Friday, July 21, 2006


I was reading this article and just could not understand how people can spend so much money on pets. Dont get me wrong I am an animal lover and would never harm one, but I just dont get the Humanizing part of it.I have seen people treat their pets better than their children and even family. Is it right, is it wrong I dont know. I believe in providing food and shelter for the animal and treating them kindly. But when there are so many children living in poverty I dont get these air conditioned hotels for the pets and pet massages etc. I see people inter acting with their pets like they were humans. Am I the only one who feels like this or are others out there.

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Washingtonians can now drop their pooches off at a pet hotel that cares for their friendly canines in a five-star environment -- pet-themed television shows optional.

In the mahogany paneled lobby of the PetSmart PetHotel, which just opened in the Washington suburb of Bethesda, the pets' human "parents" line up to plunk down 23 dollars plus tax for each night their pooch stays.

The doggie hotel is nothing like kennels of yore: in this inn there is lactose-free ice cream, indoor recreation, and for 10 more dollars a night, pooch can stay in a roomier "suite" with a television set showing an "animal related movie all day," said Vince Malanaphy, who manages the Bethesda PetsHotel.

"It helps them to relax and to adjust as they are used to hearing TV at home," Malanaphy says.

In one "suite" a little white poodle named Bijou is lost in the embrace of Morpheus with "Little Nemo" and his cartoon friends swimming by in an eternal loop on the TV set.

A stay at "Doggie Day Camp" without the overnight goes for 20 dollars the day.

Half of the boarders come every day. "It's better than leaving them at home alone," said Cyra, one of the pet "mothers," as she drops off her Labrador and her poodle for Day Camp before running off to the office. Here "they can socialize," she said.

For potty breaks there is a 20 square meter (215 square foot) "relief room" complete with a plastic tree. "For security reasons, no outdoor walking," says Malanaphy.

Meredith, in charge of animal recreation, says that if dogs "are aggressive or play too rough, we give them a time out in a cage" for 15 minutes. "After twice, they get the message," she says.

The Bethesda site has room for 180 dogs and 26 cats. Cats stay in plexiglass cages known as "kitty cottages" for a mere 14 dollars plus tax a night, which includes 15 minutes of TLC -- Tender Loving Care, otherwise known as petting.

The Phoenix, Arizona-based PetSmart Inc. launched the pet hotel concept three years ago and it is "the fastest growing sector" of the pet business, said spokesman Bruce Richardson. "Now we have 32 hotels; we anticipate 240 by 2010," he said.

Gina Martin, a consumer retail analyst at Wachovia Bank, sees only growth in the pet care industry.

"General spending for pets is growing at an extraordinary pace," said Martin. "There is a trend for the treatment of the pet as another human being."

Americans spend nearly 40 billion dollars a year on their household pets -- 30 percent more than five years ago. The figure is close to what Americans spend on toys for children -- 48 billion dollars -- and more than twice the 17 billion spent on cosmetics, Martin said.


Id it is 11:42 AM  

I guess the tables have turned; it isn't 'a dog's life' anymore!

priya 12:10 PM  

Know what, they have CDs for pets to listen and relax. Crazy world and as long as you can make ppl' believe and buy, you can sell products in America.

Eclipsed Thoughts 12:13 PM  

Its not a "dog's life", i guess we will have a new phrase-- "its a regal life, like dogs"....
or maybe we could say something like, "hail doggie"...

P.S.: i love animals.... and i really appreciate the ones who do... but i guess its more of fanaticism.... anyways, its all about "affording" and personal choice!!!

JamesBright 12:32 PM  

Amazing facts and figures..!

Manic Street Preacher 12:36 PM  

i think i know y ppl go gaga bout pets? perhaps some psycho serenity in a mute animal that wud
a)suck up to u
b)wag its lil tail(depending what is ur pet)
c)bein mute, it dusn't demand. dusn't tell u to bugger off.dusnt tell u off becuz u stink. dusn't ask for a new car,...perhaps reason why humans like pets more than their own kids...lik u mentioned...

ps:of course its all an assumption. the closest preacher came to havin pets were when she was2 n a half yrs old. she was gifted birds in a cage. after a week and a hald l8r, preacher set them ALL FREE!!*preacher winks*
that is where all the pets look good. outside the cage!



Oh yeah...Should I now want to be a doggie in a hotel with all the accessories etc etc etc....

I am not into pets so I dont know the relation...Just know tht they are around if you want ot touch them and hug them etc etc, a companion in physical form....

The money used for the accessories and extravaganzas shall definitely be more productive if it is used for a child meal or education.

A dog does not need to live with all the extravaganzas as its not its natural habitat. It is osmething the person or owner gets a kick of doing.

If some one were to take me one day and put me in a cave with caracass of something to eat, its not what I am used to but something an animal wants to give me right.

But again, no matter how much we contemplate about it, its personal choice and preference how a person wishes to spend his or her money. As long as they are not harming others they can do wht they want with their money and we cant expect anyone to behave in a fashion we belive is more beneficial. I learn tht lesson after many such thoughts Starry...

Good weekend to ya!

Contented 12:50 PM  

Awww...What a shocking statistics. Here in germany too its similar statistics.
I know its personal choice. But the question is...Is it worth spending so much money on pets and pet's comforts....

starry nights 2:53 PM  

ID it true.

starry nights 2:54 PM  

Priya. now they have tv programs for animals.

starry nights 2:55 PM  

Eclipsed thoughts..I know its a personal choice. if u can aford it why not.just cannot understand the reasoning.

starry nights 2:55 PM  

James..yes it was in todays news on line.

starry nights 3:00 PM are so right I think its more for the owner than the animal. does a dog know how to relax infront of a TV. I think as u said,everyone does not think the same way.I have seen this even in my brother and my nephew have dogs, I told my nephew that I would like to come back as a dog in his house in my next life.the dog only has italian bones and the best cut of meat.cooked at home and not from a can.They even have their own bedroom in his house.To him these dogs are like his children and nothing we say can change his mind.He can afford it so why not.

starry nights 3:02 PM  

Preacher. I guess so. I had no pets and so maybe thats how I feel this way. but I love animals and like to pet them and would never ill treat one.but i am sorry cannot see them as humans.I also think they need to be in the wild.

starry nights 3:03 PM  

Contended...that is my question may b e able to afford it and it is your money but is it right.

Gaurav Jain 3:41 PM  

yeah, I saw a program on Discovery some time back in which they described the "luxuries" inside these kinds of Pet hotels. The dogs are treated like real humans, with soothing music (supposedly to their taste) running in the background, and even things like team baths and massages.

But the clear answer to your question is this: The reason why this is happening in America is that the people are rich, and have excess money. In India, too, this will start when the money becomes unmanageable (or it may have started we don't know of this already).

I think the question of whether money is well spent by rich people instead of helping the poor is a very very complicated one. If we start looking at everything that way, we will not be able to spend money on anything - for example, I spend thousands of rupees on petrol in communiting to office, which I could very well have spent on charity, etc.

But on the macro level I think we should draw a line, but I think the Pet Hotel concept is not yet crossing the line (my personal view).


jhantu 3:57 PM  

its been my long time dream to become paris hiltons' pet dog/bitch, but some how i havent yet made the cut.. trying though I am and hard.. its a dog's world i tell you

passerby55 4:22 PM  

Hi there,

A good post!

Some twenty years ago i remember, my maid servant who was a mother of five children, bought a pet(a puppy). everyone knew she was finding it difficult to run her house and they laughed at her. She became the talk of town.

after a few years, i heard the Vet on the street had given a A certificate to this dog and he said he was the best behaved of all his patients...

My friends who also owned a pet, were jealous of "Sonia"(the well behaved dog's name).

Pets are like children they hav e to be treated and taught like our own kids.
SO overdoing will only make spoil brats. better feed/care the ORPHANS with your surplus.

Dinma 5:11 PM  

Maybe I'm just indifferent. If you've got so much time and money for your pet then ?

Anonymous,  7:12 PM  

Hope my dog doesn't reads all these...

starry nights 7:19 PM question is not whether they should or not and how they should spend the money, it is about humanizing your pet.Does your pet really enjoy a tv show.

starry nights 7:20 PM  

Dinma..As I said earlier its not about time and money it is about whether your pet needs these a quiet room, tv room etc.

starry nights 7:22 PM  

Jhantu..Just keep trying because u may end up with a diamond studded collar and in a Coach bag. anyway welcome to my blog and please do come again.

starry nights 7:23 PM  

Passerby..Thats a good story. I think I did not pose my question properly. Should we humanize our they know the difference. I dont know.

starry nights 7:25 PM  

Rajbir..soon there is going to be a doggie magazine and your dog is going to read about it.there is already a tv show just for your pets depicting animals. They would enjoy Tweetybird and Sylvester the cat.

Anonymous,  8:00 PM  

Great post! A pet hotel?! OMG, whats next?! I've seen on different shows, pets being so smart that people become their pets. People get way too obsessed with their pets these days. They say animals, especially dogs & cats, are smarter than we think they are & it's probably true but they're still animals & should be treated like animals, not people!

b v n 8:39 PM  

"All the developing world together spends thirteen billion dollars on basic health and nutrition - Europe and USA spend seventeen billion dollars on petfood"

food for thought....but every civilization has its india we spend multi-millions a year for coating our temples and churches in gold and silver...and for pouring milk and honey on stone idols while quarter billion indians cannot afford milk or milk products

starry nights 10:11 PM  

Jon cox..Thats what Iam trying to convey.give your pet whatever u want but animals are animals.

starry nights 10:12 PM have a point there. something to think about.

Aditi 10:57 PM  

I guess I agree, there is a high end store that caters to pets in Mumbai. Sometimes its ridiculous to see people walking in and out of there spending loads of money on pets while right outside people are seeking shelter from the rains below a bridge for lack of a place to stay.
The best of times.. twas the worse of times

Anonymous,  11:42 PM  

Thank you so much for visiting my blog! I'm glad you like my work, especially my Red Riding Hood & Big Bad Wolf, they are 2 of my favorites, thank you again! :o)

Sumitha 2:39 AM  

I have also heard that Americans spend more on dog food every year than they do on baby food!

I am sure star,if our pets could speak like humans....we wouldnt spend more money on them!
The breed of dog/cat we own,the doggie hotel they stay in,the hi fy products they use,all is a symbol of status now!

passerby55 4:01 AM  

lalitha, I too fully agree with
b v n....a good point there

pets need the same kind of love and care as our children. And they do know that they are treated as one. its a strong emotional bonding between the owner and his pet.

sometimes pets give better companionship than a human...I have seen many pets who are extremely loyal and compassionate towards the owner where sometimes their own children fail to understand this ...

passerby55 4:03 AM  

human beings are essentially selfish. Again, some term this as selfishness some say it is practical ...

various view points....

Neil 4:50 AM  

If you're in Simi Valley, all you need to do is take a drive into Beverly Hills to see all the crazy things people do for their dogs.

V N 9:53 AM  

I guess its inevitable in a world, where one cant rely on fellow-humans any more!

Arun 1:39 PM  

The way I preceive is that humans are animals, but just evolved and with an intellect. Or, to put it in another way, animals are humans too, but less evolved.

Man is known to shower its affection in whatever way possible on those s/he loves. Its an unconsious effort on his/her part. And in a capitalistic environment, others use these to earn revenue.

Another question that needs to be asked in this context is: If I have an offspring, should I spend less on his/her nourishment and happiness, so that I can help out those ppl out there below the poverty line?

I don't know the answer, as we all are prey to the unconsicous mind.

sudhav 1:49 PM  

how true,lalitha, wish people could give half of this to those needy people..what a pity...

KK 5:56 PM  

Its so ridiculous, just as you said, there are so many people who suffer for a day's meal and people spend so much for their pets :(
I too wonder looking at people who care for pets more than human beings, I have come across quite a few people like them.

Thanks for visiting my travel blog. Please do drop in at my regular blog.

Hip Grandma 7:34 PM  

i agree with you.but then it takes all sorts of people to make the world isn't it?

Neers 8:51 PM  

i completely agree... but know what, its like... i have money and i wanna spend on lets say... an Armani dres... worth some $2K... well, i would do it... because i earned it.. i earned the right to spend on whatever i feel gives me happines.... its juts this funda! i dont like keeping pets... because its not natural for them... and i just get bugged when people treat anything... a dog or a kid on the streets... badly... thats not human!

good post, Lalitha!

starry nights 9:28 PM true. a status symbol.

starry nights 9:32 PM  

Aditi..Thats what I mean. I am not saying we should not spend on our pets, if u have the money go ahead, but about all the luxuries staed in this article when there are people with no homes.I dont know.

starry nights 9:33 PM  

Passerby, you still did not answer my question. should we be humanizing our pets.thats all.

starry nights 9:34 PM  

Neil..have seen that.thanks for visiting my blog and do come again.

starry nights 9:36 PM  

Arun..i too am perplexed, should the pet be at the same level as your offspring.I dont know. dogs need food fit for dogs but lactose free ice cream.I wish I had a correct answer.

starry nights 9:36 PM  

Velu..true.but all humans are not bad.

starry nights 9:37 PM  

Sudhav..true.thats how I feel but somehow a lot of people dont feel this way.

starry nights 9:38 PM  

KK..I agree with you. I will stop by your other blog.

prithz 9:39 PM  

I guess this is happening only in places where ppl can really afford the cost and time invovled...

starry nights 9:40 PM can spend any amount of money which is yours on anything which you like, I have nothing against it.but spending on lavish stuff on a pet which does not know if it is sleeping on a down mattress or a regular mattress to me is absurd.

starry nights 9:41 PM  

Hip true. variety the spice of life.

Kuan Gung 11:20 PM  

Dogs are wonderful companions indeed, one thing I've noticed about a heck of a lot of owners, is they treat them like people emotionally and they're not. It's important always to remember they are pack animals instinctively. Therefore, ease the stress on them, be an assertive and compassionate leader of the pack...I've always seen in dogs, an unconditional wonderful soul pure as the driven snow...we just need to be sure we understand them...

Arti Honrao 12:09 AM  

Am an animal lover too but I hv to admit that I agree to what u say abt humanizing part of it! It is a wee bit too much!!


passerby55 4:14 AM  

hi starry,

a pet for one is no less than a human(ones own child) ...

like some children are born with a silver spoon so are some pets.

if the owner wants/afford to give the best to hie/her pet let him/her do it. If one gives the best to ones pet that does not mean he/she doen;t care for the orphans and will not do for them...ofcourse there are exceptions...

it's my point of view....

Poetry by Kai 7:01 AM  

i don't get it either....

Yogi 10:56 AM  

i really dont believe in paying for a dog unless i need to in order to save its life or somethign, just love them tho! but paying money for just fashion to make a statement is just plain stupid!

starry nights 11:25 AM  

prithz..You are right.its money that does it.

starry nights 11:27 AM  

Kuan..well said. be compassionate and loving to your pet but in the end it is really not a person.

geetha 7:16 PM  

Wow, a hotel for them? Too much isn't it? But it that's how the owners of the pets wanna treat them and if they do have the means, they have all the right :)

I wish there would be the same kind of thoughts (at least a bit) for the poor by these rich people *sigh*

Keshi 11:07 PM  

oh they sure do! Pets r given royal treatment in Aus too.

I guess we all should do that...cos if ur bringing up a pet, u might as well do it properly.


Has to be me 3:30 AM  

Im totally with u on this one!

Ganesh Ranganathan 6:14 AM  

your post makes me wish, i was born as a dog.. :-))

Anonymous,  9:32 AM  

you know i find it so funny, that women carry the pets here,close to their hearts and then their babies are pulled in a cart..:-)

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