This Recession Is For the Dogs

Money spent on pets is up in 2009

People may be howling about the recession, but man's best friend is doing just fine.

Despite unprecedented financial woes, pet owners are not cutting back on their doggie doting one bit. Many pet owners still treating their dogs to luxuries like oatmeal-aloe vera baths and professional blow dries.

Oh! And don’t forget the doggie cheesecake.

The American Pet Products Association predicts Americans will cough up $45.4 billion for their furry friends in 2009, a full $2.2 billion more than in 2008, the Sun-Times reports.

“The fact of the matter is people still love their pets, and just because the economy changes, that doesn’t change,” Petco spokeswoman Brooke Simon said.

Joel Spainhour, owner of the West Loop dog grooming, boarding and day care business Tucker Pup’s, said that after experiencing a slight decline in business last fall, his services are now doing better than ever.

But it's not all wagging tails. 

Some pooches are trading the posh life for poor health.

Dog owners are still shelling out for toys and treats but they're not ponying up for the vet, and some pooches are receiving less preventative care and getting more diseases.

Lenette DiCiaula, a veterinarian at Portage Park Animal Hospital & Dental Clinic said that while many of these diseases could have been prevented with the proper care, patients might not be able to afford “the gold standard” in a household with a tight budget.

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