The Recession Isn’t Dogging the Pet Biz

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There are no pets in my home. With three kids born in fairly quick succession, my wife and I are going on six years of regularly having to change somebody’s diaper. Our thinking is: We deal with enough poop already. We also are less than eager to take on the costs of caring for a pet. So no dog or cat, not even a goldfish or a parakeet for us. Am I the only one surprised—and slightly disheartened, frankly—that at a time when foreclosures are everywhere, when we can’t come up with the money to provide all of our citizens with health care, when people are scaling back on everything from dining out to dental visits to after school activities, the pet business is booming?

According to an LA Times blog, pet grooming and boarding businesses are expecting to reap in $2.69 billion this year. Pet food producers will make over $15 billion, buoyed on by an increase in demand for premium pet foods, including organic and special diet goods. All told, the pet industry is expected to generate $51.6 billion in 2009, up 1.3 percent from last year.

Does this strike anyone as somewhat decadent, in light of how everything else is faring in our economy?

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