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Spending is up on dogs and cats
Ten-year-old Anthony Awawdeh’s eyes lit up as he cuddled Raggedy Ann, a small doxie mix puppy, at PetSmart on Saturday. Raggedy Ann was one of ten dogs and three cats that were up for adoption by The Valley Oak American Society for the Prevention and Cruelty to Animals ( ASPCA).
“On the weekends I won’t be so bored,” said Anthony who wanted a dog for Christmas.
According to an American Pet Products Association (APPA) 2011-2012 National Pet Owners Survey, 53% percent of dogs and 38 % of cats are received as gifts for Christmas. The same survey said that Americans spent roughly $53 billion on their pets in 2012. Nearly half of that was spent on food. However, pet owners also splurged on supplies, over-the-counter medicine, veterinary care and grooming and boarding services.
APPA said pet products have been habitual leaders among retail segments during the holidays, even during the tougher years of the recession and this year will likely continue the trend. According to the survey, 62% of U.S. households include a dog, cat, bird, or other animal companion,
The National Retail Federation is estimating this year’s holiday sales will increase 4.1% to $586 billion, down from last year’s growth of 5.6 %
Though this is the first Christmas season for the PetSmart store in Porterville PetSmart store manager Tyson Dewitt, two weeks ago during a phone call, said that he has already seen heavier traffic than normal.
“The sales are doing great. They [the customers] tend to spoil their dog or cat with a toy they normally wouldn’t get,” said Dewitt.
The store has sales on a variety of dog beds and dog food. Another area of the sales increase is seen in the store’s salon.
“A lot of families get dogs groomed and bathed for photos,” said Dewitt.
Last month Forbes reported there are now 35 pet-service franchises in the United States, and pet hotels continue to pop up around the country.
Customers Andrew and Krystal Sudano have five pets; three dogs, one cat and one rat.
“These are our only babies. I think we were both raised as animal people,” said Krystal Sudano.
Krystal said that they spend money on things like squeak toys, antlers and bones and put them in stockings.
The Awawdeh’s were among a number of American families that were considering buying a pet as a gift.
“I want to get him a dog so he knows how to treat animals,” said Sherry. “It’s a good idea to give a pet as a holiday gift.”
In the fish area were LaDonna Lambarena with her daughters, Marissa Lambarena and Cassandra Lambarena, and her grandchildren five-year-old Jewels Lambarena and four-year-old Gavin Lambarena. The family who lost their home in a fire in January were on the hunt for a dog. LaDonna said that giving a pet as a holiday gift was a good idea.
Earlier they had seen a German Shepard mix named Samson.
“He was really cute,” said Marissa. The Lambarena’s later decided to adopt Samson. At the end of the event three dogs and one cat had been adopted.
At the Porterville Animal Shelter holiday adoptions remain consistent.
“We haven’t seen a real big influx at the shelter. Our numbers on a monthly basis are about 25 adoptions per month,” said Animal Control Unit Supervisor Augie Gonzalez. “In terms of giving an animal as a gift I don’t recommend it. People have to be ready.”
*The Associated Press contributed to this story.*
Contact Emily Shapiro at 784-5000, ext. 1050 or on Twitter @ EmilyShapirogar