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

NEXT (New Zealand) - - At A Glance | Contents - BY CATH BEN­NETT

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.

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