Here’s NPR with the report:
Despite the recession, this year Americans are expected to increase their spending on pets to $45.4 billion, up $2.2 billion from last year, according to the American Pet Products Association. Meanwhile, over the same period of time, retail spending on human luxuries, like those bought at department stores, are down double-digit percentages.
Pet products and services are experiencing a financial boomlet in part because of changing attitudes toward pets — as well as a growing industry marketing a broader array of services designed to mimic the luxuries humans offer themselves.
Drug companies are chasing a lucrative market for veterinary drugs. Doggie spas and day cares are catering to baby boomers and childless couples with disposable income. Catalogs are offering more safety and specialized care products. And television shows like National Geographic’s Dog Whisperer and movies like Bolt are telegraphing that pets should play a vaunted role in family life.
– from NPR