According to Mintel's Global New Product Database, so far this year 465 pet care products were launched, compared to 291 products during the whole of 2004.
North America dominates the sector, accounting for 58 per cent of all new product launches since 2003. This is followed by Europe and Asia Pacific, with 16 and 17 per cent launch shares respectively, and the Middle East and Latin America, which each account for 7 per cent.
Two distinct phenomenon seem to be affecting the big rise in pet pampering: the global trend towards single households, as well as the number of high profile stars regularly snapped with pooches at their side.
"Consumers, especially empty nesters, often view their pets as extensions of their families," said Lynn Dornblaser, director of Mintel's Custom Solutions team. "They feel that what is good for the human members of the household is good for the pet members of the household. Therefore, many of the products we see on the market are those that tie in with key human trends: looking nice, feeling good, and giving yourself an indulgent treat."
But you don't have to be lonely to have a dog. Big stars are also adding to pet appeal, with high profile stars such as Paris Hilton, Madonna and Uma Thurman regularly seen in public with small, well-groomed dogs close to their side.
Mintel identifies the 'fur enhancement' category as being one of the biggest in the all-important US market right now. Here Pet Society has launched Color Highlights, a product that gives pooches temporary highlights in a range of colors.
Nail varnish is also big, with another US company, John Paul Pet launching a fast drying gloss nail fortifier in 12 different shades. Dog owners have even been known to shade their animal's fur to match the varnish!
Fragrance is also an important part of pet personal care these days, and South Africa's Kyron Laboratories Purl Freshness Spray is a typical offering. It is a baby-powder scented dog grooming spray that doubles as a deodorant and moisturizer.
Products aimed at both stress prevention and weight control are also multiplying at a fast rate, addressing desires for the greater wellbeing and health of pets.
Only a few years ago pet personal care products did not stretch beyond pest control spray and grooming brushes. Now that market is booming in the US and it is expected that other markets will follow suit as the pets play increasingly important roles in many peoples' lives.