Pet spending at an all time high

Pet spending at an all time high

REDDING, Calif. - According to the American Pet Products Association, people spent $55.7 billion in 2013 on their furry friends.

This amount has been steadily increasing about four percent every year since 1994 when researchers started tracking it.

Happy Tails Barkery in Redding is a one stop shop for pet owners, with everything from pet strollers to doggie clothes.

"Pets are your children," said Happy Tails Barkery employee, Seth Lopez.

Lopez said customers treat pets like they're part of the family. With about 68 percent of the country owning a pet, it's a growing industry that has proven profitable for businesses tapping in.

"Ideas are always constantly flowing around and it's really crazy with what people come up with," said Lopez.

In 2013, people spent a total of $55.7 billion on their pets, with food topping the list. Consumers spent $21.6 billion on food, $14.4 billion on vet care, $13.1 billion on supplies and medicine, $4.4 billion on grooming and boarding and $2.2 billion on live animal purchases.

Pet experts believe the food and vet category were the highest because of consumers growing interest to improve the healthcare for their pets.

"If you're going to have a pet, take care of it," said pet owner, Laurel Pringle.

Pringle is a frequent customer at Happy Tails Barkery. She has two pit bull mixes and always chooses higher quality food which also comes with a bigger price tag.

"This seems so much more expensive, but you use so much less," said Pringle.

"It does make a difference. People might say it's a little more expensive but really you are saving money on vet bills," said Lopez.

Pet experts are also seeing more dogs and cats move from the backyard to inside the home, with consumers pampering and spoiling their furry four-legged children.

"When you grow up you get pets, I don't even know how to explain it but I love my dogs," said Pringle.

Experts believe the trend will continue to rise. They predict spending to go up to $58.5 billion just this year, nearly a five percent increase from last year.

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