There's no doubt that people love their pets, but new Valentine's Day statistics show that man's best friend is getting a little more love today than in recent years.
Americans are expected to spend a near-record high of $751 million on Valentine's Day gifts for their pets this year — an average of $5.50 per person. That far exceeds last year's $593 million, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF), which surveyed 7,277 consumers.
Shoppers will overall spend $19.6 billion on Valentine's Day gifts this year, more than last year's $18.2 billion and close to the 2016 record high of $19.7 billion, the NRF reports.
Although the share of Americans giving V-day gifts to their pets has hovered around 20 percent since 2012, the average amount each is willing to spend has usually remained at just above the $5 mark.
People aged 25-to-34 will be spending the most on Valentine's Day gifts this year, dropping an average of $202.76 per person. This group will also spend a few extra bucks on their pets than other age groups, averaging out at $12.70.
Pets got the most Valentine's Day love in 2013 when Americans spent about $815 million on gifts for them. This year, though, consumers still plan to spend more on their pets than on their co-workers.
Meanwhile, pet supply retailers like Petco are holding local Valentine's Day events around the country, offering up free "doggie ice cream" and photos.
After accounting for vet visits, vaccinations, toys and grooming, owning a pet can cost you up to $42,000 over its lifetime, according to the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals. Spending money on our pets may even be making us broke: in the U.S. alone, Americans spend $44 billion annually on pet food, supplies and toys, the Economist reports.
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