|▲ Furry Friends / CEO Kim Ji-yeon|
10 million people in South Korea are reported to have a pet or more. Part of the credit goes to increasing number of single households. However, the reality of living with a pet is not as romantic and cute as it sounds. You feel sad leaving your pet alone in the house when going out for work and you have to constantly deal with droppings and noise complaints.
Kim’s idea to help them was a kindergarten for pets. With the idea firmly set, Kim gathered her experience working for Bigs Mom for 8 years and launched Furry Friends. All staff of Furry Friends are pet specialists and the programs are designed based on the training knowhow of Kim Sung-oh who has 30 years of experience in the field and currently the director of Gentle Dog Behavior Improvement Clinic.
The systematized operation covers everything that needs for caring pets from running shuttle bus to safety. It is easy to compare the system of Furry Friends to a kindergarten where teachers take care of children; likewise, the pet specialists at Furry Friends take care of pets.
The day care program, for example, is designed for pets to play with fellow pets and owners of pets should book minimum one month but can choose a number of slot from twice a week to 5 times a week. One of the programs to note is ‘owner training’. It trains owners of pets how to raise, to feed, to play and to improve behavior.
“Living with a pet is like raising a child. In other words, the owner needs a certain level of understanding about animal behavior like parents need knowledge to raise their children. So the ‘owner training’ provides comprehensive information and training methods so that both the owner and the pet can have better relationship” explains Kim.
Recently, Furry Friends introduced ‘Pet Camping’ for both owners and pets. The idea is that pets are animals and they originally lived in the wild. So they need some time to spend in nature every now and then to release their stress. It is also good for owners mostly city dwellers who also need a good rest in the fresh air in the forest.
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