Despite economic woes, Fido remains big part of dog owners’ budget
WHITING, Ind. — The wavering economy hasn’t influenced spending on man’s best friend, according to a new survey conducted by coupon website CouponCabin.com.
According to the survey, which conducted by Harris Interactive between Aug. 16 to 18 and polled 2,212 U.S. adults ages 18 years and older, nearly 7-out-of-10 American adult dog owners (68%) said that their four-legged friends are still a large part of their budgets. What’s more, the survey found that more than 1-in-5 dog owners (21%) spend on average $100 or more per month on their dogs, adding up to at least $1,200 or more per year. An additional 13% said they spend $50 to $99 each month.
When it comes to what is the most expensive aspect about dog ownership, more than half (57%) said veterinary appointments was the priciest aspect about owning a dog, followed by food and treats (16%), prescriptions and medications (15%) and boarding (6%).
"The pet care industry has remained resilient during the past few years, but it’s still important for consumers to budget for their dog’s needs," CouponCabin.com president and chief savings officer Jackie Warrick said. "Pets are often considered a family member, and just as you save money and budget for your family, you should do the same for your dog. Plan ahead to make sure you have money put away for emergencies. In addition, be proactive and save on your dog care expenses by using coupons, buying generic brands and asking friends and family to walk or watch them."
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ShopperTrak: Holiday sales expected to be up, but foot traffic will drop
CHICAGO — In the wake of several surveys projecting how shoppers will spend this holiday season, the latest study from ShopperTrak expects national retail sales to increase 3% during November and December, while foot traffic will drop 2.2%.
ShopperTrak said its 3% holiday sales increase prediction follows 19 consecutive months of year-over-year U.S. retail sales growth, adding that the expected increase is moderate when compared with the 2010 holiday season’s 4.1% sales increase over 2009.
The projected decrease in foot traffic, however, was based on current numbers, which revealed that so far this year, shoppers have visited an average of 3.10 stores per shopping trip, a decrease from an average of 3.19 per shopping trip in 2010, and even less than the four to five stores visited in early 2008 (before the recession). ShopperTrak said this year’s numbers are influenced by high unemployment rates, as well as gas prices, which have experienced a 33% increase this season over last year.
"The persistently high unemployment and fuel rates along with consumers’ conservative purchasing attitudes will affect spending this holiday season more than in recent years," ShopperTrak co-founder Bill Martin said. "Every shopper in a store will be more valuable than last year, and retail stores should be ready to convert their holiday shoppers into sales."
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Diabetes may increase risk of developing dementia, study finds
NEW YORK — A study published in the Sept. 20 issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, found a link between diabetes and the development of dementia.
Japanese researchers analyzed data of 1,017 study participants, ages 60 years and older, who were given a glucose tolerance test after an overnight fast to determine if they had diabetes. After being monitored over a 15-year period, researchers discovered that 41-out-of-150 diabetic participants developed dementia (27%), compared with 115-out-of-559 people without diabetes who developed dementia (21%).
The results remained the same after the researchers accounted for such factors as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking. The risk of dementia also was higher in people who did not have diabetes, but had impaired glucose tolerance, a condition known as prediabetes.
"Our findings emphasize the need to consider diabetes as a potential risk factor for dementia," said study author Yutaka Kiyohara, of Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan. "Diabetes is a common disorder, and the number of people with it has been growing in recent years all over the world. Controlling diabetes is now more important than ever."
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