Is your four-legged friend down in the dumps? Maybe a cruise, a bubble bath at the spa or some yoga could help? Those are just some of the luxury pet treats offered in Singapore.
In a country where one in six people are millionaires it shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn just how pampered Singapore pets are.
But with bespoke cruises for sea-loving dogs, pet obituaries and wellness centres for depressed pooches, the level of luxury can still raise a few well-manicured eyebrows.
Nestled alongside the Porsches, Ferraris and yachts in the city state that boasts one of the world’s highest standards of living are a growing number of businesses catering for the pets of the rich.
One such venture is Pet Cruises, launched by boat owner Joe Howe last summer. His 26-foot catamaran is a pet’s paradise with its swimming deck, fully-stocked cleaning station and life jackets for dogs.
He said: “I am a dog owner and a sailor myself so this made a lot of sense. I could see this being an enjoyable activity for both owners and their pets who have a love of the sea.”
Mr Howe is not surprised that the concept of pet cruises has taken off. He added: “Young couples are having pets before they have children, sometimes as a stand-in but also as a replacement, so it’s natural they treat them so well.”
On weekends, a basic five kilometre cruise lasting two hours costs around S$40 (£20) per guest, regardless of whether you’re a two-legged or four-legged passenger. Pet Cruises has even had an owner and their tortoise come aboard.
A chance to sail on the open seas is very tempting given that Singapore is a densely populated island of more than 5 million people. Despite the lack of land, pets are very popular among Singaporeans, who have one of the lowest birth rates in the world.
Fewer babies and higher incomes are leading to the some very privileged pets. While you can still pick up a hamster for just S$10 (£5) many prefer pure breed dogs costing thousands of dollars.
Business is booming at Petopia, a high-end wellness centre for pets helping them cope with depression and the signs of ageing courtesy of massages and aromatherapy.
The spa, hotel and daycare centre is the perfect environment for an anxious pet owner stressed out at leaving their four-legged friend alone.
Concerned pet parents can even monitor their pooch’s activities remotely via a round-the-clock webcam service.
Richard Wee, marketing director at Petopia, said: “Although Singapore is considered a first-world country, the level of pet care services is very much third world and we felt that it was timely for us to make a change and offer something that animal owners like ourselves would have peace of mind, confidence and trust in.”
A 20-minute microbubble bath treatment for an odour-free coat costs up to S$119 (£60) depending on the breed and size of the dog.
Also catching on fast in Singapore is dog yoga – or doga – after becoming popular in neighbouring Hong Kong and Taiwan. Rosalind Ow, owner of dog grooming service Super Cuddles Clubhouse, said: “By nature, dogs are good at stretching and we can learn a lot from them. However, unlike yoga which can be quite strict, doga is more of an exercise where owners spend quality time with their pampered pooches and have fun.”
And when that dreaded day comes when your four-legged friend leaves for pet heaven, you can pay tribute to them with a classified ad in the city state’s main daily newspaper, The Straits Times.
A 30-word tribute is free while a longer goodbye message and an accompanying photograph will set you back S$50 (£25) in the paper’s Pets Corner section.
In a recent report on Singapore’s pet care market, research firm Euromonitor said: “Many pet owners are increasingly treating their pets as household members, and are therefore pampering their pets with luxurious food, products and services, just as they would dote on their family.”