It’s Christmas list time - and topping that list in many households will be the inevitable demand for a puppy or kitten and all the costs that come with it kids never see.
But there are bargain options that could make great pets and keep costs down, says one pet insurance company - with vet bills for cross-breeds being a fraction of that for pure breeds.
"More and more celebrities are making pets famous with their designer dogs and high couture cats. And what celebrities do today, our kids demand for Christmas," said Mark Effenberg, founder of www.healthy-pets.co.uk cat insurance and dog insurance.
"The trick is getting cute in more ways than one: if you get a sniff of your kids Christmas list featuring a puppy, for instance, then go along with it - but make sure you go for the aah-factor, and get them nose-to-nose with the cutest mongrel pup or moggie kitten as you can. And go to a rescue home - and before long you’ve got a mongrel pup or cross-breed kitten joining the family. Insurance costs and future vets bills are likely to be a fraction of those associated with a pedigree or pure-breed.
"Some of the dogs and cats the celebrities are jet-setting with might look incredibly cute to young or teen fans, but they can also be incredibly expensive to buy, and to look after."