Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Pet shops reveal a gift bonanza for the pampered cats and dogs of lockdown

© Shutterstock / Richard ChaffMany dogs and cats have found themselves spoiled throughout the pandemic.
Many dogs and cats have found themselves spoiled throughout the pandemic.

New pet owners are rushing to the shops to make sure their lockdown arrivals have a first Christmas to remember.

Some shops are ­reporting business up 40% with customers, in person and online, buying gifts and treats for their furry friends.

Lockdown saw a surge in pet ownership, with people taking advantage of working from home to buy a dog or cat and this has boosted a booming Christmas trade in everything from fancy collars and outfits to toys and advent calendars.

Tony Vines, owner of Pets Direct in Alloa, said Christmas was always a busy time because people liked to spoil their pets.

“People think more of their pets than people,” said Vines. “And they probably spend more on their pets too. We’ve been really busy. It’s a mad rush to get something to leave under the tree for their cat and dog. With more people getting pets during lockdown, things have definitely got busier.”

Rona Dougall: One Christmas, Santa gave me the best present ever, my wee pal Jemima

Mark Gray, manager of Jollyes pet superstore in Clydebank, said sales had risen 30%-40% since before lockdown. “Everything has changed since coronavirus hit,” he said. “Pet sales during lockdown went through the roof and we are seeing the upsales from that.

“This year, people are spoiling their pets. Advent calendars for dogs and cats flew off the shelves.

“Our business in general has gone up about 30-40% compared to pre-Covid.”

Lesley Reeve, who took over Helensburgh Pet Shop two years ago, said most pet owners couldn’t put a price on pampering their pet, especially at Christmas. “This year has been crazy. We had a dog bed at £60…and it ended up sold out. People are prepared to pay to get luxury for their pets.”

Cat harnesses are one of the items selling well this year as more cat owners decide to take their furry felines out for a walk.

Anita Kelsey, cat ­behaviourist and author of Let’s Talk About Cats, trained her own moggies Kiki and Zaza to walk on a lead from three months and they love it.

“I’m of the opinion walking a cat on a lead is fine if your cat likes it and the cat guardian has no other options,” she said.

“A timid, shy, nervous cat would probably dislike it and feel vulnerable whereas a confident cat that is showing signs of wanting to go outside of a gardenless home, should be offered the option of lead walking.

“The good points for a cat that enjoys the experience of going outside and who doesn’t have the option of free roaming or a garden is that they can explore their territory outside, get fresh air and get added stimulation outside of the home, all exciting and fun.

The Sunday Post’s agony aunt explains why she loves to take her cat for a walk

“There’s no reason why they cannot climb trees on a lead or chase leaves and get excited by birds as well as meet the other local cats and humans. The cat is leading the whole process and it’s their time. If they look afraid or do not like the process then don’t take them out on a lead.

“Obviously, taking your cat on a lead to a local park is not advisable as 90% of dogs are off lead but walking close by the home when it is a quiet part of the day or at night should be fine.

“There are steps to training a cat to walk on a lead and these should not be rushed. Always work at the cat’s pace and allow them to decide to step out of the front door to explore the territory outside. At the end of the day, the cat dictates what they like or dislike. Always listen to them and you cannot go wrong.”