SEOUL, May 10 (Korea Bizwire) – The growing number of pet owners is prompting new businesses and services to sprout up around South Korea, targeting those who are willing to open their wallets despite the long economic slump facing the country.
Koreans over 60 are one of the age groups with the largest spending on pets.
According to data released by the Statistics Korea on Monday, households consisting of family members aged over 60 spent a monthly average of 2,038 won ($1.80), up 15 percent from 2014, on their pets including funerals, grooming services, and pet hotels.
The growing interest in pets among seniors comes in light of a societal drop in family interaction in recent years, as data from Statistics Korea shows parents met with their children fewer times in 2014 than they did in 2012.
KB Bank’s trust fund for pet owners is also proving popular, offering a vehicle for savings that go towards pets when their owners die, to secure their safety and keep them cared for.
Applicable to both dogs and cats, KB Bank’s pet trust fund offer services to guarantee pet safety and well-being by disbursing the trust fund money in installments to the pet’s new caregiver.
Konkuk University Medical Center was the first in the country to open a 24-hour pet emergency room, in December of last year, with six veterinarians who specialize in both internal medicine and surgery.
Since the emergency room launched, around 50 pet animals have visited every month.
Pet schools are also becoming increasingly popular, where pets can enjoy the experience of socializing with other animals instead of staying home alone, which could leave a negative impact on their health.
In response to industry forecasts that the pet market in South Korea is projected to grow to 6 trillion won ($5.2 billion) by 2020, a government agency dedicated to the pet industry was launched earlier this year.