Being in the doghouse can be a good thing.
Especially if that doghouse is a David Salmon four-poster Mahogany, Georgian-style Pet Pavilion valued at $23,000.
With the way people pamper their animals these days, you could say investing in the pet industry is like barking up the right tree. From PetSmart’s PetsHotels business to $200 doggie Kimonos from Manhattan boutique Le Chien, companies are cashing in on the four-legged family member. Industry players say pets are more important than ever.
“With the world so uncertain, people need something to count on,” says Bob Vetere, president of the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association (APPMA). People turn to their pets for comfort, he says, which is why spending remains strong despite higher gasoline prices and events like Hurricane Katrina.
The “humanization” of pets, as the industry calls it, is fueling solid growth across all segments, particularly services, says Erika Maschmeyer, who tracks the pet industry as an equity research associate for Robert W. Baird & Co.’s consumer retail unit.
“People are waiting longer to have kids, so they’re treating pets like babies,” said Maschmeyer, who with her husband owns two cats and a dog and has no children. The market has also grown, she says, thanks to aging baby boomers and more households with children getting pets.