Overall Americans spent $61.4 billion on their charges, almost twice as much as global spending on movie tickets last year, with heavier outlay in our rural areas.
The most pampered American pets live with Baby Boomers and childless couples, and single pet owners and single parents are more likely to skimp on kitty and doggy spending.
Owners most likely to buy for dogs (say, little booties on Buddy) are ages 55 to 64, and couples without children, a new analysis by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows. They spend hundreds of dollars more than those in their 20s and 30s.
Have a puppy? If you do, or plan to down the road, stock up on food targeted for puppies, especially if you choose a large or giant breed puppy. Pet lovers tend to have strong opinions on pet care so it's easy for us to reflexively pooh-pooh feeding advice, especially when we are counting our pennies and have lived with many dogs.
However, new guidelines help us avoid debilitating bone diseases that cause suffering and even cut precious years off our pets' lives. Large and giant breed puppies should be fed a quality puppy formula until the end of their growth period when you transition to adult formula.
A good way to train and bond with your dog is to reward them with treats. But occasionally they may not be healthy and safe. The latest recall involves certain batches of Iams Shakeables turkey and lamb treats.
Recalls and alerts regarding pet foods, treats and animal feeds are readily available at Pet Food Safety Recalls and Alerts | AVMA. This information is based on reports and alerts received from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and/or the manufacturers. Spread the word and keep our pets safe!
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%. Spending on the growing market of alternative vet care, such as acupuncture, totaled about $12.5 billion.
This year another 4% gain in spending on pet supplies is predicted.
People who live with pets often refer to themselves as pet "parents", rather than "owners". The state of "owning" another being objectifies him or her and seems to turn the pet into a "thing", or even a "slave". This makes us uncomfortable since we love our pets to pieces, and many of us don't think of them as possessions, but as members of our families.
However, these terms have real-life legal ramifications that may come as a surprise. This mind-blowing Pet Parents or Pet Owners: What's in a Name | Dogs Naturally Magazine points out that changing the word from "owner" to "guardian," "custodian," "keeper" (as has happened in the entire state of RI and 40 cities) may just strip us of our constitutional rights towards our pets.
It boils down to our founding document, the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution gives citizens the right to "own" property, and not be deprived of that property without Due Process of Law. "Guardians" have no such rights. If you think that no one cares enough to want to deprive you of your rights of "guardianship," look no further than the Animal Rights organizations, with PETA at the helm."
Attorney Genny Wall adds, "If we are 'Guardians' rather than owners, then ultimately it will be the State, and not the individual, who has the power to say who will care for the animal, how it will be cared for, where it will reside, what medical treatments it will or will not undergo, and who will make all the other decisions regarding the health, welfare, life and death, or destruction, of that animal.
There is news about the popular Gentle Leader Headcollars. The collars sold from August, 2011 through this May 10, 2012 may have a defect in the quick-release neck strap buckle. The defect causes an unintended release.
Mistakes happen, but none of us want to unexpectedly be dealing with a pet on the loose. The issue has since been corrected, and the company recommends inspection for all Gentle Leader Headcollars purchased during and prior to this period. They promise to replace any that contain the defect.
For more info, click here for Premier Pet's site where they say they "take this matter seriously and apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your cooperation." At Gentle Leader Headcollars.
Now pet owners can buy for the whole family at Kmart Pharmacy. Kmart is introducing prescription pet medications at its stores and online at CPI, url: http://pets.kmart.com/.
Sounds easy and convenient, but where is proof of the Veterinary-Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites Accreditation? The customer needs to know they are purchasing drugs and devices from an online pharmacy that is properly licensed and complying with state and federal laws and regulations. We couldn't find the above seal on their site.
Two sites that do have the accreditation are PetCareRx and 1-800-PetMeds where you can save $5 off your order using code WEBC5 and save 5% on your order using code W5PER.
Looks like much of the Diamond Pet Food is a diamond in the rough. Since April 6, 2012, Diamond Pet Foods voluntarily recalled three dry dog food products. More information on these recalls, including the products subject to recall, can be found on the FDA website.
Now these multiple brands of dry pet food produced by Diamond Pet Foods at a single manufacturing facility in South Carolina have been linked to some of the human Salmonella infections. Read the CDC's Advice to Consumers.
Next time you are over at Target, you will be able to splurge on gourmet treats for your best buddy. The Shops at Target will launch this Sunday, May 6 at all retail locations and online, lasting for six weeks only, with prices ranging from $1 to $160. The shops include Polka Dog Bakery Pet Items, a Boston, MA treat and pet product boutique for dogs.
The other boutiques are The Webster House (clothing store, Miami, FL), Privet House (home accessories shop, Warren, CT), The Candy Store (San Francisco, CA), and The Cos Bar (cosmetic shop, Aspen, CO).
What I'm trying to say is, before you get a pet, it's worth it to genuinely assess whether you can really, actually afford it. Think about it: $5,500 in three years. That averages out to about $150/month. More than a cable/HBO/high-speed Internet bundle!
...As I said, this all adds up to about $4,550 in vet- and health-related bills in just under three years. The remaining grand was spent on travel to and from the vet and/or general cat things, like kitty litter, generic dry cat food, cat bed, scratching post, things like that. Fun fact: $1,000 over 36 months actually comes out to $27/month, which is pretty much what I initially guessed, way back in 2009, when I was predicting how much owning a cat would cost me. Sigh.
Researchers have established links between owners' personality traits and the breed of dogs they preferred. The Press Association reports that the Kennel Club assisted the research conducted by scientists at Bath Spa University. Their findings:
Breeds were split into seven groups: gundogs (eg golden retriever), hound dogs (eg greyhound; beagle), pastoral (eg German shepherd; border collie), terrier (eg Staffordshire bull), toy (eg Chihuahua), utility (eg bulldog) and working (eg Doberman).
In particular, owners of pastoral and utility breeds were more extroverted, gundog and toy dog owners were more agreeable, and owners of utility, toy and gundogs were more conscientious. Owners of hound dogs turned out to be more emotionally stable, while owners of toy dogs were more open to new experiences.
To find out what kind of dog matches your lifestyle and personality, read more at Dog Breeds