Ever-improving Nursing Services for Old Dogs

Pets face various health problems when they get older. The Taiwan government is working with the private sector to set up long-term care institutions for pets. Some are even equipped with Spa machines. (Source: Chanchao Company, Department of Economic Development, Taipei City Government)

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was a famous movie. ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Pet Hotel’ has recently become the most popular exhibition. It sends a clear message that long-term nursing services for pets have to be more professional and caring with the ageing pet population.

The Nangang Exhibition Hall Pet Show, which ended recently, has always reflected social trends. The 2021 theme “Marigold Hotel” conveyed two key points: “aging of pets” and “the need for long-term care”. Medical advances, coupled with owners’ dedication to care, have extended the average life expectancy of domestic dogs in Taiwan from 10 years old to 14 years old. Like humans, various physiological problems of older dogs have surfaced, requiring special medical care in addition to home care.

In 2016, Taipei City Animal Protection Office set up a guideline for pet nursing organisations to meet the needs of old dogs, and encouraged the industry of pet nursing. In 2019, the Office worked with the National Taiwan University Veterinary Hospital to build a 5-star pet nursing centre. With advanced equipment and facilities, it provides 3 kinds of services, including long-term care, daytime care and a fusion of Chinese and Western medicine treatment.

With reference to the concept of long-term care, New Taipei City Government Animal Protection and Health Inspection Office announced a similar guideline in 2019. It divided pet nursing organisations into medical and non-medical. Over 100 applications were received, including animal hospitals and hotels.

Veteran veterinarian Wang Sheng-wen owns a hospital in Taipei. At the beginning, it worked with public shelters and received old stray dogs. With the increasing number of old pet dogs, half of the patients at the hospital are now pet dogs. The demand from the owners surges.

‘The Best Exotic Marigold Pet Hotel’ displayed the standard facilities of a long-term pet care organisation, including spa machines, harnesses and AI monitoring system. It provides odour treatment, massage, nutrition consultation and mental treatment.

With these professional long-term pet care organisations, it would seem that dogs and cats are having a happier life than human beings. Bear in mind that pets rely on their owners throughout their entire lives, and owners should do their best to care for their companion animals.