The vast majority of dog owners plan to indulge their pet this Christmas, according to new findings.

Research published by PetSafe revealed that more than four in ten owners plan to give their dogs special treats this year, with at least 83 per cent claiming their dog is one of their most cherished possessions.

In an interview published by Dog News, Angela Critchley, international marketing director at PetSafe, said: “It’s great to see that people enjoy spending their money on making their pets happy. christmas is a time for friends and family and it’s fantastic to see that dogs are sure to be included into the equation.”

The majority (63 per cent) splash out at least £50 on their pets. A further 85 per cent of dog owners believe that their pooch has a beneficial effect on their health and wellbeing.

Similar research published in August showed that owners are also increasingly making long-term plans for their pet's healthcare.

A report published by Securian Financial Group surveyed 903 pet owners and found that 44 per cent of owners said they are making provisions for their pets health.

In addition, nearly one fifth said they have also made plans for their pets care, in the event that they are no longer able to look after their animal.

Furthermore, 38 per cent said they added the pet’s future caregiver as a beneficiary to a life insurance policy, while 13 per cent purchased annuities that named the person who will look after their animal as the recipient.

A further 35 per cent added more coverage to their insurance policies.

Michelle Hall, manager of market research at the Securian Financial Group said that it was important for owners to ensure that whoever looks after their pet is able to cope with it financially.

She added that an increasing number of owners were realising the importance of having adequate insurance policies for their animals.

Written by: Hannah