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Americans spent record amount of money grooming their pets last year

Americans spent close to $4 billion on miscellaneous pet services in 2011.
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A Shih Tzu dog receives grooming prior to a competition at the Asia-Pacific Dog Show in Manila on February 24, 2012. The show, organized by the Philippine Canine Club, is being held to promote and encourage love for purebred dogs, and will run until February 26. (TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images)

Can't afford to stay in a luxury resort? Bad news: some dogs are living better than you. 

The "pet services" category is the fastest growing sector of the pet industry, BBC News reported. This category includes grooming, boarding, pet hotels and pet-sitting. The BBC also found that pet clothes are widely available in the United States.

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In a new report, the American Pet Products Association said that Americans spent a record amount of money on their pets in 2011. It's the first time in history that United States pet spending has surpassed $50 billion, the Associated Press reported

Most of that money--about 65 percent--went to basic needs like food and medical costs. But the "pet services" category grew faster than any other, from $3.51 billion in 2010 to $3.79 billion in 2011, the AP said.

"We are seeing a boom in this category as people continue to work and require services such as pet-sitting, boarding and walking to care for their pets at home," the American Pet Products Association president told the BBC. 

Meanwhile, a new luxury resort and spa for dogs will open in Arizona this December, the Phoenix Business Journal reported today.  

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/weird-wide-web/americans-spent-record-amount-money-grooming-their-pets