The dogs, cats, birds, fish, gerbils, and hamsters you see today might look like the same animals that walked into your practice 10 years ago, but they're different. A sign of their status change might be the number of companies that cater to four-legged consumers, including Old Navy, Harley-Davidson, Origins, and Paul Mitchell, just to name a few. You can also look to what their human companions are spending on these and other products—an estimated $40.8 billion in 2007.
Months into the pet food recall, the veterinary world is out of sorts, with some dry and wet food varieties still off the shelves. But amid the frustrations, there's some good news: The recall has shifted clients' focus from cost to quality of their pets' diets.
It's probably more than you think. For example, a typical dog owner spends $219 a year on routine veterinary care, while a cat owner spends $175, according to the 2007-2008 APPMA National Pet Owners Survey (see Figure 1).