The American Pet Products Manufacturers Association (APPMA) doesn't think a potential recession will affect an increase in pet spending. It's estimating a 5.6 percent year-over-year increase, to $43.4 billion, in 2008. Veterinary healthcare will see the greatest percentage boost of all: $10.9 billion in 2008, up from $10.1 billion in 2007.
What's fueling the trend? APPMA president Bob Vetere says baby boomers and empty nesters are showing their love for pets later in life. They're buying more pet insurance and using pet hotels, pet spas, and doggie day care in greater numbers.
Other sectors projected to see year-to-year growth in 2008 include pet food (4.2 percent), pet supplies and over-the-counter medicine (5.5 percent), live-animal purchases (2.2 percent), and miscellaneous services (6.9 percent).