AP Exclusive: Americans spend $56 billion on pets

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Updated: 3/13 6:54 am

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 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 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.

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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