It’s trendy in China to be accompanied by furry friends. And people are willing to spend more and more money on their pets, turning the pet industry into a lucrative business opportunity.
At the 17th Pet Fair Asia held in Shanghai over the weekend, there was an abundance of luxury and high-end pet products.
A smart feeder was selling for 1,700 yuan (US$276). The exhibitor told customers that they spent three years on developing the feeder.
So what could a doting pet owner do with this smart feeder?
Firstly, the owner has to install an app on his smartphone. Then he can control when to feed the pet and how much food the pet should consume.
You can even communicate with your pet through your phone, as the feeder comes complete with a camera and speaker, the exhibitor said.
The smart feeder is not officially out yet but some pet owners couldn’t wait to have one.
Ms Liu told Shanghai Morning Post that she would like to have the feeder now so that she can be out of town for a couple days without worrying about her four prized Bichon Frises.
Obesity is not only an issue for humans but is also common for spoiled dogs and cats. That’s why some exhibitors have chosen fitness to be their theme this year, selling pet fitness gears through the weekend.
There were treadmills that are specially designed for dogs, with fences installed on the sides to prevent the pets from falling off when exercising.
One exhibitor was even selling smart wristbands for dogs. The functions are the same as those for humans: monitoring and sending dogs’ health data to owners’ smartphones.
Apart from products, services for pets have become popular in the past years.
Five university students in June set up the first marriage agency especially for pets. The agency will pair up pets for mating. In fact, it has already held a wedding ceremony for two cats last month.
Life is short, as the saying goes, and pets’ lives are even shorter. There are now many photographic studios that would take pictures for pets exclusively.
Because it is much more difficult to take good pictures for animals, prices charged are usually higher. At 500 yuan for a dozen pictures, this is even more expensive than a baby photo shoot.
Which is why this is seen as one pet business with a great potential.
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