LOS ANGELES (February 22, 2013)--The economy may have been sluggish last year, but Americans refused to scrimp on their pets.
Animal lovers spent close to $53 billion on food, veterinary care, kennels and other services in 2012, up 5 percent from 2011, when spending first broke the $50 billion barrier, the American Pet Products Association said Friday.
The president of the trade group based in Greenwich, Conn., Bob Vetere, predicts another 4 percent gain this year.
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 percent.
Spending on the growing market of alternative vet care such as acupuncture totaled about $12.5 billion.
Vetere said spending on services such as grooming, boarding, hotels and pet-sitting grew nearly 10 percent during 2012 to almost $4.4 billion.