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Posted: 1:19 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2012

Spending on our pets to hit $55 billion



By Clark Howard


Americans love their pets. Our spending on pets is estimated to hit $55 billion this year -- more than double what it was several years ago last decade, according to what I read in The Arizona Republic.

We're spending more money today on pet food than we spent overall on pets just several years ago. People are buying "natural", "organic," and "special formula" kinds of food. Pet food now accounts for more than 40% of the total cost of having pets.

My senior producer Kim bought bite-size chews containing "a calming formula" for her cat Pumpkin who is stressed out because of a recent move and having trouble acclimating. She got a recommendation from a friend for a product called Composure that cost $14 for a small bag.

In times of high anxiety like we have right now, people feel safe harbor with their pets. This has led to extreme pampering, such as pet spas, dye for dogs to make them a designer color, and $125 an hour fur treatments.

The most important thing with pets is making sure they have their vet visits, that they are well fed, that you don't ignore them, and that you be there for them just as they are for you.

If money is tight, be wary this is the hot thing right now. Running up those bills is not necessarily the best idea!