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By James Cave
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Expats Prefer to Spend Time with Pets Over In-laws at Christmas

Photo by AZAdam

There are many reasons to leave America for France. New pastures, better food perhaps and maybe, depending what part of the States you’re from, better weather as well. One reason that’s rarely if ever cited is to get away from those dreaded in-laws. What you say, me? I would never think that about my lovely in-laws.

Although you might never say it, a surprising 8 out of 10 expats worldwide have admitted that they would rather spend Christmas with their pets than with their in-laws. In France that number rises to 9 out of 10 expats.

Instinctively you might begin to wonder just how bad these in-laws are, but rather than being a comparison of who has the worst in-laws (Spain wins by the way, with 100% of expats choosing pets over in-laws) the survey looked into how pets get treated at Christmas.

The results: exceptionally well. According to pet sitting website Trusted Housesitters, 72% of expats will buy a present for their pets this Christmas. Pets shouldn’t expect anything big, the average amount spend is around 15GBP or less (around 25 dollars) but no doubt a lot more thought will be put into it than whatever the in-laws are getting. 8% of expats will spend more than 50GBP (around 80USD) and just less than half of all expats will cook a special Christmas meal for their pets.

Despite a turbulent climate economically, the majority of expats said that they weren’t going to let financial troubles influence how much they would spend on their pets. Good news for Fido and Fluffy who can expect as good, if not a better, Christmas present than last year.

Andy Peck, owner of commented on the survey results saying:

“A large proportion of the pet sitting assignments that are posted on come from expats so we’ve always known about the close relationship expats have with their pets. It’s good to see that the financial crisis isn’t going to affect Christmas for pets this year and that they can expect as good, if not a better, Christmas than the rest of us.”

Where do you stand? Are you glad there’s a few thousand miles separating you from your extended family and how important are pets to you this Christmas?

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