E-commerce is a field where every market can find its place, and the dog market is not an exception. China needs Europe’s long expertise in dog education. 

After years of development, China’s pet industry has now entered a period of rapid development. At present, China’s pet industry can be divided into three main categories:

  • Pet breeding/sales;
  • Pet supplies/food;
  • Pet services.

Among them, the pet supplies/food market accounts for the highest proportion, and the pet service market has grown rapidly in recent years with the improvement of viewpoints and the increase of per capita consumption level. 

This article will explain why.

The impotence of dogs owners in China

As you might have read it in our article “Those dog breeds that Chinese pet lovers adopt“, the pet market is quite recent in China, and pets education is something that Chinese owners just discovered.

Having no concrete example of how to raise a pet in their surroundings, they often neglect their dog’s needs by considering it as a material good, or on the contrary spoil it like a little child, the same way it also happens with some not-very-informed Europeans owners.


The life of Chinese city dogs is often closer to that one of a hamster than the one of a real dog, needing to run out every day. Sleeping in a rabbit cage, staying all day in a cramped apartment, getting outfits like a doll…

Gaps in dog training are common, which leads to barking all-day, anxiety, and aggressiveness. A real problem when a husky walks his owner and not the contrary, for this kind of dog breeds with a strong primitive instinct requiring a firm training.

With the lack of infrastructure to support them, Chinese owners are powerless to deal with their dog education. They often do not realize the responsibility and longevity of a dog before adopting one and would need to be the first educated!

Dog welfare is a sector to explore with Chinese e-commerce

Business opportunities for European companies are attractive in the field of dog education and pet welfare more generally.

  • First, online platforms dedicated to the purchase of pet supplies. E-commerce is essential to gain a foothold in China whose consumers are connected.
  • Chinese people are fond of learning skills books. Pet owners will not be reluctant to treat themselves with “How to educate your dog” and “All about dog behavior” translated into Chinese, as well as investing in all accessories related to training. The need is cruelly felt!

  • Since it is trendy to have your dog wearing a coat and slippers, the dog textile market is much larger in China than in Europe, where dressing its dog is often mocked and considered as a ridiculous pet’s over protection. The difference is that Europe enjoys a temperate climate, whereas Northern winters in China may actually require dog equipment.
  • Currently, many Chinese singles replace a family foundation by buying a dog. Their pet is then treated like a king child and receive a large budget for food and grooming. Dog grooming salons do not lack, but another space is certainly to devote to dog training with the opening of dressage schools for overwhelmed owners.

What’s the main difference between Chinese & European dog owners?

Europe has been working for decades on the welfare of domestic animals. Switzerland has for instance reconsidered the animal’s legal status in its legislation in 2003, no longer considering them as material goods but as living beings endowed with sensitivity.

Europeans will theoretically choose their future companion based on character’s compatibility, the experience of the dog master, and the usage of this dog: hunting, guarding, children proximity, etc.

Europeans traditionally appreciate Shepherds and hunting dogs. There are a lot of Labradors, Golden Retrievers, and German Shepherds to find in Western Europe. Some breeds that are quite popular in Europe – such as pointers, spaniels, or Dalmatian – are not to find in China, replaced by a variety of miniature dogs whose breeds are not necessarily all recognized in a studbook.

Canine education & welfare is getting more attention in China 2020

Animal Hospital landing page.

China has experienced an extremely fast development. Its remarkable economic growth has allowed the brutal access of an entire population to new activities and consumption power, newness taking time to integrate into society. Pets are part of this newness to integrate, while domesticated animals were previously only used for agricultural work, hunting, guarding, or meat consumption.

China has to catch up in many sectors, although for other parts it’s modernity and responsiveness to change far exceeds Europe.
Canine education and animal welfare are concepts that the Chinese society needs time to integrate, a process that is likely to be much faster than Europe has done itself. In recent years, pets education and warfare in China are beginning progressively.  

In many fields of pet warfare, the Chinese market is still learning from Europe. As pets are very important for Chinese owners and with their rising incomes, they are willing to pay for the best products for their pets. Many animal hospitals claim to meet Western standards or using imported products to attract pet owners. 


Why & how pets welfare will improve in China?

If one wants to make a rough comparison, the example of pollution is rather expressive. Pollution in China is a huge problem inherent to a country’s industrial development. The situation in England during the industrial revolution was similar to coal factories and pollution peaks during this time were subsequently recognized as more harmful than the current air pollution of China.

Pollution is a problem that has taken a long time to be taken into account by Chinese authorities, which now benefits from the most advanced research in that field and from technological advances for which China is a pioneer.

It is quite realistic to think that the situation of domestic animals in China will be a much more seriously studied issue in the future. 

The growing awareness for pets welfare offers great market potential  for foreign Pets brands

As you may see now, the Chinese pet market has a huge potential and this is a great chance for European business, especially in the pet supplies and food market. The pets’ medicine market has the most potential for development, including eye drops, ear drops, and skin sprays.

With the increasing affluence in China, Chinese people tend to purchase imported products not only for themselves but also for their pets. European products are perceived as reliable and premium in China. In front of such a chance, are you ready to grab the opportunity? 

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