Trot down to this three-day showcase to hear a happy purr from 850 exhibitors. As other sectors languish in the economic doghouse, the pet world is bounding ahead like a golden retriever. Analyst David Lummis of research firm Packaged Facts predicts the $49 billion industry will grow 6% annually through 2013. Pets are apparently recession-proof. In many homes, “animals function as surrogate children,” Lummis says. “People are more likely to cut back on purchases for themselves than for their child or pet.” — TB
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