Pets - Another Victim of a Turbulent Economy

Gas prices and an alleged recession have many in the media thinking the economy is going to the dogs.  Little do they know exactly how much is going to the dogs - and cats, hamsters, and goldfish.

The Dallas Morning News ran an interesting article on the perseverance of pet owners ‘despite an economic downturn.'  In fact, according to the article, owners are expected to spend a record $43 billion on their pets this year.

But how can this be?  Surely these owners can skip their doggy wellness exam and save for a tank or two of gas instead.

One individual featured in the article used her $600 stimulus check on her three cats.  Another woman had to take on the burden of a second job to pay for hip replacement surgery on her pug.  There is also reference to a veterinarian having personally witnessed people taking out a second mortgage to pay for a pet's healthcare. 

The article does eventually manage to imply that owners may have to cut down on their pet's ‘basic care with the economic downturn.'

What better example of the kinds of sacrifices pet owners will make than this beauty regarding a retired couple and their dogs: 

The retired couple, both 66, has spent more than $50,000 on their Shih Tzus in the past decade.

Sometimes it's been "bread or the dog bill," Mr. Cason said.

Yes, the economy is in such dire shape that this couple had to choose between a $1.89 loaf of bread, and an annual vet bill of $5,000 - for their 5 dogs!

Is the issue of pet healthcare and a downtrodden economy a new political talking point?   

After all, joining this article in the Dallas Morning News is one in the Tucson Citizen linking foreclosures and pet adoptions, one in the Boston Herald, and several others being run on local news stations across the country.

It seems the MSM is trying to counter a recent poll indicating that pet owners prefer John McCain.  An economic scare should fix that after all, making Obama seem like best in show.