Twenty percent of Americans are spending millions on Valentine Day gifts for their pets

I woof you a lot, pupper.
I woof you a lot, pupper.
Image: AP Photo/J Pat Carter
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Valentine’s Day is a holiday to share your love and affection with those you truly care about. Think of all the times you’ve baby-talked your significant other…and now think about baby-talk with you beloved pets. American shoppers are expected to spend $18.2 billion on gifts this year—an average of $136.57 per person—falling short of last year’s $19.7 billion record-high, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF).

The same survey shows that about 20% of US consumers are going to give their pets Valentine’s Day gifts, with each person spending an average of $4.44, or about $593 million in total. Although that’s 63 cents less than last year, it beats the $2.65 Americans spent in 2008. To be fair, it shows that pets received gifts even at the peak of the financial crisis. Pets saw the most Valentine’s Day love in 2013 when Americans spent about $815 million on gifts for them.

People thought more about their pets when getting Valentine’s Day gifts than their coworkers or kids’ classmates and teachers, But people did consider friends and pets almost equally in their gift giving (though, it’s not clear if those pets count as friends.)

Pet supply retailers like Petco and Pet Smart are also banking on your love for your furry friends by offering holiday deals.