More Chinese are keeping pets these days, and spending increasing amounts of money on them.
In Beijing, more than 60,000 cats and an equal number of dogs have been registered at the Beijing epidemic prevention department, but at least another 400,000 remain unregistered, department sources say.
If each owner spent 50 yuan feeding their pet each month, it would mean 20 million yuan spent each year in Beijing alone. Hence, catering for pet needs is becoming a profitable business.
In northeast China’s Harbin city, there are now many kinds of pet foods available in supermarkets, including internationally known brands, according to the Harbin Daily. It said that owners are also spending heavily on toys and beds for their pets, as well as on beauty treatments, like dog shampoos and manicures. Money is also pouring into various types of pet beauty contests.
If the animal falls ill, more expense is incurred on medicines and even surgery in one of the many pet hospitals that have sprung up in recent years. Thus, the newspaper concluded, the commercial sector should realize the potential of the pet market, and tap into it.
To find out more about the pet craze, the Horizon Research Group recently conducted a sample survey of 4,509 residents from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Wuhan, Chengdu, Shenyang, Zhengzhou and Xian.
Nearly half of them believe people rear pets out of curiosity. About 20 percent, however, say that with the pace of life increasing due to technological advancement, having a pet becomes a more of relaxation. Others believe pets can mould a person’s temperament for the better and help beautify environment.
Among the sampled, 54.4 percent favor dogs; 39.6 percent cats; 18.3 percent fish; 16.9 percent birds; 8.6 percent tortoises; 6.3 percent rabbits; 1.3 percent chickens; 0.2 percent pigs; 0.2 percent snakes; 0.2 percent squirrels; 0.2 percent ducks; 0.2 percent parrots; 0.2 percent pigeons; 0.2 percent rats; 0.1 percent crickets; and 0.1 percent monkeys.