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Pet Industry Robust and Resilient Despite Recession

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The American Pet Products Association (APPA) Releases $43.2 Billion 2008 Pet Industry Spending Figure and Forecasts Continued Growth in 2009.

‘Economic Bite Not So Ruff – Pet Owners Still Spending’- This recent headline sums up the state of the pet industry, as the leading pet products trade association releases spending data to back it up. APPA President, Bob Vetere announced that amidst one of the worst economic downturns in decades, the pet industry continues to show resilience. The American Pet Products Association’s annual release of comprehensive industry information shows total pet spending in 2008 topping $43 billion, with no declines in any category from 2007. That’s more than the gross domestic product of all but 64 countries in the world and almost double the amount shelled out on pets just a decade ago. And, where most retail sectors are struggling to simply stay afloat, the pet industry is one of the fastest-growing with projected 4.9% increase in spending to $45.4 billion in 2009.

Due to consumers considering pets as part of the family, the gap in quality between two-legged and four-legged mammals is quickly disappearing in all categories from food and clothing to health care and services.

Pet ownership is currently at its highest level with 71.4 million households in the U.S. owning at least one pet (translating to 62% of the U.S. population owning a pet). Furthermore, during the past decade the current number of pet-owning households increased +12%, up from 61.2 million pet-owning households in 1998. According to The Survey, there are 77.5 million dogs, 93.6 million cats, 171.7 million freshwater fish, 11.2 million saltwater fish, 15 million birds, 15.9 million small animals, 13.63 million reptiles and 13.3 million horses owned in the U.S.

“The findings in The Survey clearly demonstrate the importance of the role our pets are playing in our every day lives. Two decades of trended data show that now more than ever people consider pets an important part of the family and are still providing for their faithful companions even in these trying times,” said Bob Vetere, president of APPA. “As pet ownership continues to rise, so has the demand for quality products and services. This has led to an amazing evolution of innovative products and services that truly enhance the experience of owning a pet.”