National

Recession? No recession for pampered pets

Nugget, a pug whose full name is Champion Rocking RC Nugget, gets a bath from owner Virginia Flatley, left, of Santa Ynez, Calif.
Nugget, a pug whose full name is Champion Rocking RC Nugget, gets a bath from owner Virginia Flatley, left, of Santa Ynez, Calif. Kathy Willens / AP

Friends Marie Othic and Paula Younghanz last week picked up the perfect 1st birthday present — colorful truffles and other treats — for their two adopted girls.

While Lacey and Sadie needed a little help opening the festive packages at their party, the golden retrievers didn’t need any help finishing off the goodies from pet shop Land of Paws.

Othic and Younghanz are among the two-thirds of Americans who own pets and also among the majority that still pamper their pets — even as they cut back on their own expenses.

"We make sure they have treats, new collars, healthy food," Othic said. "They give to us.":

A new survey by WSL Strategic Retail indicates that only 19 percent of pet owners are scrimping on pet spending, with the majority buying not only nice things but top-of-the-line products as well, such as premium pet food.

Turns out, pet supplies are often at the bottom of the cutback list, along with human essentials such as prescription medications and toothpaste.

"Pets are just a key part of the family," said Shilpa Bharne Rosenberry, senior consultant with WSL. "About 68 percent said they treat their pets as well as their children, and half said it just makes them feel happy to buy nice things for their pets."

Industry sales are expected to reach $45.4 billion in 2009, compared with $28.5 billion in 2001.

Read the complete story at kansascity.com

  Comments