Animals & Money: Big box discounters pushing into the pet business

When I walk down the pet aisle in K-mart, I see lots of reasonably priced dog foods -- but none I would actually feed my dog. When I was younger and poorer and had never heard of melanine, K-mart seemed fine. But then I was terrified -- along with just about every other dog owner -- by the pet food recall.

Now price isn't the most important factor; safety is. (Not that expensive brands weren't also sucked up in the recall.) So when will K-mart wise up and get some decent brands at decent prices, I always wonder.

Well, for K-mart it may never happen. But for most pet owners on a budget, it's good news that the big box retailers are finally paying attention to what the American Pet Product Association projected to be a $43 billion pet product business in 2008. You know that you've got a big business when the big box retailers crave a piece of it.