Luxury pet-friendly services on the rise in Korea

By Park Sae-jin Posted : May 20, 2024, 17:04 Updated : May 20, 2024, 17:04
Getty Images Bank
[Getty Images Bank]

SEOUL, May 20 (AJU PRESS) - Luxury pet services and products ranging from canine kindergartens to hotels, and health supplements, are attracting a growing number of pet-lovers in Korea.

According to a recent report released by KB Financial Group, about 5.5 million households or one out of every four households in Korea, have at least one pet. The report estimated that there are around 12.6 million pet owners. The trend is attributed to the increased number of single-person households and the country's super-low fertility rate.

Market researcher Euromonitor speculates that Korea's pet care market surged to a staggering $2.45 billion in 2023, marking a 5.6 percent increase from the previous year. The market has tripled since 2013, outpacing the global average of a 1.9-fold increase during the same period.

Canine kindergartens have been popular among dog lovers. Despite the expansive cost averaging around 1.7 million won ($1,254) a month, dog owners living in affluent parts of Seoul seem unfazed, eagerly lining up to sign up for the services. These facilities provide accommodation and educational programs for dogs, enabling pet-owners to entrust their flurry companions when they go on trips.

"It has been a month since I put my name on a waiting list to have my dog enrolled in programs there. I think these services are great for working couples and their dogs," Yoon Mi-hye, a 42-year-old hairdresser living in the upscale district of Gangnam in southern Seoul, told Aju Press last week. "The services are great, although they come with hefty price tags. I think they will be worth the money," she claims.

In March this year, Korea's main gateway Incheon International Airport jointly launched a premium accommodation service for dogs with a pet hotel operator based in the western port city. The service includes picking ups dogs at the airport and returning them to their owners upon their departure and arrival. The hotel also offers various activities to keep their canine customers busy and happy. It costs 55,000 won to have a dog weighing less than five kilograms (11 pounds) stay a night in the cheapest room.

Major Korean pharmaceutical companies have released high-end products such as health supplements and multivitamins to cater to customers who are especially concerned about their pets' health. Daewoong Pharmaceutical launched a pet medicine and health supplement brand, Daewoong Pet, in 2021 to conduct research and development for pet-related products.

The company also released a digestive enzyme product called Bearse Pet, targeting pets with digestive problems. Dogs and cats, which have a limited capability to digest carbohydrates, often have digestive issues when eating pet food because the main ingredient is made of carbohydrates.
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