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US Pet Supplies Spending Nears $20B

It grew 6.6% last year.

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U.S. spending on pet supplies rose 6.6 percent last year to reach $19.8 billion, according to the Pet Business Professor blog.

The average household spent $150.62 on supplies in 2018, the blog’s John Gibbons writes. That was an increase from $142.90 the year before.

Pet supplies spending outpaced total pet spending, which grew only 1.9 percent in 2018 to hit $77.13 billion.

Gibbons writes: “The first half of 2018 continued an upturn in Supplies spending which began in the second half of 2016. However, in the second half of the year spending flattened out.”

Prices were a key factor. They started to move up in April and rapidly increased later in the year due to the impact of new tariffs. By December, supplies prices were 3.3% higher than a year earlier, and that “explains the initial growth and pull back in spending, according to Gibbons.

“Since the great recession, spending trends in the Supplies segment have been all about price – the CPI,” he writes. “Although many supplies are needed by Pet Parents, when they are bought and how much you spend is often discretionary.”

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He adds: “When prices fall, consumers are more likely to buy more. When they go up, consumers spend less and/or buy less frequently.”

Numbers in the report come from or are calculated using data from the U.S. BLS Consumer Expenditure Surveys.

Since launching in 2017, PETS+ has won 16 major international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact PETS+'s editors at editor@petsplusmag.com.

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Video: Adorable Cat Melts Hearts By Trying on Eyewear for Children

Kids see that ‘if she can wear hers, they can wear them too.’

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A rescue cat in Pennsylvania is getting attention for her role in making children feel comfortable with their eyeglasses.

Truffles happily wears brightly colored frames to set a good example for the young patients of A Child’s Eyes in Mechanicsburg, the Daily Mail reports.

“If a child is feeling a bit nervous I ask Truffles if she wants to show them her glasses,” says Danielle Crull, owner of the business. “When they see Truffles wearing them it’s a really good thing and shows that if she can wear hers, they can wear them too.”

Crull says Truffles, who is a family pet, enjoys wearing the frames.

A video of the cat trying on eyewear has been viewed millions of times.

Watch the video:

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Dog Clothing Firm Gets $250K ‘Shark Tank’ Investment

Mark Cuban is taking a 25% stake in the firm.

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Dog Threads, a company that makes matching clothing for dogs and their owners, was awarded a $250,000 investment during an episode of ABC’s “Shark Tank.”

Scott and Gina Davis, founders of the Wayzata, MN-based firm, made a deal with Markk Cuban after their successful pitch, the Star-Tribune reports.

He agreed to invest the quarter-million and take a 25 percent stake in the company.

The episode was filmed in June but did not air until Sunday.

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“It was definitely surreal even seeing it now,” Gina Davis said. The couple kept quiet about the results for all these months.

The company sells items such as sweaters, T-shirts and plaid shirts. The founders expect sales to total $240,000 this year, the Star-Tribune reports.

Read more at the Star-Tribune

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Guy Smuggles Overweight Cat Onto Plane, Gets Stripped of Air Miles

His pet exceeded the weight limit.

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Russian airline Aeroflot has taken away a traveler’s loyalty miles after smuggling his cat onto the plane.

Mikhail Galin was headed to Vladivostok from Moscow and decided to bring his overweight cat, Viktor, along in the cabin, CNN reports.

The problem: The airline’s weight limit for pets in the cabin is 8 kilograms, or about 17.6 pounds. Viktor tipped the scales at 10 kilograms.

Galin didn’t want his cat to ride in the belly of the plane. He didn’t take the flight.

He wrote a Facebook post about the situation and asked for help finding a similar cat of lower weight. Someone came forward with an appropriate feline, and Galin returned for another try.

When it was time for the cat to be weighed, he presented the thinner substitute, according to CNN. Before boarding, he pulled the old switcheroo.

Galin and Viktor made it to Vladivostok without issue. But Galin’s viral Facebook post caught the attention of the airline, which then stripped him of his air miles.

He took the loss in stride, saying, “I got a penalty. It’s normal.”

Read more at CNN

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