Pet care has in recent years proven to be a fast-growing industry in Nairobi. And in addition to the influx of pet care providers, more families and individuals in Kenya are splashing the cash to send off their deàd pets in style – often spending up to Ksh100,000.
Funeral homes in Kenya today even offer services geared towards pet owners. For instance Lee Funeral Home, associated with the send-offs of Kenya’s wealthiest and most prominent names, offers a raft of resources for pet owners.
In an indicator of the demand, Lee Funeral Home even boasts a dedicated pet crematorium in Hardy, in the upmarket Karen neighborhood. Cremating a small dog, weighing around 5 kilograms, would set you back at least Ksh28,500 with the price rising for heavier animals. You would pay at least Ksh60,000 to cremate a dog weighing 10 kilograms. This includes the cost of having the pet picked up from your home, cremated, having their ashes placed in an urn and being transported to a location of your choice.
Pet owners are also encouraged to deal with the grief, which often involves additional spending on pet funeral and memorial ceremonies. Offering tips to pet owners who have lost their pets, Lee Funeral Home advises them to consider holding funeral and memorial ceremonies, donating to animal welfare organizations, using photos to create a memorial in their homes and planting trees to commemorate the passing of the pet.
Pet send-offs are only one aspect of the growing pet care industry in Kenya. As Business Today reported in October – owners of the most pampered dogs in Nairobi spend anywhere between Ksh30,000 to over Ksh100,000 monthly on their pets.
Besides spending on high-quality foods, several pet care providers have emerged offering everything from luxury pet spas, hair cuts and styling to massages and ‘pawdicures’. Others also offer luxury pet accommodation services, hosting pets when their owners are out travelling.
Kenyan celebrities and public figures are among those who spare no expense in pampering their pets. Former Miss Kenya Cecilia Mwangi has previously opened up on the pain she felt after her dog Bobby, which had become a celebrity in its own right, featuring in publications including The Nairobian, díed after being bitten by two Dobermans in Ridgeways Estate, Nairobi.
“One dog bit Bobby’s neck and the other bit his stomach. He bled to deàth before the vet arrived at the scene…I will miss Bobby as he was not only a good friend, but he was a great babysitter,” stated Mwangi who later got a new dog, a Daschund.
And former Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF) chairman Gor Semelang’o disclosed in a 2015 interview his love for expensive dog breeds. He owns three dogs, including an Ovcharka, a Caucasian shepherd famous for its use as a Russian militàry attàck dog. According to Semelang’o, he got the dog named Rodgers from a friend who imports them from Russia setting him back around Ksh350,000.
At the time, he further disclosed that he was spending around Ksh35,000 a month on veterinary services, grooming and food for the dog.
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