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Fido Takes A Bite Out Of American Pocketbooks

When Philadelphia-based journalist Michael Schaffer's dog started messing the house and barking non-stop while he and his wife were at work, he went to his veterinarian for help.

"It's called separation anxiety," his vet said. "There's a drug for that."

And while Schaffer and his wife had promised themselves they wouldn't be like those pet owners who spend a fortune on their pets, they sprung for the antidepressants anyway — and then he wrote a book about it.

In One Nation Under Dog, Schaffer explores the $43 billion industry that's grown around our obsession with our pets and how that booming market reflects our evolving ideas of consumerism, family, politics and domesticity.

Schaffer has worked as a writer and an editor at the Washington City Paper, U.S. News and World Report and The Philadelphia Inquirer.

This interview was originally broadcast on April 1, 2009.

Copyright 2022 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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