Pet industry is booming despite crisis

APPA President Bob Vetere said the growth could be attributed to the humanization of pets, which is shrinking the quality-of-life gap between humans and their animal companions in various categories, including food, clothing, health care and services.
Spending trends
APPA signalled the following trends:

    * Most of consumer’s pet budget goes to health care. With the growing costs of pet health care comes an increase in pet veterinary insurance, currently estimated at $271 million and projected to grow to $500 million by 2012.
    * Pet services is the next-fastest-growing category as these services become more closely modelled after those offered to people. Doggy hotels now have private suites, heated beds and other amenities. Businesses such as dog walkers, pooper-scoopers, trainers and even massage therapists are booming.
    * Supplies and over-the-counter medications showed steady growth of about 4% for 2009.
    * Pet-food trends now mirror human diet trends. Spending has doubled compared to a decade ago.
    * Hotels reverse their no-pet-policy and offer royal packages for pets.
    * All kind of companies offer special pet items, such as dog friendly cars, stereo systems for pets or litter robots.

All this exorbitance can be examined at the Global Pet Expo, an annual pet-products trade show set for March 25-27, in the Orange County Congress Center, Orlando, Florida. The expo will showcase 800 manufacturers and about 4,000 new products.

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