Ice cream maker Häagen-Dazs will soon be marketing ice cream sandwiches for dogs. Not just any ice cream, mind you. Because doggies are lactose intolerant, the companies had to come up with a special formula — 1 percent lactose, added protein and no sugar. Cost: $3.99 for a pack of six.

Ice cream isn’t the only creature comfort that our befuddled pets receive from us. Americans are expected to heap about $38.4 billion worth of stuff on their pets this year, almost 10 percent more than last year and more than double what we spent in 1994, according to the American Pet Products Association. That’s a lot of money, a barking-heck of a lot actually.

There is a growing market is in luxuries. Doggie sunglasses. A Virginia pet spa that offers acupuncture, massages and hydrotherapy. Designer bird cages. A yoga class for puppies and kitties in New York. A Louis Vuitton dog carrier. A swank doghouse with fine linens and luxurious leathers. A dog and cat hotel with color TV, custom-designed bed and round-the-clock room service in its private suites.


Have we lost our minds? Bark once for No, twice for Yes.

It’s great to love our pets. They provide companionship, joy and entertainment. But what does it say about us, about our misplaced values, about our indulgences, about our insensitivity to real needs, when we lavish luxuries on those that would settle for a bone from the table?

Excerpt from an article in The Miami Herald written by Ana Veciana-Suarez.

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