Valentine's gift searches: Fido tops hubby

dog_valentine.ju.top.jpgGoogle says pooches beat out husbands for most searches for Valentine's Day personalized gifts. By Parija Kavilanz, senior writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Valentine's Day is clearly a gift-getting day for the ladies, but most men hope to get at least some love back as well.

But here's some bad news, fellas, especially if there's a pooch that figures in your romantic scenario this year.

Google search trends show that Valentine's Day searches for "personalized dog gifts" -- such as a doggie sweater, collar or water bowl with a pooch's name on it -- are more than 10% higher than searches for "personalized husband gifts."

Overall, searches on Google for "Valentine's Day dog gifts" are up 30% this year over 2010.

Google's (GOOG, Fortune 500) trends-spotting tool -- Insight For Search, which debuted in 2008 -- allows anyone to get a broad overview or a detailed snapshot of the most frequent searches nationwide or worldwide in a given point in time.

The love for man's best friend is not just for personalized stuff.

Google searches for flowers for dogs are up 10% over last year, chocolate for dogs are up 20% over last year, red dog collars are up 10% and searches for "dog dates" are up 15% over last Valentine's Day.

Todd Handler, who owns and operates Hotdogcollars.com, said his business has seen a 30% jump in sales tied just to Valentine's Day, outpacing overall sales so far this year.

"In my 10 years of being in the pet accessory business, this is the most enthusiastic that people have been about pet gifts for Valentine's Day," said Handler.

His customers have grabbed everything from Valentine's Day T-shirts and sweaters to red dog collars.

"I think pets are seen as part of the family much more than they have been in the past," he said

Ladies, don't fear. The bottom line is that you can rest assured that the Valentine's Day pet gifts trend isn't working out so well in reverse.

According to Google, searches for "gifts for girlfriend" are 90% higher than searches for "gifts for dogs," and searches for "gifts for wife" for Valentine's Day are 85% higher than searches for "gifts for dogs."

"I guess it speaks to the state of marriage in this country, or of pet ownership," said Handler, chuckling. To top of page

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