SINGAPORE: As the year draws to a close and more Singaporeans prepare to jet off for year-end vacations, pet hotels are experiencing a notable uptick in bookings, with a remarkable 50 per cent year-on-year increase. However, some pet owners opt for alternative arrangements, impacting sales for certain operators.

A pet boarder managing a facility capable of accommodating over 60 animals told Channel 8 that they are 90 per cent booked from now until the end of December. However, they noted that demand this year appeared slightly less intense than the previous year when post-pandemic travel saw a surge in overseas trips.

Another dog care centre owner acknowledged a 50 per cent increase in overseas travel bookings but expressed surprise at the lower-than-expected numbers. Some regular customers, aiming to cut costs, have chosen to have their pets stay with relatives or friends instead of opting for professional boarding services, leading to a noticeable impact on sales.

In contrast, small pet boarding centres catering to animals like rabbits, hamsters, and chinchillas are witnessing a boom in business. One owner shared that reservations for their services have been secured as early as March, extending through the end of the year and even into the Lunar New Year in the following year.

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The unique care needs of these small pets, which may not exhibit signs of discomfort, require meticulous attention from caregivers and the importance of proper care was emphasized by industry insiders, as neglect could lead to the demise of these pets within a short period of time.

Meanwhile, a concerning trend has also emerged as some individuals have been found operating pet boarding centres illegally in HDB flats and private residential units, offering cheaper prices to pet owners. The authorities urge consumers to exercise caution as such environments are not conducive to the health and well-being of pets.