Americans spent $58 billion to pamper, protect pets in 2014

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — A pet industry trade group says Americans spent $58 billion on their pets in 2014.

The American Pet Products Association says that includes $22 billion for food, $15 billion for veterinary care and $14 billion for supplies such as bowls and beds and medicines for fleas and ticks.

The fastest growing category was “other services,” which includes grooming, boarding, walking, training, daycare and even trips to the spa, where pets can get facials and massages.

The only category that decreased was sales of animals themselves. Association President and CEO Bob Vetere says the 2 percent drop was likely caused by many reasons, including strong adoption of pets at shelters and rescues and bans on dogs from puppy mills in several cities.

Overall sales grew 4.2 percent from 2013 to 2014.