Just within the past decade, the pet industry has grown significantly nationwide and Lee’s Summit is no exception with a variety of businesses expanding or emerging. People are making it a top priority to ensure their four-legged friends are well taken care of, whether it is health care, toys and clothes, or daycare. As a result, new stores, and thus jobs, have emerged to help our companions live long and comfortably. National consumer expenditures within the pet industry in 2016 were almost $67 billion dollars, up from $38.5 billion in 2006.

The growth of the pet industry can be attributed to the success of the pet health sector. Most early veterinarian offices only had a vet, one nurse and someone to answer the phones. Today, veterinarians, or in some cases animal hospitals, offer a full suite of services to handle any sort of medical issue. Chamber members Lakewood Animal Health Center and Summit Pet Care have evolved their services to now offer grooming, daycare and pet supplies. The ultimate goal was to make it even more convenient for the human clients to have a one-stop shop.

Beyond the veterinarian office, there are also many specialty groomers such as Doggy Stylz, which has two locations in Lee’s Summit, that continue to expand amenities around hair and nail care for pets. Regular hair, ear and nail care is critical for pets and can give owners the heads up they need for any potential medical concerns. Neglect and irregular care can drastically affect a pet’s life expectancy. Owners are encouraged to consult with their pet’s stylist or health care provider to see how often hair, ears and nails need cleaning.

Pet daycare emerged onto the scene just a few years ago and Lee’s Summit is fortunate to now have multiple companies focusing on the care of dogs during the day and even expanded boarding options. Camp Bow Wow, and recently new to the market Cuddle Up Pup, provide an extended menu of options for the canine community, working to provide a comfortable and yet playful stay for their furry guests. A new addition to the pet industry and a spin-off from the daycare sector, is pet sitting. The concierge services such as Fidos and Felines or Latchkey Pets offer pet care at your home. Services can range from a few visits as needed to daily walks for your pets.

In addition to the many services offered in the Lee’s Summit community, let’s not forget the enormous amount of retail now accessible for pets. Visit either of the two Walmarts in town and one will find an astonishing amount of items available for their pets. A long list of items continue to grow in selections like orthopedic beds, tailored sweaters and apparel, and sophisticated pet technology. Of course, what visit to the store wouldn’t be complete without buying food, a new toy or treats.

Embracing pets has also made an impact on the community. Lee’s Summit Parks and Recreation has been a leader in creating pet-friendly environments, giving citizens the option to utilize the dog parks around town for some fun and exercise. Dog parks and trail expansions are wonderful assets Lee’s Summit is able to boast.

The industry continues to evolve. One creative way businesses are capitalizing on the love affair with pets is offering pet-related events, giving them an opportunity to build brand awareness and give back to non-profits. Pets are very important to many families and by many accounts, a part of the family. Caring and pampering for them can easily be achieved within the Lee’s Summit business community.