US Spends More Than $50 Billion Yearly on Pets

March 25, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings 
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. splurge (v.) – to spend a large amount of money
Example: The woman splurged on clothes, shoes and jewelry after receiving her salary.

2. veterinary (adj.) – pertaining to the medical care and treatment of animals
Example: I brought my sick dog to the veterinary clinic.

3. grooming (n.) – taking care of one’s appearance
Example: Models keep their hair and nails healthy by regular grooming.

4. insurance (n.) – a form of financial protection in which a company pays for damage caused by death or accident
Example: Company employees are provided with insurance for work-related emergencies or accidents.

5. bionic (adj.) – (informal use) having extraordinary strength; not easily damaged
ExampleBionic toys can be used for strong dogs.

Read the text below.

According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), Americans have been splurging on pets more than ever before.

Over $50 billion was spent on pets in 2011, with 65% of the total pet expenses spent on food and veterinary services.

But pet services such as grooming, boarding, pet hotels, and pet-sitting have grown the fastest among this type of businesses. Clients’ expenses on pet services have reached $3.79 billion last year. According to APPA president Bob Vetere, spending on pet services will increase up to $4.11 billion in 2012. He says services like these have become popular because people are often busy with work.

Jessica Vogelsang, a veterinarian in San Diego, says people are becoming more interested in pets. Many pet owners are also making sure their pets get the proper care. As a result, the pet industry has taken this opportunity to provide for owners’ specific needs.

Meanwhile, pet insurance is proving to be another successful industry, with customer spending up to an estimated $450 million.

Apart from pet services, new pet products are showing more variety and creativity. The pet market is seeing a rise in puzzle feeders, which boost the mental ability of pets. For dogs that like to chew, bionic toys are also available.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

·         Why do you think some people like to have pets?
·         What are the advantages and disadvantages of having pets?

Discussion B

·         What do you think motivates pet owners to splurge on pet care?
·         Do you find it reasonable to spend large amounts of money on pets? Why or why not?


March 25, 2012