Turns out that 52% of pet owning Americans plan on buying their pets a present this year. According to the Associated Press poll that brought this news to a publication near you, that’s up from 43% last year.

Conclusion: Pets are beloved and becoming more traditionally so if their ability to rake in the holiday swag is any measure.

Which has elicited some impressive media responses to the concept of pet spending. As in (yawn!) the tired old argument that we waste our money on our animals when we could be spending it on...oh, I don’t know...Christmas cards?

Meanwhile, this notion is no shocker for those of us who spend big bucks on animal healthcare and invest our energy reading blogs that more than half our fellow pet owners consider animals holiday gift-worthy.

Though the media might make much of it, it’s no surprise to us. Even less so when you consider there’s nothing too rational about the human drive to offer gifts to our loved ones in the first place.

Indeed, when directed towards animals, buying behavior is a reflection of our least selfish, most nurturing impulses. That’s especially obvious when we consider that pets are the recipients who least expect or demand the gifts we bestow upon them.

So ignore the obnoxious catcalls of those who would question your human loyalty or suggest you’ve abandoned all reason when you head out to the mall or shop the internet for your pet’s next holiday indulgence. Keep in mind that almost nothing beats this gesture for its honesty and purity or spirit. And that’s what this season is all about, right?