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Pets Are People Too!

Marie Lisewski

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According to pet industry statistics, pet owners spent approximately $41 billion dollars in 2007 and the figure is expected to exceed $43 billion in 2008. Those figures are huge increases from the 1994 total of $17 billion. We have an obligation to care for our pets so food and vet care account for the great part of those totals but providing good food and medical care for many of us is only part of what we do for our pets. Our pets are members of our families. We take them where ever we go, we pamper them, buy them treats and gifts. We buy them holiday gifts.

Squeaky toys and rag pulls and catnip mice are still popular gifts among the puppy and kitty sets but toys are only one segment of the pet gift market. Gifts of pet furniture include cat trees, scratching posts, cat condos and playgrounds, beds for cats and dogs. Heated or orthopedic beds are great for older animals and beds covered in washable canvas or fleece and filled with cedar shavings help to eliminate odor.

Pet owners are shopping in pet boutiques for clothing and accessories for their pets. Collars and leashes now come in an assortment of colors, patterns and prints. Personalized collars, featuring the pet's name are popular as are collar charms. For those with unlimited resources, custom designed diamond collars are available.

In addition to pet collars, bowls, treat jars or tins, and clothing and be personalized.
When shopping for a pet gift, think safety first. Take into consideration the age and size of the pet when choosing a gift. Choking is a common hazard for pets. Make sure the toy is large enough so that the pet can't swallow it.

When purchasing a heated orthopedic bed or any gift for your pet, please consider homeless and shelter animals. Save toys and beds your pet has out grown and donate them to a local shelter.

Marie is the owner and chief designer at Laurel Mountain Basket Company, the New England gift basket service voted “Best In The Valley" by the Valley Advocate Readers Poll 5 years in a row and chosen among the Rave Reviews! Top 100 for 2007. Visit her at


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