Americans spent a record $55.7 billion on their pets last year, a 4.5% increase over the previous year, according to a trade group.
The figure includes pet owners' spending on food, veterinary expenses and other supplies. The data shows that pooches and felines are being treated handsomely by their owners, the American Pet Products Assn. said.
Pet services -- grooming, training, boarding and other similar services -- grew the fastest, expanding 6.1% over the previous year. Americans spent nearly $4.5 billion in this category and that figure is expected to grow further this year.
"People are pampering their pets more than ever and manufacturers and businesses are offering new products, services and opportunities to meet their needs and wants," said Bob Vetere, chief executive of the trade group.
Food unsurprisingly was the largest segment: Americans shelled out $21.6 billion on food for their pets, up $1 billion from 2012. The trade group said pet owners are increasingly looking for higher-quality food for their animals.
"Food and veterinary care are strongly influenced by consumers' growing interest in improved healthcare for their pets," Vetere said.
The trade group also expects 2014 will see more growth. Initial estimates peg American spending to increase to $58.5 billion in 2014.
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