When Americans feel an economic pinch, belt-tightening is often in order. That said, one budget item that is apparently immune from a spending reduction this year is the family pet. From the Boston Globe:
The National Retail Federation predicts that holiday sales will rise a disappointing 4% this year over last year, but Rover and Kitty have no need for concern. Annual spending on pets is expected to hit $40.8 billion in 2007, a nearly 6% rise over last year, according to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association.
The AFP reports that 90% of Americans consider their dog or cat a part of their human family—and that in 2006, Americans spent almost $3 billion on their pets just in the two-month period from Halloween through Christmas.
[According to] Bob Vetere, president of the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association (APPMA), "People have birthday parties, Christmas parties, Hanukkah parties for their pets," he added. "I have heard of people having 'pupperware' parties. People bring their dogs over and there are a bunch of toys and games and gifts, and just as humans would do at a Tupperware party, the pets pick out the gifts they like."
I'm not sure about "pupperware" parties, but I can certainly relate to going a little heavy on the dog toys and clicker training supplies. Do I really need a clicker in every color? Probably not, but it's the fun that counts. Oh yeah, and the well-behaved, happy Newfie.
Happy Holidays to clicker trainers everywhere!