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Has consumer spending gone to the dogs?

Has consumer spending gone to the dogs?

On Friday, PetSmart became the latest retailer to comment on expected sales softness in the wake of a three-week partial U.S. government shutdown and prolonged bickering surrounding raising the debt ceiling.

"We see the customer being challenged by all of the uncertainty that's been out there—whether it be the shutdown, where it be the payroll tax, the sequester, and we think that has led to a little bit softer traffic impact for us," CEO David Lenhardt told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" on Friday.

(Read more: Shoppers slash holiday spending plans)

The day earlier, the company cuts it forecast for comparable store sales growth to a range of 2.2 to 2.5 percent, compared with its previous guidance of 3 to 4 percent for this quarter.

Still, Lenhardt insisted that the softness isn't a result of a change in customers' willingness to buy things for their pets—the humanization of pets trend is alive and well.

"We've seen just a broad-based, across-the-board drop in our traffic, and that's leading us to come to that conclusion," he said.

(Read more: A glass of Meow-lot? Japan launches wine for cats)

Before PetSmart, retailers including Wal-Mart and Family Dollar said the shutdown weighed on their consumers' minds.

A separate survey commissioned by Goldman Sachs indicated that consumers had already begun scaling back. Nearly half of those earning $35,000 or less said they've scaled back their spending versus about a third of respondents making $100,000 or more.

—By CNBC's Katie Little. Follow her on Twitter @KatieLittle

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