More Americans to buy gifts for pets than in-laws, survey finds

Two cocker spaniel puppy presents sit under a Christmas tree in this file photo.(Photo by H. Armstrong Roberts/ClassicStock/Getty Images)

Inflation is causing many Americans to reconsider who they'll be doing their holiday shopping for this year.  Will it be extended family members or our four-legged friends?

According to a new survey from Personal Capital, Americans are more likely to purchase a gift for their dog than their in-laws this year.

Only 19% of respondents said they would be getting a gift for their in-laws, while 34% said Fido would be getting a present.  The dog won out over nieces and nephews, too.

Overall, Americans said their shopping lists will include gifts for:

Children: 58%
Partner: 54%
Parents: 46%
Friends: 43%
My dog: 34%
Other relatives (nieces, nephews): 30%
My cat: 22%
In-laws: 19%
Co-workers: 15%
Service professionals (postal/delivery, front desk) 14%
Teachers: 7%

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The survey showed that the average holiday shopping budget is down roughly $200 from 2021, as inflation continues to take a bite out of many Americans' wallets.

Nearly half of respondents said they will be cutting back on eating out and other non-essential purchases, a 9% increase over last year, and 37% of respondents said they would be spending $250 or less on gifts this year, with 16% saying they'll spend less than $100.

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The poll also revealed that roughly a quarter of Gen Zers and Millenials plan to make their gift this year (more than any other age group), while 34% of Americans will be increasing their online shopping. 

Top picks for gifts this year include gift cards (52%), cash (24%) and slippers or socks (24%).