Skip to content Skip to navigation

50 years of… Pet Accessories! How we love to treat our furry friends

We all like to think of our pets as ‘one of the family’ and as such, like to make them feel loved and at home. Some accessories, like a collar or a hutch, are basic necessities, whilst others, such as a multitude of outfits or a spa-style activity, could be seen as slightly less than ‘essential’.

Here at NAWT, we thought it would be interesting to look back at how pet accessories have changed over the last five decades…

Back in the 1970s, if a household decided to get a dog as a pet, they would probably go out and buy a collar, lead, a dog bowl, and if a pet was particularly lucky, a couple of dog toys to go with them. 

The same approach could be said for a new cat (a cat bowl, maybe a collar, and maybe a few fake mouse toys), or even a new rabbit or guinea pig for the home (a hutch and water feeder were probably the main items bought).

Times have changed and there is now an Aladdin’s cave of treasures with which people can choose to spoil their pets.

A 2015 poll (Mintel 2015), found that over a quarter of pet owners admitted that they like to pamper their pets, with over one in five (22%) splurging £20 per month on outfits for their dog or cat. 

Another poll from 2011 (Pet Plan Census 2011) found that 66% of owners buy accessories for their pets, as well as birthday and Christmas presents, with 32% buying treats and gifts more regularly for their pets than for their partners. 

It has even been found that men are more likely to buy a Valentine’s present for their pet than for their partner (OnePoll 2015) [no comment!].

The pet accessory market can be seen as similar to the fashion industry, supported in part by many celebrities who often set new pet accessory trends, posting these images online and thereby encouraging their followers to follow suit. 

The types of accessory that can now be found for our pets is somewhat mind-blowing. For example, four-poster dog bed anybody? Matching dog-and-owner-Swarovski-encrusted jumper set? Or even a diamond-encrusted collar? 

If we’re looking for the most expensive pet accessories, how about dog perfume (£45), a cat cabin made with woven willow and lined with pillows (£900), a Versace food bow (£500), a Swarovski-studded cat flap (£1000), or how about one owner’s tiara that they commissioned for their pet pooch. Made with titanium and encrusted with 250-carats worth of diamonds and emeralds, it cost a whopping £2.8million. When asked, they said they ‘just wanted to treat’ their 15-year-old Maltese…

There are many functional pet accessories also now available, and we all love to be able to make our pets’ lives just that little bit more fun or comfortable by the occasional treat. 

With that in mind, and Valentine’s around the corner, why not check out our NAWT’s Amazon Wish List? Here you’ll be able to treat one of our animals to things like toys, scratching posts, beds, and more!

However you decide to treat your pet this year, we hope you all have a safe, enjoyable Valentine’s Day and get truly spoilt!

Add new comment