Steady and sustained growth in the pet services sector is driving demand for startups and franchises interested in non-traditional pet services business concepts.

While other sectors of the economy are reporting lackluster performance, the pet service industry is thriving.

According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), last year the U.S. pet industry revenues totaled approximately $51 billion — a 4% increase over 2010 revenues and nearly doubling the revenues earned by the industry as recently as a decade ago.

Trends driving the growth of the pet service industry include:

* 62% of all U.S. households (more than 70 million homes) now own a pet

* Approximately 46 million U.S. households own a dog — significant because dogs require more services and are more expensive to own than other pets

* Apart from veterinary expenses, pet owners indicate that food, boarding and grooming expenses are their highest expense categories

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