Written by on . Pegasus.

Pet Personas Focus: The ‘Selfie Sidekick’

Following the release of the results of our year-long study examining recent trends and behaviours in pet ownership, each month Pegasus are revealing a different pet owner persona identified in the report. We’ve already met the Nerdy Newbie. Now it’s the turn of the Selfie Sidekick!

Being a pet owner is a big part of the lifestyle aesthetic for these new, young pet parents. Selfie Sidekicks place a lower importance on health and wellbeing for their pet in favour of spoiling them with the latest accessories and treats.

One in 10 (9%) of pet owners say the appearance of their pet is very important to them, and that they enjoy pampering their pet with the latest accessories, toys and clothes.

Like the Nerdy Newbies, Selfie Sidekicks are likely to be younger first-time pet owners, with a major online and social media footprint. But the parallels end there because this group of owners are less invested or ‘switched on’ when it comes to understanding the real health and wellbeing needs of animals.

Take weight, for example. A significantly higher proportion of these owners agreed that as long as their pet looks well, it does not matter how much they weigh, indicating that their pet’s appearance is prioritised over their weight. This preoccupation with aesthetics is also seen in taking their pet to grooming parlours, buying boutique food and accessories, and pet clothes, and training to their pets to do tricks.

This group of owners is also the least likely to seek veterinary advice if their pet becomes unwell with a minor ailment. Interestingly, Generation Z’ers are dubious about visiting the doctor for their own health issues and it may be that they are projecting their negative experiences with healthcare professionals on to their pets!

Selfie Sidekick owners are also a real driving force behind the ‘humanisation of pets’ trend. The majority of them like to celebrate their pet’s birthday, with almost half agreeing they would buy a pet-friendly cake for the occasion.

Some of the more ‘humanised’ interactions could be compared to a parent-child relationship, with the majority claiming they talk and sing to their pet as if there were a baby. They will also try to minimise separation from their pets as they worry about their pets’ mental health, with solutions such as hiring a pet sitter, trying to take their pet on holiday with them, or buying a pet cam.

Next month we will reveal our third persona – the Good Companion!

Our year-long ‘Pet Personas’ study involved an extensive review of all pet owner reports published in the previous two years, as well as primary research of 1,000 UK pet owners. Pegasus is offering clients in the animal health and welfare space a ‘first look’ at this study, with opportunities to book a consultation with Pegasus to better understand how the research applies to your business.

To receive a copy of the report, email animal@thisispegasus.co.uk

Director, animal health at Pegasus. 20+ years communications experience, 10 specialising in animal health marcomms.