Neutering your pet isn’t exactly an aesthetic decision. But if for some reason you find Buddy’s postprocedural appearance disconcerting, you have options—like Neuticles, a set of testicular implants that promises to give your pet a more “natural” look. The manufacturer claims to have sold more than 500,000 implants, prompting a question: Just how big is the pet economy?
According to the American Pet Products Association, pet spending has risen every year since 1994, even during the Great Recession, and is estimated to have reached almost $63 billion last year. Some of us contribute more to that total than others, however. For example, people who have attended college are more likely than those who didn’t to make “specialty purchases” for their dogs. 
In general, the less disposable income you have, the less you buy for your pet.  Unless, that is, you’re a Millennial: One study finds that dog owners under 30 are more likely than those in other age groups to buy premium pet food, despite having less money.  Another found that more than 41 percent of Australian dog owners under 25 “always” bring their dogs on vacation. 
In fairness to Millennials, people of all ages treat their pets like family. According to one consumer survey, two-thirds of all dog owners consider their pet’s comfort when purchasing a car. Ditto getting a divorce. Although most states still treat animals as personal property, subject to the same equitable-distribution laws as other possessions, a review in the Journal of Law and Family Studies reported that petitioners are beginning to ask judges to consider “the animal’s best interest”—an approach previously reserved for children. In one famous case, a California woman reportedly spent $146,000 on her divorce case, which centered around a (successful) bid for custody of Gigi, her pointer-greyhound mix.  And where there’s a Gigi, there’s a crop of lawyers vying for the case. More than 150 North American law schools now teach animal law, including pet-custody disputes.