ANIMALS

Pet owners shelling out big bucks for holiday gifts for their dogs

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(WJLA) - Ask any pet owner about their furry friends and they'll likely tell you, without hesitation, that their pets are members of their family.

In that vein, as members of the family, that means they get gifts during the holiday season. A new survey from Petplan Pet Insurance backs that up.

The survey indicates that more than 75 percent of pet owners will buy holiday gifts for their animals. Half will spend up to $50, while 15 percent will spent more than $75.

In total, American Pet Products Association analysts expect Americans to spend more than $55 billion on their pets this year. But it's not about all the fancy dresses and bling - Miley Cyrus recently spent $15,000 to make over her five dogs, for instance - many pet owners are going above and beyond to help what's going on inside the body and mind of their friends.

For instance, at Paws of Enchantment in Mount Rainier, services like paw massages, aromatherapy treatments and Dead Sea mud baths are part of the protocol.

Some are even taking their pets to psychics like Diane Roadcap, who helps owners find out what their pets are thinking. That comes at a cost of a few hundred dollars per session.

"They show me pictures of images and then I'm able to translate them," Roadcap said.

Some owners, like Kathi Dugan, say that Roadcap has made an enormous difference in her relationship with her pet, Maggie.

"You tell me what Maggie wants and needs," she said.

Some people may call these expenses extravagant, but owners like these tell us their dog's happiness is worth every penny.

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