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Putting a leash on pet costs

April 11, 2008 |  4:10 pm

A_puppy_waits_for_adoption_4 Bringing a pet into your life could very well bring on a case of sticker shock. Consider the vet bills, the pet food, the toys.... and don't forget that estate planning. Of course, there are ways to economize without diminshing your pet's self-esteem. L.A. Times staff writer David Colker reports on vet costs and other pet expenses, the puppy "lemon law" and much more. At right, a puppy waits for adoption at Orange County Animal Care Services in the city of Orange.

Photo: Irfan Kahn/Los Angeles Times

How much are we spending?

Consider the following:

44.8 million

Homes with dogs

38.4 million

Homes with cats

14.2 million

Homes with freshwater fish

4.8 million

Homes with reptiles

$43.4 billion

Total pet expenditures in 2008 (projected)

$23 billion

Total pet expenditures in 1998

$16.2 billion

Money spent on pet food in 2007

$10.1 billion

Money spent on vet care in 2007

$9.8 billion

Money spent on supplies in 2007

$3 billion

Money spent on grooming/boarding in 2007

Source: American Pet Products Manufacturers Assn

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