We all consider our dogs part of our family and treat them accordingly…within reason. There are some dog owners however, that take spoiling their dogs to another level. Nothing is too good for their four legged “baby”. According to the American Pet Products Manufacturing Association, 27% of dog owners buy birthday presents for their dog and 55% buy their pooch holiday gifts. The pet industry is estimated to be a $43 million a year business.
Some of that money is spent on birthday parties for dogs, and people even throw “puppy showers” for new puppy owners. Traveling for pet owners no longer has to mean putting your precious pup in a boarding kennel. You can now book your dog into a pet resort. These dogs have elevated beds, televisions, swimming and organized play time. The more luxurious pet resorts will send a chauffeur driven limousine to pick up their clients and offer 24 hour room service. Some resorts provide spa treatments and have web cams in the suites, so concerned parents can keep an eye on their pup. A pet resort in Manhattan provides “yappy hour” on the roof top garden. Most of us will never experience this much pampering, much less provide it for our dogs.
There is a shop in Seattle that provides doggy gift baskets for the celebrities at the Golden Globes. The owner carries such goodies as “pawlish” for your pets nails, sparkly mascara, clothing, and even cologne. You can buy sequinned raincoats, cashmere sweaters and earrings. The most expensive dog collar in the world is made up of 52 carats of diamonds and costs $1.8 million. Does anyone else think this is a bit nuts?
The latest country to embrace pampering their pets is China. Before the 1990’s keeping dogs was banned. Chinese are now allowed to own dogs, but there is a registration fee of hundreds of dollars. The affluent Chinese that can afford to register a dog, also have no qualms about spending a small fortune on them. I have seen on television, a British family that ate frozen dinners after preparing a full dinner, complete with expensive cuts of meat and potatoes for the 2 dogs. There is something wrong with that picture!
There is no end to the treats and services available to your furry best friend or your “baby”. While most of us spoil our pooches with the occasional ice cream or cheese doodle, or maybe his own chair to curl up on, there are people who spare no expense to make their pets feel loved. The truth is our dogs really don’t want much more than their basic needs being met and lots of love and attention. They want to be included in everything the family does. It doesn’t cost anything to take your dog for a walk and that will make him happier than any designer sweater.