In the United States, 63 percent of households include a pet (up 7 percent since 1988), and pet lovers spent $38.5 billion on their pets in 2006 (up from $21 billion a decade earlier). Americans now spend several billion dollars more on dog and cat food than they do on baby food. And the pet healthcare industry is booming.
So, what’s behind the increased affinity for animals? It’s partly due to the growing share of people choosing pets over children.