This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

May 14, 2003

Pets Deserve Vacations, Too!

In November 2000, we reported the trend of the humanizing of family pets.

The trend continues: animal care entrepreneurs are creating new services to serve this market. From pet limos to doggie daycare to pet vacations---with and without "mommy" and "daddy," pet owners are going to extremes to give their "kids" the best of everything.

When it is time for Fido or Miss Kitty to have a "vacation," today's savvy pet owners favor a complete package. They want pick up and delivery. They want to know that their pet will receive love and personal attention. They want to know that their pet has ample space. They want to believe that their pets are enjoying a perfect pet vacation.

Enter service providers like Country Lane Pet Resort (Cincinnati), Applewood Pet Resort (Scottsdale), and Best Friends Pet Resorts (in 18 states). These luxury pet retreats feature fenced play areas of up to 15' x 20' yards, symphonic music, and play/leash time. Some service providers charge extra for special tender loving care services. Some resorts even provide televisions and elevated human beds, providing a sense of familiarity of surroundings. (Some pets are discriminating about what they watch on television or animal show videos.)

At Country Lane, cats are given the opportunity to explore the cattery and enjoy the overstuffed chair, play hide and seek in the towel stacks, and lounge by the window.

In February 2002, Yankelovich Research reported that spending on pets had topped $29 billion, up from $17 billion in 1994. By the year 2005, it is estimated that those expenditures will top $34 billion. In a 2001 survey highlighted by PR Newswire, a surprising 74 percent of pet owners surveyed said that they would "go into debt" to provide medical care for an ailing pet.

What's next? Randy Boyer of Country Lane Resorts will soon rent "corporate apartments for pets," spaces on his site that will be leased for months or years by large companies in the area for the pets of their valuable executives. Will we see an international network of facilities for traveling pets?

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