Do you spend on your pet? I used to think that it was silly (or even crazy) to spoil a pet like you would a person, until I found a pet that really connected with me. At that point, we fell into the clutches of the pet product industry and bought into toys and trinkets that we thought would make our cat happy. But I’ve also always assumed that perhaps, if your pet could talk, he’ll tell you that he just wants a simple life that consists of basic meals, nice romps in the sunshine and a dry spot on the ground for when he rests.
But then again, this is America, the land of the $40 billion dollar a year pet industry. Here is some eye bugging info about the business of pets (from MSNBC):
Facts About The Pet Industry
- 63% of U.S. households own a pet.
- The most popular pets (by population size): cats, dogs, then fish. Followed by ferrets and the rest.
- Over 60% of pet owners have no kids. Hence, they tend to treat their pets like their own children.
- Spending on pets have increased because of demographics, better marketing and a more affluent client base.
- Some 56 percent of dog owners and 42 percent of cat owners buy their pets Christmas presents.
- 63 percent of cat owners and 42 percent of dog owners sleep with their pets.
- Veterinarians say obesity is the greatest health threat facing America’s pets, with at least a quarter of the population overweight (that compares with a 30 percent obesity rate in American adults).
- Be careful with what you feed your pets. Altering their diets with human food can be harmful to their health.
- Spending figures between 2002 and 2004 show that while household spending on pets increased 18% after inflation, toy sales dropped 25%, spending on day-care centers fell 15%, and spending on children’s clothes was down 15%.
So what makes the pet industry so successful? Let’s take a look at a few products. I’d be very impressed if you can identify what these are:
Answer: Eye implants for the sight-challenged animals in your life.
and how about these?
Answer: Implants for your neutered pet.
You can check out more at Neuticles.com, or take a look at the following product listing, where you’ll find unusual products that are pitched to pets and their owners today. Could any of these items be in your pet maintenance budget?
Unusual Pet Products… For The Special Critter In Your Life
- Implants and More
Do you know that you can help out your pet’s self-confidence by replacing its missing private parts after it gets neutered? Yes! Available in various sizes and firmness selections, you can try Neuticles.com for your dog (canine), cat (feline), horse (equine) or even bull! You gotta love their tag-line: it’s like nothing ever changed! Cost: around $100 to $1000 a pair, plus veterinarian’s charges. Additionally, you can also get your small animal or horse a solid silicone eye implant if need be and order scar removing gel for those unsightly post neutering scars.
- Pet Hotel
You can book your pet in a hotel of their own via The Ritzy Canine (ritzycanine.com). It’s a spa or hotel or luxury boarding place for your dogs and cats. There are massages, grooming, gourmet cuisine, training services, entertainment and the gym for your loved one as well. Using their services can set you back $175 for your pet’s Presidential Suite accommodations.
If you’d rather get the exercise while your pet relaxes, then a stroller should be right up your alley. There are quite a lot of models out there to choose from. Some pet stroller sites even warn customers to watch out for “cheap look-a-likes”.
- Pet Birthday
There are some event planners that have branched out into the pet business. They can help you organize your pet’s special birthday event. Amazing, since I don’t even use an event planner for human birthdays.
- Pet Wedding
Help your pet get hitched? There are now specialists who offer a variety of services including helping you organize your pet’s wedding (even hotels get into the act). Wedding Cost: $250 for wedding, more for dress and tuxedo. Perhaps this pet wedding can inspire you?.
- Pet Videos
How about some DVDs and CDs, not for you to enjoy but for your beloved bird, or dog, or cat? With FeatheredPhonics.com, You can have your bird listen to training CDs to bring out his talents. You can start out with simple words and phrases, then move on to songs, tunes and rhymes then graduate to higher studies involving foreign languages. You can keep your furry friends preoccupied while you’re away by having them watch videos and be entertained by their own kind.
- Doggie Eyewear
There’s a company called Doggles.com that sells eyewear for dogs, as well as your more standard fashion harnesses and leads, jewelry and outdoor wear (flotation jackets, backpacks and reflective vests). Not only that, if you really care about your best friend, you’ll need Pet Sunscreen, Hot Spot Cream (heal bug bites and minor cuts and irritations), and the Wearable Pet Ionizer (wonderful for pets with airborne allergies)! They’ve thought of everything.
- Pet Cell Phone
There used to be a company called Petsmobility.com that came up with a waterproof and scratchproof product called PetCell. This device was attached to the collar to help you keep in touch with your pet. It was supposed to help in the remote chance your pet got lost while wearing this thing so that somebody can just easily call back using the “phone”. It was a glorified id charm and one way walkie talkie in one. When it was available for sale, the phone was priced around $300 with a monthly calling plan that cost around $15. Given that it was a strange and expensive product, I’m not surprised that the business went under.
- State-of-the-Art Fish Bowl
Boost your feng-shui with pure water energy and the baby dragons (goldfish) that live in it. If you seek success, good luck and a healthy career, then you may want a fancy aquarium bowl to help make things happen for you. All for: $129.99 at Reef-One.com.
- Other Pet Products I’ve Encountered?
There’s so much more out there, including pet apparel and jewelry, small animal carriers, perfumes of all sorts, fancy water, organic gourmet food and even diet pills!
After seeing all the stuff and services that cater to living things of the non-human kind, I’m both bewildered and impressed by this burgeoning business. The truth is, I don’t even buy the counterparts to most of these products for myself or my kids. But I can see how tempting it is for pet owners to want to indulge their “children”. Now you know how some of us are oiling this economy!
Created July 3, 2007. Updated March 23, 2012. Copyright © 2012 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.