- Title: UK: Posh pets duck recession
- Date: 20th December 2008
- Summary: DOG BOWLS AND MAT SET DOG COLLARS "BLING BLING" IN DOG BED
- Embargoed: 4th January 2009 12:00
- Topics: Environment / Natural World,Light / Amusing / Unusual / Quirky
- Reuters ID: LVA85LKNP4WHREQBJ8XYH5CX2SED
- Story Text: Britain's pet lovers are still spending on their furry friends despite the recession.
Most girls' wants to look their best for Christmas and two year-old Yorkshire Terrier, Bling Bling is no exception. She's off with owner Maxine to buy a new dress.
Thanks to pop princess Paris Hilton, tiny handbag sized dogs have become a must-have fashion accessory and you don't have to live in Beverly Hills to buy fabulous clothes for your pooch. Boutiques like "Puppy Kit" in Essex, east England are springing up around the UK.
Britain's pet industry is worth around 415 million U.S. dollars.
According to market research group Mintel, many owners have a strong emotional tie to their pets which has helped maintain healthy sales. The latest figures show sales are up a tail wagging 19 percent in the last five years.
Despite the recession Maxine Togher has no plans to scale back.
"I wouldn't cut down for Bling, I'd cut down for other things and she'd still get, she's so precious to me," she said.
Britain is catching up fast with the American market. Most of Puppy Kit's merchandise comes from the U.S. and boutique owner Adam Forman says when it comes to people and their pets, there's no limit to how much they'll spend.
"I think it depends on the owner. I think certain people, there is no limit really and they will just, whatever's out there regards the price if they want their baby to be in that dress or wearing that collar - that's what they want," he said.
Its not just clothing and beds. You can buy just about anything for your pet these days.
"Well one thing I think is quite unusual that makes me laugh is dog nail varnish or OPI call it Pawlish. What you find is owners with little Chihuahuas like to paint the toe nails, I think that's quite extravagant and of course you've got, there's the Pawlish remover which is called Dogone to complete the set," he added.
Britain may be catching up to the U.S. but there are still some products that haven't made it here yet.
"She has a special car seat for little dogs. I had that come over from America. It's high up so she doesn't have to strain or stretch to look out the window. And its got a harness on it so it's secured," said pet owner, Maxine Togher.
Now Bling Bling and her friend Ruby are all dressed up, they just need somewhere to go.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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