According to the Dog information website Rover.com, 94% of dog owners consider their canine to be a member of the family, a fact underlined by the amount we spend on man's best friend. UK pet spending will surpass £4.5 billion for the first time in 2015 the vast majority of which will be on dogs. Last Christmas UK pet owners spent over £300 million on presents for our pampered pets, more per average I dare say than on some of our own human family members!
Even the names we give our favourite four-legged friends point to us treating them more like humans than animals. The popularity of names such as Rover, Spike or Fido are now being consigned to our comic strip past. The most popular names today reflect the names we give our children. Max, Charlie, Bella, Molly, Jack and Lucy are some of the most popular names for both children born and dogs named in 2014.
Grooming, holidays, jewellery and clothes are all now on the shopping lists of pet owners. You can even arrange a wedding for your dog. Designer labels and luxury brands have jumped onto the band wagon and offer dog clothes. Ralph Lauren have a page on their website dedicated to canine clobber, including cashmere sweaters and polo shirts, that cost more than some of the items for children. But is the ultimate present for our pampered pooches about to become available for the first time?
In a few weeks the dotDog Top Level Domain will be available for the first time. Whilst those organisations and businesses that focus on the canine world will undoubtedly already be lining up their registrations, there will be a small window for dog-owners to grab a domain name for their beloved pooch.
The digital environment is the new battleground for brands, none more so that Social Media. Social Petworks (see what they have done there?) such as Packdog.com and Youpet.com are growing as fast as Instagram and Twitter, whilst Pinterest, one of the most visited websites in the world has thousands of 'Pins' or visual bookmarks dedicated to dogs. The launch of a gTLD dedicated just to dogs is the latest digital innovation. With search engines starting to realise the power of the new gTLDs especially when looking at EDM (Exact Domain Matching), there couldn't be a more relevant Top Level Domain to stay one step ahead of the rest of the pack.