SEOUL, Feb. 2 (Korea Bizwire) — About one out of four South Koreans raised pet animals, and they spent 150,000 won (US$123) per month on average last year, a survey showed Thursday.
According to the survey of 5,000 South Koreans aged between 20 and 64, a total of 1,272 people, or 25.4 percent, said they raised at least one pet animal at their residences, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
Of them, 75.6 percent said they had a dog, and 27.7 percent said they raised a cat. Some 7.3 percent said they had fish, the survey showed, which was conducted in September last year.
Pet owners spent 150,000 won monthly on their companion animals, up around 30,000 from a year earlier.
As of 2020, the number of households raising pets was estimated at 6.38 million, or 28 percent of the country’s total households.
The number of dogs raised by local households came to 6.02 million, and that of cats came to 2.58 million, according to government data.
Some 22.1 percent of the respondents said that they gave up or have thought of giving up on raising their pets, due mainly to pet behavior problems and larger-than-expected expenditures.
Asked if they are aware of regulations when going out with their animals, such as using a leash, 63 percent said they knew and abided by them.
The government has toughened rules to protect rights of animals, including tougher punishment for animal abuse, the implementation of an animal registration system and mandatory insurance packages for owners of fierce dogs.