Time now for our "Life & Info" segment… where we focus on information that is useful in your everyday life.
Today, our Hong Yoo is here in the studio to tell us how much money is needed to take care of a pet these days and the changing consumption trends of pet owners.
So Yoo, before we get into the costs of raising pets, tell us how many people in Korea have pets?
Hi Mark, more than 10 million people living in South Korea have a pet.
That's one pet for every four households.
Those that have a pet raise it for an average of 9 years.
And during that time, a lot of effort is needed in raising it.
For example, almost half of dog owners take their dogs on a walk at least 4 times a week.
And that's not all. Pets need food, medicine and vaccinations, and some grooming every once in a while.
How much does all that cost?
Well, according to a pet report by KB Financial Group, raising a dog costs an average of 85 U.S. dollars a month and raising a cat requires an average of 64 dollars a month.
Most of that money goes on food and treats.
The rest of the money is used for medical care and grooming.
But people are happy to treat their pets because these days pet owners think of their pets as a member of their family.
In Korea, these people are called "PetFam".
The pet industry has seen an average of 19 percent annual growth on the back of this trend.
And because people think of their pets as part of their family, they want to take their pets along with them on trips.
So tour companies have started creating "pet tours".
"Because there are people who want this kind of tour, we saw a potential of such product in the market and so we came up with our Jeju pet tour. Pets can accompany their family all the time during the tour to Jeju Island including at the restaurant, tour spots, and the hotel because this tour is pet-centered."
He said that the booking rate is increasing and so they are planning to come up with more pet tours to other parts of South Korea and even abroad.
Okay so now we are talking about people who are willing to spend quite a bit on their pets.
How far can one go when raising pets?
Some people are willing to spend a lot There are even home spa products for pets labeled as premium products because they are organic, eco-friendly, and pet-friendly, and their quality is almost as good as skin products for humans.
These are not just shampoos that we are talking about, but also skin moisturizers, scaling products and grooming mists that can cost up to 40 dollars.
"Before, people used to think about pets as a living thing that you can buy just like a toy. But because people think of their pets as a part of the family, the pet market has become similar to the baby market. So now, owners are turning to premium products for their pets."
And there are luxury pet shops as well where they sell premium products that can cost up to a thousand dollars.