Americans spend how much on pets?

By Sue Manning

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, March 13 2014 11:11 p.m. MDT

In this Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013, file photo Natasha Ashton works in the offices of her pet insurance company, in Philadelphia. Americans spent an all-time high of $55.7 billion on their pets in 2013 and will creep close to $60 billion this year.

Matt Rourke, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

LOS ANGELES — An industry spokesman says Americans spent an all-time high of $55.7 billion on their pets in 2013 and will creep close to $60 billion this year.

Bob Vetere (vah-TEER'-ee) of the American Pet Products Association just told buyers and exhibitors at the Global Pet Expo in Orlando, Fla., that food accounted for $21.6 billion of the spending. In 1996, when the not-for-profit trade association started tracking pet spending, pet owners spent $21 billion on everything.

Vetere say the humanization of pets and the many positive effects pets have on human health should keep the industry vibrant for many more years.

For the long term, he expects to see a pet health craze that starts for humans and pets much earlier and younger.

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