Thursday, July 4, 2013

Americans Love Their Dogs

According to the U.S. Institute for Canine Studies, Americans spend about $1400 per dog, per year.  If that doesn't say I love you, I'm not sure what will.  This amount has been increasing steadily since 1994.  Most of  the spending is on food and vet bills; however, we spend a good portion on grooming and treats (American Pet Products Association ).

But this isn't a new thing, loving our pets.  Americans have been dog's best friend since the beginning of people in America, and at every point in our history, we have looked to our pets as guards, companions, a sense of pride, and entertainment.  What would America be without them?

Presidential Dogs
For as long as Americans have been electing presidents, those presidents have been bringing their dogs into office.  According to Pamela Redmond Satran, 25 presidents have owned dogs.  George Washington had an American Staghound named Sweetlips. FDR named his great dane, President. Calvin Coolidge had a staggering 12 dogs, a presidential record.  Warren G. Harding owned the first celebrity dog; his Airedale terrier named Laddie Boy, was featured in newspapers of the day and attended cabinet meetings ("Do you Have a Dog in This Election? Pets Are Presidential")
Picture from: Dog Art Today

Celebrity Dogs
Over the years, we have made our dogs celebrities.  Whether it is our favorite actor toting his/her pet around Hollywood or famous TV dogs, Americans love to make dogs famous.  From TV's beloved Lassie to Oprah's cocker spaniels, Sophie and Solomon, dogs in the public eye are a source of entertainment for Americans.  Many times the popular breed in the media becomes the popular breed for the rest of us.  The new breed trend seems to be heading toward the boxer.  Lamar Odom and Cloe Kardashian and J.Lo have recently acquired boxers.  According to the AKC, boxers have been holding steady as the 7th most registered breed.  Will this number go up in 2013?  My guess is yes.

Dogs in The Revolutionary War
Dogs during war time can be an important part of morale for those fighting.  Many who fought in the Revolutionary War brought their dogs from home to help keep them company.  According to Hugh G. Harrington, dogs could be essential for survival.  Many dogs would help find food and ward off wild animals (Unleashing the Dogs of War).

During battle, George Washington came across British General Howe's dog.  He returned the dog to his owner and won the respect of Howe.

It is no secret that Americans love their dogs, so while we are celebrating America, why not include our dogs!
Happy 4th of July from Coco!

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