photo credit: Piez

A new survey from WSL Strategic Retail shows that less than 20 percent of pet owners have cut their spending on their pets. The majority of pet owners have continued to purchase premium pet food and products, even as they’ve cut expenses elsewhere.

Turns out, pet supplies are often at the bottom of the cutback list, along with human essentials such as prescription medications and toothpaste.

“Pets are just a key part of the family,” said Shilpa Bharne Rosenberry, senior consultant with WSL. “About 68 percent said they treat their pets as well as their children, and half said it just makes them feel happy to buy nice things for their pets.”

Industry sales are expected to reach $45.4 billion in 2009, compared with $28.5 billion in 2001.

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