The Kiwis making man’s best friend into a business
New Zealand has some of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world, which has led to a range of clever businesses catering to our four-legged pals
Spot, Tabby and Flopsy are no longer ‘just’ pets – they’re big business. With recent estimates putting New Zealand’s companion animal population at 4.6 million, there is almost one for every human – giving us the second highest rate of pet ownership in the world. It’s perhaps no wonder it has become an industry Kiwis spend a whopping $1.8 billion on annually, a figure that has risen 12.5% in five years. And it’s not just food and vet bills we’re splashing the cash on. As well as paying for the likes of doggy daycare and pet insurance, devoted animal owners are investing in the services of pet psychics, massage therapists and ‘beauticians’ offering pedicures and facials. Yes, you read that correctly. At pet store Animates you can choose from a ‘plum perfect’, ‘oatmeal and baking soda’ or ‘rainforest’ facial, which variously promise to soothe, lift and brighten your pooch’s complexion. This evolution of pet services has massively broadened the options for those who dream of working with animals, but don’t particularly want to be vets. NEXT sat down with three of them to hear how their animal attraction has been the launchpad for lucrative careers.