PORTLAND, Ore. - From doggie daycare to animal psychics and pet product boutiques, Portlanders will go to great lengths to pamper their pets, even in tight economic times.
Figures from nationwide consumer market researchers at Packaged Facts (out of Rockville, Maryland) show the pet products and services industry is booming.
Americans spend $41 billion a year on their pets and over the next two years, pet industry researchers predict those numbers will surge to $52 billion a year.
"Some people are making huge wall portraits and spending a lot of money," said Alica Dickerson with Four Legged Photo, which specializes in taking pictures of people's pets. "They're just as eager, sometimes, to get pictures of their dogs as they are their kids."
Dining for Dogs is another company benefiting from the boom. They bring catered dog meals right to your front door.
"We get rave reviews," said Cherish Blake with Dining for Dogs. "Everything from improved energy to their coats being really shiny."
Dining for Dogs creates meals for dogs based on human food - like chicken, steak and eggs, spaghetti and meatballs - there's just no stuff in the food that's harmful to dogs.
Over the top? Not so, according to Blake.
"You're going to have less trips to the vet, and that's going to save you a lot of money, and your dog's going to live a longer life. And any of us who have lost a pet, we know that's priceless."
Then there is animal massage.
"My business is growing and it's something they want to keep on their monthly bill," said Rubi Sullivan with Heal Animal Massage Therapy.
"They give so much to us that I think it's worth it to give something back to them," she added.