Luxury dog hotel in India reflects growing market

A dog hotel in India serves its guests human-like treats in a high-end dog café.

photo by bestofsumit, Bigstockphoto
photo by bestofsumit, Bigstockphoto

A luxury dog hotel, Criteratti, in India offers the ultimate pampering services for its guests, including a pet spa, swimming sessions, hydro therapy, a royal boarding suite, and a dog café and bar. Located in Gurugram, one of India’s wealthiest cities, Critteratti is an entrepreneurial response to the country’s growing market for pet food and rising per capita disposable income.

Criteratti’s pet café serves both animals and their humans and welcomes walk-ins. The café, called Friends ‘N’ Fur, is the first of its kind in India but among many worldwide, particularly in major U.S. cities. Friends ‘N’ Fur’s success proves that the western trend of pet humanization has reached India’s wealthier urban areas, despite the country’s slowing sales of premium dog food.

According to a 2018 Dog Food in India report from Euromonitor International, premium dog food’s slow down in sales coincides with an increase in dog treat sales. The interest in premium treats is also reflected in this luxury café, which serves mainly small treats such as muffins, pastries, cake, soup and ice cream. The café aims to create a human-like dining experience for pets, offering board games, dog sitting platforms and a dog bar.

India’s growing dog food market stirs innovation 

India’s pet food market has created the perfect climate for a luxury dog hotel to flourish. Premium dog food sales have been steadily growing since 2016, and in 2017 a TechSci Research report calculated that around 85% of pets in India were dogs. The dominance of dogs in India has led to increased innovation among dog food companies looking to differentiate and market their products. The report also found that India’s northern region, where Criteratti is located, accounted for a majority of dog ownership, while the south preferred cats and fish as pets.

As pet adoption rates rise in India, the country’s pet food market is expected to grow annually by 9.1% (CAGR 2019–23), according to Euromonitor. As of 2019, India’s pet food market revenue amounts to US$388 million.

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