Little Bear is part of a new class of pampered pooches who are enjoying privileges previously unknown to man’s best friend, thanks to rapidly rising income levels in the world’s second-largest economy.
China’s pet population is growing fast. There were about 58 million pet dogs in 20 major cities at the end of 2009 and the figure is rising about 30 per cent each year, according to a survey by Beijing-based magazine Dog Fans.
Pet owners in China, some of who are “spoiling their dogs too much”, spend an estimated $2 billion a year on their animals, said Per Lyngemark, founder of Shanghai-based Petizens.com, a Facebook-like site dedicated to furry friends.
He expects the launch of a Chinese-language version of the site in April to bring at least 50,000 new users to the website by the end of this year. It currently has 60,000 users around the world. Growth in China’s pet products industry is outpacing that in the rest of the world, he said.
“In America, it’s going up one per cent a year. In China, it’s going up 10 to 20 per cent a year. It’s really booming here,” Lyngemark said.
Now I want to launch Asiance Pup in honor of my late best buddies Fred (my beloved Schnauzer) and Pepper (my adorable Spaniel)! I tried to dress them up a few times but they wouldn’t have any of it! Not even a bow on Christmas.