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Middle-income South Africans boost R8 bln pet market: Survey

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Despite the economy barely growing and households short on disposable income, most still spend a significant amount on pet care.

According to the annual BrandMapp survey, South Africa’s middle-income base contributes more to the pet market valued at over R8 billion a year.

Ultimate Pet Care, the largest mobile grooming parlour in the country, says households spend an average of R2000 and above for pet care.

Hannes Roodt runs a grooming parlour that boasts 50-plus franchises. Together they groom just under 10 000 dogs a month. Just last year, the business expanded and added a pet daycare.

“We started our daycare last year, it was the concept for people to drop off their dogs in Benoni, we saw and looked after 8 225 dogs to give you an average of 40 to 50 dogs a day. The people literally dropped off their dogs. Two years ago there was nothing and now we are looking after 50 dogs a day. So it shows you that people are getting more attentive to looking after their dogs. Our plans for the daycare centre is to expand into a hotel by next year December,” says Roodt.

Pet care business going well despite gloomy economic outlook:

According to Why Five, a consumer consultancy, pet foods make up a large part of the total market. This includes veterinary care and meds, nutritional supplements and treats, grooming and boarding services, pet toys, beds and a wide range of accessories. Roodt agrees that there are growing services catering for pet-friendly travel options, accommodation and other activities.

“The average person spends R600 on an animal toy washed twice a month and that’s an average of only 1 animal, most households have got two. So you’re looking at an R1 000 to R1 500 that people will just spend on the washing side of a dog or cat. And then of course the food you’re looking at between R500 to R1 500 per bag of food and that’s not any visit to the vet or any toy or any alternative bucket of food or canned food. So people spend, a household spends between R2 000 and R3 000 at least on an animal or two animals per month,” Roodt adds.

With New Year celebrations just around the corner, Roodt has some tips to keep pets safe.

“My first recommendation is to get a thunder jacket. It’s a jacket that you put on the dog and it wraps it. It makes the dog feel like someone is holding it. So it really helps with the thunder or even the fireworks, a tip or two if you have a pet that has not experienced New Year, it’s always good for that animal to be in an enclosed area.”

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