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Pets Are Big International

America is a nation of animal lovers. We provide homes for pets in greater numbers than any other country on earth; most households in America have at least one pet, and these pets are cherished family members. And most people in the pet products and services business do what they do for the love of animals--not for the love of money.

But the money is there for the taking. Pets are the new status symbols; a well cared-for pet is a sign of achievement. So if you love animals and are looking for a business opportunity with great income potential, consider a pet-related product or service.

Check out these figures from the AAHA's 2004 (US and Canadian) Pet Owner Survey:

* 94% think their pet has humanlike personality traits.

* 93 % would risk their own life for their pet.

* 87% include pets in their holiday celebrations.

* 84% consider themselves Mom or Dad to the pet.

* 82% think of their pets at least once a day when they're away.

* 80% said "companionship" is the major reason for having a pet.

* 78% greet their pet at the door before they greet their spouse.

* 72% say affection is their pet's most endearing trait.

* 67% of pet-containing households recognize pet birthdays.

* 65% have sung or danced with their pet.

* 62% sign letters or cards as being from their pets as well as themselves.

* 57% would rather have a pet than a person with them if stranded on a deserted island.

* 55% have an emergency preparedness plan that includes their pet.

* 43% of pets (not including fish and snakes) share beds with their people.

* 36% say their pet enjoys watching TV.

* 33% talk to their pets on the phone or through the answering machine.

* 25% say they brush their pet's teeth.

* 24% of dog owners sometimes dress their pets.

* 18% have attended a birthday party for someone else's pet.

The news gets better: American pets enjoy a better quality of life each year. The evidence:

* Those who provide daily exercise for their pet is now at 80%, up from 68% in 1995.
* Dogs and cats have largely moved indoors, and 39% of pet owners say they have at least one piece of furniture reserved for their pet.
* Those who dress their pets is up from 21%, with most saying they do so to protect their pets from the weather...but also "for fun" on holidays.

If you'd like to start a business that stokes your passion for animals and makes money, the possibilities are limited only by your imagination. And when you're ready to tell the world about your new pet product or service, be sure to find a marketing expert who also has a passion for pets. Best of success to you and all of your happy customers!

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