Pets are considered part of the family and with the pet industry estimated to hit $91.72 billion in sales worldwide, owners are prepared to spend.
From dog yoga (doga) to expensive clothes and pawsome hotels, here are some ways pampered pooches are living it large.
Doga (dog yoga)
Dog yoga involves doing yoga with your dog. The practice focuses on the bond between dog and human, provides a work out and establishes a pack mentality.
While currently unavailable in South Africa, there are YouTube videos that you can watch to start practicing yoga with your four legged friend.
Going away? Make sure your pooch gets a holiday of their own at a luxe kennel.
Frits Dog Hotel in Cape Town wants to become the first five star dog hotel in the world. With a range of accommodation to choose from, such as the dormitory, deluxe or platinum suites, there is something to suit every pooch and budget. Prices start at R250 per night and go up to R500 per night.
But don’t think that the luxury ends there. At Frits Dog Hotel also offers spa services and sells clothes.
Nicole Welch runs The Royal Pooch and Co in Fourways, Johannesburg, a full-service luxury pet-grooming spa and deli.
“Many South Africans see their pets as part of the family, taking them on holiday and dressing them in adorable outfits. I thought that if people loved being pampered at salons, maybe pets would too,” Nicole Welch, The Royal Pooch and Co
Nicole researched local parlours to make sure her niche wasn’t filled and realised that people aren’t always happy with basic grooming. This is when she decided to offer professional grooming, blueberry facials, massages, paw and pad treatments and feather extensions for fur. She also added a shop selling food, treats and toys.
The Royal Pooch and Co now has a mobile unit, which means they can go directly to customers.
Ronelle Ernst is very house proud and when she couldn’t find any dog beds for her two Chihuahuas that suited her home’s décor, she decided to try making them herself.
After sourcing high end materials and getting a company who make wicker furniture to help her, Swanky Mongrel was born.
Swanky Mongrel specialises in high end dog beds and blankets, and once a client has selected their design and fabric , it takes about 4-6 weeks to make. Swanky Mongrel currently only delivers in Gauteng.
“Because the beds are made of the best-quality oak and wicker, they can get quite expensive, so we’ve introduced a more reasonably-priced range. They’re still made with the same attention to detail, but with wood offcuts and end of range material,” Ronel says.
It’s usually the smaller breeds that require jerseys. They tend to get cold very easily and shiver. However there are some dog owners that play dress up with their dogs. From rugby jerseys to tutus to a simple “I love my mom” t-shirt, there is an outfit for any occasion.
And while most pet stores do stock clothing, these South African pet clothing online stores have a wide variety:
Gone are the days of buying the cheapest food in bulk. Last year alone, the South African pet food industry was worth US$300 million (R1430 6700). Pet owners are becoming more aware of the quality of pet food and how this impacts on their pet’s health.
Tapping into this trend, Lerina Lessing established dog treat company, Doggy Belly Bakery.
“I started checking package ingredients and discovered that some of the preservatives and flavourings are very unhealthy for most dogs. I thought I could make healthier, more natural goodies on my own,” Lerina explains.
At first business was slow, and Lerina sold her doggy treats at the Fourways Farmers Market and the Irene Village Market in Johannesburg. She would test recipes and flavour combinations on her three Yorkies. It was only when she got an order for a doggy birthday party that she realised her business could work. “. I made a range of natural treats for the dog, including cupcakes, biscuits, and a big birthday cake”.
Doggy Belly Bakery offers organic ice cream, liver fudge (which is a great tool for training puppies), mostly-organic lollipops using peanut butter, rice flour, carob powder, and a yoghurt as well as treats for cats.
Also check out:
Doggy Chef run a made-to-order raw organic dog food delivery service in Johannesburg and Pretoria. All ingredients are locally sourced and contain no artificial preservatives, colourants, flavourings and wheat, corn or soy ingredients.
Prices start from R240 to R1800 a month, depending on your dog’s weight.