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Americans spend big on Fido and Fluffy

May 21, 2013: 10:44 AM ET

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Americans spend more on their Fidos and Fluffies each year than they spend on booze or men's clothing.

People shelled out an average of $502 annually on their pets in 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That compares to the $456 they spent on alcohol and $404 they spent on men and boys' clothes.

Just pet food alone cost the average household $183 -- which is more than folks spend on chicken, cereal, bread and candy. Vet services adds another $143.

Though families cut back on their overall spending during the recession and ate out at restaurants less, their spending on pet food remained constant.

Nearly three-quarters of American households own pets. There are about 218 million pets nationwide, not including several million fish.

Not surprisingly, married couples with no children living at home spend the most on pets, while single folks spent the least.

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About This Author
Tami Luhby
Tami Luhby
Senior writer, CNNMoney

Tami Luhby is a senior writer at CNNMoney and covers income inequality, state fiscal problems, unemployment, housing policy and other economic issues. Luhby previously covered personal finance for Newsday and banking for Crain's New York Business.

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