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Dog owners spend big bucks to pamper their furry friends

By Quynh Nguyen   November 21, 2021 | 01:00 am PT
Dog lovers in Hanoi don't mind spending a lot of money for grooming their pets and giving them spa treatment.

In September, Nguyen Tu An, 29, took her dog, ‘Cua,’ to a high-end grooming place named Head to Tail Pet Spa and Hotel on Lac Long Quan Street in Tay Ho District for the first time.

The staff there carefully checked the 15-kg golden retriever for skin or coat problems before choosing a suitable, non-irritating shower gel.

Nguyen Tu Ans Golden Retriever at the pet spa and hotel on Oct. 17. Photo courtesy of Head to Tail Pet Spa and Hotel

Nguyen Tu An's Golden Retriever at the pet spa and hotel on Oct. 17. Photo courtesy of Head to Tail Pet Spa and Hotel

The spa session lasted nearly an hour with a bath, skin treatment and coat conditioner. The animal also had its ears and sweat glands cleaned and nails trimmed.

One week after getting the treatment, Cua's fur is still shiny and An feels happy with his decision.

She says it is difficult to bathe and clean Cua at home without specialized equipment, especially since it is a big dog.

Sometimes its skin has rashes and as a first-time dog owners she does not know whether to treat it at home or go to a veterinarian.

The spa employees helped dispel those worries for An, advising her to go ahead and apply medication in case of just itches, but see a vet in case of abnormal symptoms.

"The way they take care of pets is very thorough and diligent," An says.

It was a years ago that affluent families began to pay more attention to pet care and accommodation. They proved willing to spend large sums of money to take their furry friends to expensive beauty salons and to pet hotels when traveling.

Tran Ha Thu, 35, the store manager of the pet hotel and spa, said it was established in 2020 with a facility each in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

The Hanoi place has three floors and hires four workers. The ground floor is used for health checks, bathing, cleaning, drying, and trimming, and has a swimming pool for animals.

Staff give trimming and styling services to a dog. Photo courtesy of Head to Tail Pet Spa and Hotel

Staff give trimming and styling services to a dog. Photo courtesy of Head to Tail Pet Spa and Hotel

The first floor is a waiting area for guests, and the second is where the animals live and play.

Pets are treated with shower gels imported from France that cost VND400,000 ($17.62) on average for a 250-ml bottle, and help clean, deodorize, remove dead cells, and soften coats.

It costs owners VND250,000-500,000 to bathe and clean their pets and VND400,000-700,000 to style them.

Other services are charged based on needs. It costs VND100,000-250,000 for pets to stay for less than five hours, VND150,000-430,000 for all day, and VND200,00- 580,000 for overnight depending on the weight of the animal.

The fee includes three meals, monitoring of health, toileting, and playtime or outdoor walks.

An says she pays about VND400,000 per week for bathing her dog.

"Expensive but worth it," the 29-year-old says seeing her dog is always clean and its fur is soft and shiny, unlike when bathing it at home.

Many people seem to be willing to splurge on their pets.

Every day Thu's Hanoi facility receives an average of five to seven pets for bathing, cleaning and trimming, and the number doubles during weekends.

The peak times are holidays, New Year and summer vacation, and customers who want to bring their pets for grooming or to the hotel need to book in advance.

Thu's is slightly more expensive than other pet hotels and spas.

Pet enjoy spa treatment at a hotel and spa for

Dogs enjoy spa treatment at a hotel and spa for pets. Photo courtesy of Head to Tail Pet Spa and Hotel

Many people who open pet spas say there is a strong trend of considering pets as family members in Vietnam, with owners treating their animals like children, giving them special food and care.

Not surprisingly, spa and other high-end pet services are thriving.

Anh Thu, 27, of Cau Giay District takes her two poodles to a pet shop on Xa Dan Street in Dong Da District to have their hair trimmed.

She believes animals, like people, need to be beautified and receive the best care if their owners can afford it.

"If you have decided to raise pets, especially imported dogs and cats, it is necessary to spend money and time to take care of them". She just spent VND700,000 to have her dogs’ hair trimmed.

After the social distancing ended, the number of customers bringing their pets to Thu's salon for bathing and trimming has increased.

"I think this service will become more and more popular as people keep importing pets from abroad," Thu says.

"They consider them a family member and do not mind spending a large amount of money to take care of and beautify them".

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