Despite the recession, the American Pet Products Assn. estimates Americans will spend US$45.4 billion on pets in 2009, up 5.1% from last year, according to an article from BusinessWeek .

Proof of the recession-resistant market is PetSmart , whose stocks from the beginning of 2009 have risen 21%.

PetSmart beat expectations by controlling expenses and driving traffic to its stores through sales and other promotions, according to analyst Mike Baker, in addition to the need-based nature of petfood.

"We are executing well despite the economic climate and continue to define the pet specialty customer experience," chairman and chief executive Philip Francis told analysts in the article.