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Millennials in Thailand Choosing to Become Pet Parents

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Parents have long worked hard to provide for the well-being of their children. Today, those same children (Millenials) are working equally hard to treat their pets like royalty and have become pet parents

Young Thai love their pets, and over a third of Thai households own at least one animal, according to studies. There has always been love between pet owners and their pets, but the trend has shifted from pet ownership to pet parenting. As a result, consumers’ behaviour is changing and the industry is being influenced by the trend. Pet parents want the highest quality for their “children.”

Yes, I work hard to take care of my cats and dog. All my pets live with my mother upcountry, including four cats and a dog. I send my mom money so she can care for them. Purchasing pet food alone can be expensive because they are fussy eaters, and then there are the medications. “Grooming is expensive, too,” says Pat, a freelancer in Bangkok, who is in her 30s.

Pat was the first member of her family to own a pet. Her interest in dogs began when a friend gave her a dog at age 14. “When I arrived in Bangkok to study, I wasn’t at ease.”. One of my old friends gave me a dog. I asked my mom to take care of the dog while I studied in an exchange program for a year, but she reluctantly agreed. Mom never liked dogs or cats, but now she loves all of them and wouldn’t give any of them back.”

Her pet food budget is about 15,000 baht a month. Her monthly pet-care costs at her mother’s house account for 30% of her total monthly spending.

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Pet-related businesses have boomed

She is a good example of the millennial generation that calls themselves ‘cat slaves’ (Tas Maew) or ‘dog slaves’ (Tas Mah). Their pets have become special to them, and they have formed strong attachments to them.

In the present day, rabbits and reptiles are also becoming popular pets.

Pet-related businesses have boomed during the pandemic, as expected. Many Thais were kept sane during the gloomy and depressing lockdowns by their pets. It was reported that those without pets adopted or purchased a pet during the outbreak of COVID-19.

As a result of the WFH, people were able to spend more time caring for their pets in both the public and private sectors. Pet ownership by millennials with sufficient purchasing power grew by 1-5% thanks to their purchase of pets as friends. According to Duangrat Udomsomporn, acting general manager of Pet Expo 2021 organizer NCC Exhibition Organiser Co (NEO), the market is expected to grow from 36.7 billion baht in 2020 to 38.5 billion baht in 2021.

Pets have become so popular because of the growing number of singles, childless couples, LGBTQ couples, and elderly people. The family has converted them from pets to real members of the family and they are very well taken care of.

“As a result, premium pet products are more popular, such as quality food and good medical care, since pet parents want their animals to be with them as long as possible,” claimed Duangrat of NEO.

pet parents

Millennials pet parents spend huge on their pet children

Thai Ridgeback dog owner Neena Neeracha has four dogs and says she wasn’t initially interested in being a pet parent. Her family raised livestock, including turkeys. As soon as she was able to afford to have a pet of her own, she studied her options and decided on her favourite. I didn’t initially think of them as my children, but after we bought them, I began to see them as family members. It costs me about 5,000 baht a month to feed them a raw diet.”

Pet parents like Pat and Neena are very careful when choosing food for their pets. There is no longer a time when you could simply ask for the dog or cat food at the store. Today, pet food offers tailored nutrition and food for animals with special needs or health conditions, as well as senior pets. With pet parenting on the rise, demand for high-quality pet food is rising. Since 2011, the pet food industry has steadily grown at a rate of 10% per year, compared to the average growth in human food sales of 5%.

The Thai Pet Product Industries Association estimates that the market for pet products in Thailand was worth US$107 billion in 2019; pet food made up 45%, veterinary care 32%, and clothing, accessories, and toys made up the remainder.

Thanks to pet parents, pet-related businesses are expected to continue to grow at an exceptional rate. There will be no end to pet pampering, and other industries have also tried to capitalize on the trend.

For pet owners, there are at least two mobility apps that offer “taxi” services – In Driver and Grab. In Bangkok and other key destinations, vacationers with pets can now enjoy more offers from leading and even five-star hotels. The number of pet parents will likely continue to grow as the number of pets increases.

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