet gifts increased by 481 per cent this November compared with the same month last year. At Not On The High Street, the number of sales has risen by 259 per cent.

The surge is linked to the estimated 3.2million pets bought in lockdown. It means almost 60 per cent of households have one.

Tesco forecasts that demand for cat and dog gifts will be up by 25 per cent on last Christmas.

Meanwhile, a survey by holiday company Canine Cottages found one in six plan to wrap more presents for dogs than for partners.

It revealed 33 per cent spend between £26 and £45 on presents for their dog — the same amount as on family.

This is considerably more than the £11 to £25 that 35 per cent of us spend on friends. Men typically pay £24 for presents for their dog, and women are not far behind at £22.

Almost one in five men claim they give their dog more presents than their partner, friends or family. Eighteen to 24-year-olds fork out the most on their dogs, with an average spend of £29 for a Christmas gift.

Sun on Sunday Pet Vet Sean McCormack said: “I’ve seen owners becoming more and more in love with their pets in the past ten years. The rise in single life may be a factor, too.”

Almost one in four also give their dogs more presents than their partner, friends or family.



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