I'm struggling to pay my bills but I'm spending £140 on Christmas gifts for my dogs – I don't want them to miss out | The Sun

A DOG owner, who is struggling to pay her bills this winter, says she will still buy £140 of Christmas presents for her pets because they are her 'babies'.

Fay Skerritt, 30, says she has been reusing old clothes and won't be doing Secret Santa this year so she can afford to treat her beloved pooches.

Fay, who lives in London with her cockapoos Lola and Fudge, said she will spend up to £70 on presents for each dog because she "likes to get them nice things".

She told The Sun: "They're like my babies, they're my children.

"They can't treat themselves so I like to get them nice things."

The lucky pets' presents will include a jumper each to keep them warm on winter walks and a hamper of healthy treats to snack on.

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Fay will also buy them a new bed and a zip up towel to keep them cosy and prevent them running around her flat with muddy paws.

Asked how she's managing to afford the lovely gifts amid the cost of living crisis, she said: "I'm definitely not spending on things I would have this time last year.

"I've had to cut back on gifts for my family. We've just said we're not going to do big gifts this year.

She added: "I was going to buy myself a winter coat but I found and old coat and thought 'I'm just going to wear my old things into the ground'.

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"I'll sacrifice my own clothes for theirs because when their clothes get holes in them they genuinely can't use them anymore.

"The old clothes I've got will make do for me."

The loving dog mum admitted: "I'm fully aware it sounds crazy".

She said that some people "roll their eyes" but argues that "they're not dog people so they don't really understand."

She added that she feels lucky to be able to rely on her family for support and their understanding so she is able to afford the presents for Fudge and Lola.

However, as well as buying sustainable gifts, Fay emphasises the the importance of DIY toys and being able to recycle old toys into new ones.

She said: "I went to my local DIY shop and brought some rope to make them each a rope toy.

"Not only was it fun to make something myself but it was also half the price than it is to buy in a shop."

It comes as a survey found that British dog owners are expected to spend more than £1.3 billion on gifts for their dogs this Christmas.

According to research by charity Guide Dogs, 26% agree with Fay that they're happy to ditch Secret Santa and decline festive party invitations and use the money saved to treat their pets.

Meanwhile, a quarter are looking to find creative ways to spoil their pooches with DIY toys.

GUIDE DOGS’ TOP DIY PRESENTS

1. Licky mats which dogs can lick to soother themselves

2. Interactive toys which give pets an excuse to move about

3. Foraging for toys which feed pooch's instinct to hunt and problem-solve

4. Food-based puzzles which also reward problem-solving instincts

5. Snuffle mats on which dogs can sniff out hidden treat foods

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