“It’s not just people who are hot in this weather. My dog gets hot, too. I’m feeding him nutritional soups,” said Kim, 28, who preferred to be known by his surname.
Against record-breaking temperatures that are climbing to 40 degrees Celsius, more and more concerned pet owners are looking after the health of their pets by feeding dogs and cats dishes that were previously enjoyed only by people.
“My cat has been suffering from the heat, so I’ve been giving him more of his favorite snacks to keep him energized,” said a cat owner named Kwon, 28. “But I’m considering purchasing baeksuk, a nutritional Korean chicken soup, so he gets his appetite back.”
|Stew ice cream for dogs (Source: FAMtimes)|
Koreans are going above and beyond the average snack and are now ordering nutritional soups and, even ice cream, for pets to keep them going through the heat and keep their appetite alive and kicking.
Dogs have an average body temperature of 38.5 degrees, which is two degrees higher than that of humans while also sporting a coat of fur. Dogs also only have sweat glands on their feet and tongue, making it difficult to control body temperature.
According to Lotte, the number of healthy foods for pets jumped 321 percent from the same period last year. Health food revenues on the day of chobok - the day that marks the start of the hottest one-month period of the year – also rose 359 percent from last year. Chobok is a day where people eat nutritional soups such as samgyetang to look after their health in the sweltering months of summer – or the controversial boshintang, dog meat soup, albeit in far reduced volume than before.
“The demand for healthy food for pets has risen dramatically as the heat came earlier this year,” Choi Yuri from Lotte.com was quoted saying by edaily. “Recently, products such as homemade snacks, including Korean red ginseng, duck, salmon, and dried Pollack – namely, foods made from high-quality ingredients that people eat are extremely popular.”
Local reports have also shown that boutique pet food stores are also selling colorfully flavored “stew ice cream” that comes in flavors such as sweet pumpkin and duck, sweet potato and chicken, and red salmon and carrot. The health stews are frozen in pouches and given to pets to cool them down while supplying nutrition.
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