Pet boom in Mexico amid rising middle class

Topics: From the Wires,

Pet boom in Mexico amid rising middle classIn this Sunday, April 6, 2014 photo, Valery Palma prepares to blow out the candle on a birthday cake for her one-year-old dachshund Camila, at Camila's birthday party in Mexico City. Palma, who has two dogs, spent $300 on the birthday party for 11 canines and 16 people, complete with cake, presents and snacks, at a dog hotel featuring a gym and massage and aromatherapy services. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)(Credit: AP)

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The growth of Mexico’s middle class is creating a new market for fancy goods and services for dogs. Those include clothing and accessory boutiques, spas and restaurants with doggie snacks cooked by a pastry chef.

It’s a startling cultural shift in a country where a dog’s life has long meant days chained to the roof of the house.

Mexico has an estimated 20 million dogs or more, many of them roaming the streets hunting for food in the trash or spending their days shut up in apartments by owners who see them simply as living burglar alarms.

But many of the estimated 40 million middle-class Mexicans are having fewer children than their parents did and, also have more disposable income.

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