You may think that most Americans, after five years of a recession, are cutting back. But we’re still shelling out on our pets – we spent $51 billion on them in 2011! Here are some things pet parents are spending big bucks on:
1. Designer pet carriers
The Louis Vuitton Baxter dog carrier may be sold out, but it retails for $2,000. Would you spend that much for something your pup might poop in?
2. Expensive litter boxes
When I first saw the Modkat top entry litter box, I wanted one. Badly. Until I saw the price tag – $180 for a box for my $20 Humane Society cat to crap in. The design is spectacular, especially having the entry at the top. This seemed like a great way to keep my dog from snacking on “Kitty Roca”, and the box itself, available in stylish colors, is actually nice to look at. But a litter box will always stink, and there’s no amount of design that would make me want to show one off.
After some poking around, I found another top entry litter box called the Clevercat:
The design is basically just a Rubbermaid tub with a hole cut in the top, and doesn’t have the same features as the Modkat, but at one sixth the price, I can live with it.
3. Gourmet dog food
Companies like Lucky Dog cuisine charge more to deliver homemade, “human grade” dog food to your home than the average American family on food stamps is allotted to feed actual humans.
Meanwhile, the Dog Food Advisor site lists the best foods for your dog based on actual ingredients and real dietary needs – and many of the highest rated foods are commercially available and not at all “gourmet”.
4. Modern pet furniture
It’s a lovely piece of furniture, but would you spend $600 for the DenHaus pet den? The only furniture I’ve spent that much on are my mattress and my sofa – neither of which my dog are allowed on!
For those who want to live in a chic looking home, I understand the appeal of high design pet furniture. But the gig is up as soon as a guest notices the tumbleweeds of dog hair lurking under the coffee table or the hairball recently deposited on the living room rug.
5. Pet spas
Searching for “pet spa” on Google returns more than 33 million results. We love pampering our pets, and grooming is big business. From cat massages to dog manicures, even high-end pet-friendly hotels are now offering services like blueberry facials.
What do you think? Are we spending too much on our pets? Or are we just showing affection for our pets by treating them like the family members they are?