Americans spent over $53 billion on pets last year

Pet group says Americans spent over $53 billion on their pets last year, up 5 pct from 2011

Associated Press
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By JasonCorey Luna is a 1-year-old pit bull who resides in Somerville, Mass. She's a fantastic dog with an affectionate, heartwarming personality that is truly Westminster-worthy. Upon seeing Luna for the first time, you'll notice her adorable eyes widen, her tail wag vigorously, and the wet lick of her tongue. When my family got Luna, we were skeptical of how we would handle a pit bull, being aware of their vicious reputation. That concern quickly dissipated once we found out how loving of a dog she was to us, as well as to our two cats. I believe Luna serves as a perfect example to falsify the stigma held against pit bulls today. Relatives and friends hesitate when meeting Luna at first due to the "viciousness" stamp put on pit bulls by society, but their hesitation is immediately withdrawn upon meeting the loving Luna.

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The economy may have remained sluggish last year but Americans refused to scrimp on their pets, with animal lovers spending upwards of $53 billion on food, veterinary care, kennels and other services in 2012.

That's up 5 percent from 2011, when spending first broke the $50 billion barrier, says the American Pet Products Association, a trade group based in Greenwich, Conn. And APPA President and CEO Bob Vetere predicts another 4 percent gain this year.

At about $34.3 billion, food and vet care represented about two-thirds of total spending, with money spent on supplies and over-the-counter medications rising by more than 7 percent. Spending on the growing market of alternative vet care, such as acupuncture, totaled about $12.5 billion.

Vetere says spending on services like grooming, boarding, hotels and pet-sitting grew nearly 10 percent during 2012 to almost $4.4 billion.

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