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India's growing pampered pooch pack

Monday, July 23, 2012 - 02:01

July 23 - An increasingly affluent middle-class is splashing its cash on doggie swimming pools, upmarket vets and posh grooming parlours.

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It's a dog's life in New Delhi - but only if your owner is one of India's increasingly affluent middle class. They're splashing their cash on their pooches at places like the Pet Lovers' Hut. Amber Ansari spends around 90 dollars a week on his Labrador, Caesar. That's about the amount a New Delhi office cleaner earns in a month: SOUNDBITE: Pet Owner Amber Ansari saying (English): "I'm sure with the times people are getting aware and sensitive towards their pets. It's not just treated as something to guard your home with or something like which earlier used to be the case." The boom in pet spending has given rise to an industry keen for a bite of the business. Sunil Rana runs the Delhi Pet School. SOUNDBITE: Sunil Rana, Delhi Pet School, saying (English): "I thought of starting a pet shop initially and when people started asking for different services, then I thought 'why not start something like pets' boarding, training, and grooming parlour also?'. A Euromonitor report predicts India's spending on its pets will rise more than a fifth this year and will reach 81 million dollars. Doctor B.K Choudhary, a vet in New Delhi, says the industry's seen huge changes in recent years. SOUNDBITE: Dr B.K Choudhary, vet and owner of pet shop and clinic, saying (English): "People were not feeding their dogs with dog food. Now there is a variation of dog food, chew sticks, snacks, a number of things are available at this time. Nowadays people are spending a lot of money on all sorts of these services like grooming services." But not all dogs are equal in India's canine elite. Many pet owners prefer Great Danes, pugs and other foreign breeds as status symbols. The average stray is unlikely even to get a sniff of the luxury lifestyle. Julie Noce, Reuters

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India's growing pampered pooch pack

Monday, July 23, 2012 - 02:01