Search Parker Magazine & Castle Rock Magazine September 2007

The splurge is on! Yes, you have seen this fad turned familiar as millions of pets are now being doted on by their owners. Diamond studded collars, luxurious custom made beds, doggie clothes and even car restraint seats are being purchased in record numbers as we are treating our four-legged friends as members of our family. With our pets we can now travel almost any airline, check into many hotels across the country and our pets are not only welcomed but treated to oversized pet pillows, doggie robes and even check in gifts. This multibillion dollar industry started a while back when most of us were not even paying attention. It all began when more attractive and stylish collars and leashes began showing up at the local pet stores. Cute bowls for their food, automatic filtered watering bowls and those inexpensive Christmas stockings filled with treats and toys. Then in July 2001 came the movie Legally Blonde, where Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) dressed her adorable Chihuahua named Bruiser up in chic doggie clothes and headed off to law school. After that movie opened, Bruiser clothes were everywhere. This explosion of pet pampering set the industry in a whirl-wind of motion to what we are seeing today. It seems that almost every small dog has at least an outfit or two and even the larger breeds can be seen strolling through the parks in sweaters or even leather jackets. While adorable clothes, collars and bandanas can be found on our canines, our felines cannot be bothered with such trivial things called clothes. They have lounged on plush handcrafted trees and stepped into automatic cleaning litter boxes not to mention that they have not minded those darling little collars with the high tech ID tags. So just how do you shop for your pet and where? Your local pet stores are the first place to check out what the fuss is all about. Here you can begin to get an idea of what is new and fun today. You can find cool doggie clothes, leashes and collars but to find the real unique items you need to start doing some online shopping. Here you can find the diamond studded collars, beautiful designer dog beds, 6' high trees for your feline to play and sleep on and more. Just as popular as pampering your pet with all the necessities, is gifting for pets. The very popular gourmet gift baskets you know and love for people are also designed for pets! Yes, real gift baskets filled with delicious doggie biscuits and treats. Of course not with your ordinary milk bone or store bought biscuits, but doggie gourmet biscuits fresh from the doggie bakery! These gift baskets can be themed for your special occasions such as Get Well, Happy Birthday, Puppy Graduation and of course for the holidays. Pick up one of these unique doggie gift baskets next time you are invited to Fido's birthday party! Yes, the latest trend is doggie birthday parties. Doggie invitations are sent out to all his friends and the date is set. On the day of the party all his friends come over and dine on a doggie birthday cake, play games like tug of war, open presents and when the party's over they send home a real doggie bag filled with treats and toys. Not to be outdone are the new puppy parties. Just like a baby shower, the puppy party is hosted by a family friend or even the proud new parents and all the guests bring a doggie gift for the new arrival. This time the four legged friends feast on pup cakes and treats and the guests dine on cute little sandwiches cut out with a bone shaped cookie cutter! According to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association (APPMA) 63% of all households own a pet which equates to 71.1 million homes. This number is up from 56% back in 1988 when the first survey was conducted. This year a whopping total of 40.8 billion is expected to be spent on our beloved pets (APPMA). Never before have our pets owned such high tech gadgets such as computerized ID tags, automatic doors and even touch activated toys. The pet industry is not the only companies jumping in on this exploding market. Companies like Omaha Steaks, Harley Davidson, Old Navy, Home Depot and even Paul Mitchell have jumped on the band wagon selling their brand of clothing, shampoos, toys, treats, foods and doggie doors. The pet industry will continue to flourish as our love and devotion to our pets become stronger every day. Brand new companies have started up all based on our commitment to them. Doggie Daycares, Doggie Clean up services, Pet house-sitting services even pet medical insurance. To find out more about what all the hype is about and to shop online, here are some great places to visit. Bisket Baskets And More. American Pet Products Manufacturing Association – How to throw a Doggie Birthday Party –