Luxury pet products and services continue to proliferate in the United States. Fueled by "empty nest" syndrome and a huge segment of young professionals who turn to pets until they're ready to raise a family, Americans' spending on their pets is making a whole new breed of entrepreneurs rich. Products such as dog collars with cell-phone technology and dental products like whitening strips are flying off the shelf, as well as services such as pet psychic readings and doggie birthday parties.

"Pet spas" feature big fenced-in enclosures and lounge areas with a TV, couches, pillows and blankets.' Hotels and resorts are also making their properties more pet friendly, because today people want their pets to be part of their vacation experience. Many hotels have pet-friendly policies with features such as oversized pet pillows, plush doggy robes and check-in gift packages with pet toys and treats.

According to the APPMA, pet industry spending exceeded $36 billion in 2005 and is expected to top $38 billion in 2006 as pet ownership reaches an all-time high with 69 million U.S. households. organic and gourmet foods. 'It's no longer just about buying the necessities,' said Bob Vetere chief operating officer and managing director of the Pet Products Manufacturers Association. . 'There's a sense we want to do more for our pets -- we want to reward them for the unconditional love and affection they give to us.'