No Pause in Pet Spending

By Heather Perlberg, Medill Reports

Though debate over national health coverage continues, cats and dogs have nothing to fear. Americans spent $12.4 billion on veterinary care in 2009 and another $3 billion on medication alone.

“People take much better care of their animals,” said Greg Hammer, past president of the Schaumburg-based American Veterinary Medical Association. “It used to be that the dog was tied out back and the cat was a barn cat – now they are the other family member.”

Even Walgreen Co. includes pets under a $35 monthly prescription savings club.

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