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merica is going to the dogs …and the cats. Increasingly, consumers are treating their pets as additional or surrogate children; many even call these family members their “fur babies.” This bodes very well for the sale of pet gifts at pet stores and boutiques, especially for Christmas and Hanukkah but also for other holidays throughout the year.

Lizzie Scherer jumped on the “fur babies” bandwagon seven years ago, when she opened her store, SPOT!, in a 900-square-foot space on Robertson Boulevard in Los Angeles, Calif. The street ranks among the most trendy in the city, Scherer noted.

“The concept was of a higher-end boutique,” she explained. “We really didn’t have anything like it in Los Angeles at the time. A lot of people feel that their dogs are their children, and I wanted a more natural, holistic way that they could treat their dogs like they treat their kids.”

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