Pet furniture: When a doghouse is not nearly enough

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Pet furniture: When a doghouse is not nearly enough

Korea may be making international headlines for eating dogs, but pet products and services aimed to make dogs feel like kings are on the rise. The pet industry these days is featuring not only conventional pet products and services, but is also going for the more offbeat, including items to help hairy pets cope with the summer heat.

"Last year, most companies were producing similar products," said Lee Jong-im, a manager at Dear Dog, a clothing company for pets. "But now companies have taken a more distinctive direction. The whole industry is diversifying."

Dear Dog has come out with a product called Cool Vest. It's aimed at helping man's best friend overcome the notorious humidity of summer. The vest can be stuffed with freezer packs, which keep the dog cool. The vest comes in two different sizes, and costs about 35,000 won ($30).

In wintertime, the vest, without ice, of course, can be used to help keep Fido warm.

Another product called Frill Pants should come in handy as well ?it's like a sanitary napkin for female dogs. The pants are also fashionable enough to be worn just for looks.

Louis Dog, which produces furniture for dogs, has come up with a tube bed. The product is shaped like, well, a tube, and it is waterproof. In addition, the company is introducing a product called i-cool, a pet pillow that contains freezer packs.

Dognara, a pet product company, has introduced a dog carrying bag that's made out of gauze in order to help the dog's skin. For 14,000 won, dog owners can carry their dog inside automobiles or other places that require dog owners to keep their pet under close surveillance and forbid them to put dogs on the ground.

In order to prevent dehydration the company has also introduced water bottles that have a special waterspout attached.

Edward Keller Ltd., the company responsible for selling the pet food brand Eukanuba, an American product, has introduced premium pet food that differs for each age group. Pet food for puppies helps them develop a strong immune system. A 1.5 kilogram bag costs 10,000 won, while the adult version, designed to protect the teeth of older dogs and costs 12,000 won for 1.8 kilograms.

Han Ji-ryong, a marketing manager at Edward Keller's Korea branch, expects more specialized products will be introduced. "We forecast that the pet industry will grow by 50 percent compared to last year and that the pet growing population will increase by 12 percent."

by Brian Lee

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