I am coming clean and admit to spending too much on my dog. If I couldn’t afford it, I wouldn’t do it. I am not sitting home counting 50 dollar bills nor am I wealthy. I love buying pet products and I do so for friends and family with dogs. I also give to rescues and fosters and shelters. Something about walking the aisles of a pet supply store and perusing the aisles of online sites like Pet360 gives me, well, the warm fuzzies. (I get a similar urge in book stores and shoe stores, but I digress).
I’m not alone in the amount I spend on my dog. According to a report filed by Reuters last month, spending on pets was at 41.2 billion just five years ago, making for an almost 30 percent increase over that time frame. Yes, you read that right: a 30 percent increase in what we are spending on our pets.
What are we buying and if so many pets are pampered why are the numbers of pets being dumped in shelters so high? It’s an odd juxtaposition, isn’t it? More than 46 million American households own a dog, yet millions of dogs are euthanized due to lack of space on this planet every year. These things keep me awake at night.
Spending will keep going up, too. I was recently at the Global Pet Expo in Florida – spanning the size of 14 football fields. There, the American Pet Products Association (APPA) forecast more than $55.5 billion in spending in 2013 across all segments of the pet industry, surpassing the $53.33 billion spent in 2012 by 4.1 percent. WOWZA!
Not all of that spending is on pet products. The largest portion of a pet owner’s budget is used to keep their pet in good health. Yet, veterinarians I’ve talked to say their client visits are way down.
Spoil the Pooch: That is the bottom line, in our humble opinion. We spoil our pets. Their lives are short lived. When times are tight, we buckle our belts and shorten our budgets but we spend on our dogs. You are not alone. Hard times and job loss make us closer to the ones who, well, don’t judge us or tell us we’re laid off. And we repay them with splurging. In whatever means that is, we splurge. In a survey of pet parents performed by Pet360 earlier this year, it was revealed that three of four people who participated would rather be stranded on a desert island with their pets than a human companion. Now that’s loyalty.
Of course, that pampering comes at a price: An estimated 54% of dogs and cats in the United States are overweight or obese. Want to show your dog you love them? Walk him, play with her, spend some quality time engaging. Splurge to your heart’s content but play. Your dog will thank you for it, and you can take that sentiment all the way to the bank.
What say you? Do you splurge on your pet?
We’re also celebrating BlogPaws’ blog hop today and here are a few of our pet blogging fur-ends: