Americans still spending on pets

Monday, August 15, 2011 - 6:09pm

Recent reports show that consumer spending is down...but sales for pet supplies are still rising. Spending on pets jumped by eight percent in 2010. That number is expected to rise to more than $47 billion this year. The news comes after pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announces a dip in earnings for human prescriptions, but record sales for pet medications.

Local veterinarian Valri Brown of the Cat and Dog Clinic says it's not just about the numbers. "We've been doing a lot more email marketing," she says. And that, coupled with an increase of households with pets, has helped her see a boost in business this year, even after a crippling economic recession. She credits most of that to her clients saying, "We have a lot of loyal clients who we're very grateful for. These are people who attend to every one of their pets' needs."

Debbie Williamson is one of those clients. She takes her cat to the clinic. She says she wouldn't sacrifice anything for her family in order to tend to her pets' needs--but so far, she hasn't had to do that. "I don't do without and my pets don't do without," she says.

Recent numbers by the Humane Society of the United States show that more than half of all households have at least one pet. The average pet owner spends about $250 per pet...every year.

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