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New Restaurant with That Special Dog in Mind

Do you want to get your dog a special birthday present? If you live in Chicago, you can take Spike or Fifi out to dinner at the Pet Cafe. It has tables for the humans and eating stands for the dogs. A meal costs less than four dollars. For that price, your dog gets an entree, a fortune dog biscuit (the canine version of a fortune cookie), and a bowl of peanut-butter flavored ice cream. You, the owner, on the other hand, are only offered candy.
You may think a restaurant for dogs is strange. However, restaurant owner Vera Carter does not. She says, “People want to return the loyalty and love their animals give them. For a dog, the best way to do that is to give them good food.”
Carl Gregory, a pet-industry expert agrees. He says Americans are not just buying food; they are spending millions of dollars on toys, beds, classes, and even clothing for their pets. In fact, today Americans spend twice as much on their pets as they did in 1994. In that year, they spent about 17 million dollars. In 2004, they spent more than 34 million dollars.
For these reasons, many different types of businesses are offering services to pet owners. Some hotels now rent pet-friendly rooms. Some even have room service for dogs. Mail-order companies offering steak for dogs have become more popular. There are also many bakeries selling pet treats in addition to pies and cakes for people. More and more restaurants are adding food for pets to their menus. However, there aren’t many sit-down pet restaurants like the Pet Cafe.
Some people don’t like the idea of a restaurant for dogs. As Web blogger Jack Simpson says, “Dog restaurants are absurd.” Dog owner Sherry Evans doesn’t agree. She went to the Pet Cafe with her dog, Lulu. “No, it’s not ridiculous,” she says. “Everyone has to feel needed. Lulu is my sweet, precious baby.”



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