Results from a recent American Kennel Club® (AKC®) holiday survey reveal that one of the most popular reasons (15%) that Fido is most likely to end up on Santa’s naughty list is for chewing up anything and everything.  One person admitted that the family dog had chewed up “six cell phones, one camera, about 15 remote controls, and five pairs of sunglasses.”

Interestingly enough, though, the family dog was the least likely to get coal in his stocking (6%).  Respondents stated that the most likely would be themselves (46%), followed by their spouse (31%), then their kids (16%).

While coming home to a chewed up pair of designer shoes can be frustrating, most dog owners understand that chewing is as normal an activity for a dog as wagging his tail.  “The top two tips to keep your dog from chewing inappropriate objects would be to control the environment and offer many acceptable alternatives for chewing,” says AKC Canine Good Citizen Director® and Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, Mary Burch, Ph.D.  “This means putting things away when your dog is not supervised—if he can’t get access to it, he can’t chew it.  Second, make plenty of good chew toys or the interactive dog toys in which you can hide a treat easily available.  In the case of a serious chewer, to keep both your dog and your possessions safe, you can crate train your dog for times when you can’t be home.”

When it comes to who you spend the most money on during the holidays, 38% of respondents said their dog, beating out kids (36%) and spouse (26%), and if holiday expenses had to be cut back on this year, 55% of people would spend less on their spouse than their pooch.  In fact, 78% plan on buying for other family members’ dogs, 66% plan on buying for friends’ dogs, and 15% plan on buying for their dog’s friends at the dog park.

In years past, some of the more extravagant gifts owners purchased for their dog have included memory foam beds, as well as fancy collars.  One person bought “a red alligator skin collar with his [the dog’s] name in crystals, and a matching red skin leash.”

Additional survey findings include:

  • Ninety one percent of people include their dog in the family holiday card.
  • Sixty percent have taken Fido to see Santa and get his picture taken.
  • Sixty one percent of respondents take the time to make their pup a special holiday meal.
  • Forty two percent of people said actually getting a seat at the dinner table would be on their dog’s wish list to Santa.

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Explanatory Notes:

The survey was conducted during a two-week period in Nov-Dec 2010.  A total of 263 surveyors responded voluntarily. Self-selecting methods were used in recruitment for this study.  AKC does not guarantee that these statistics are scalable to the overall population.  This data is for anecdotal purposes only.