Pet owners seeking Instagram fame for their cats and dogs are responsible for a rise in sales of animal grooming products and accessories, according to leading Irish retailer Argos.
In fact, sales of premium grooming products at Argos have risen by a whopping 163 per cent, compared to the same period last year.
Owners are now splurging on top-of-the-range hair clippers and luxury water fountains for their precious animals. The Wahl Super Groom Premium Rechargeable Pet Clipper, priced at €149.99, is currently Argos’s best-selling premium pet grooming product.
Meanwhile, pet accessories have risen by 13 per cent, suggesting that pet owners are investing in props to make their furry-themed posts even more shareable. Whilst dogs ‘lead’ the way on total accessories spend, cat accessories have seen the biggest growth in sales at 19 per cent over the last twelve months.
It also appears Insta-addicts are letting sleeping dogs lie, with sales of dog beds rising by 18 per cent for those all-important cute napping posts.
This rise in sales has been associated with the increasing trend of ‘pet-working’, where social media channels are created by owners on behalf of their pets. On Instagram, the hashtag #dogsofinstagram has attracted over 70 million posts, whilst #catsofinstagram boasts over 60 million.
Animals on social media now attract larger followings than some celebrities, with pets such as Boo the Pomeranian attracting over 16 million followers on Facebook. And over on Instagram, Doug the Pug and Grumpy Cat command over two million followers each.
This trend has also extended to celebrities – with stars’ pets attracting their own cult following. Karl Largerfield’s cat, Choupette, has over 100,000 followers on Instagram and Mark Zuckerberg’s Hungarian sheepdog, Beast, has scored a huge 2.6 million likes on its Facebook fan page. Stars who regularly post about their pets include Nick Grimshaw, Millie Macintosh, Professor Green, Caroline Flack and Lewis Hamilton.
Emma Carter, pet care buyer at Argos, said: “Whilst Ireland has always been a nation of pet lovers, the rise of social media has really taken our obsession to another level. This is reflected in the huge increase we’ve seen in pet product purchases over the last twelve months alone.
“It’s great to see so many people documenting the antics of their beloved pets and sharing these moments on their social channels. With pets now dominating newer social networks such as Snapchat, the ‘pet-working’ trend isn’t slowing down anytime soon.”