SINGAPORE: A teacup poodle, a Leonberger and a Newfoundland - these are some of the rare and lesser seen pet breeds that were featured at the Unique Pet Breed Showcase on Tuesday (Mar 17).
The showcase, held at The Wagington, was a preview to the Pet Expo 2015, which happens this Friday to Sunday at Singapore Expo Hall 8. Calling itself “Singapore’s largest PET-ducational fair”, the second edition of the fair aims to fulfill the "increased demands of pets", said the organiser MP Singapore.
Among the four breeds showcased today was 4-year-old Bahu, a teacup poodle (pictured above). His owner, Ms Diana Koh, said teacup poodles do not grow more than eight inches tall. Diminutive in size and a crowd-favourite, Ms Koh said more attention is needed for its health due to its size.
"Small dogs eat very little, so more protein is needed in their diet," she said. "If their sugar intake is too low, they will faint. Bahu is allergic to chicken."
A Newfoundland was also featured in the showcase: 15-month-old Bennett was imported from France to help Ms Donna Chew in her work with special needs children.
"My aim is to train him into a therapy dog," she said. "Newfoundland's hallmark is their sweetness of temperament. Sometimes they will just sit down, look at you and you can hug them."
Fish oil from New Zealand constitute part of Bennett's diet, as it helps make his coat shiny, and also strengthens his heart. "It is common for bigger breed dogs to have heart problems when they get older," said Ms Chew.
Other dogs featured include 11-month-old Snuffy, a Leonberger, and 4-year-old Bernese Mountain dog, Sam (pictured above).
Various businesses, educational material and social activities focused on pets and their well-being will be found at the fair. Seminars, workshops and competitions are also planned to bring the pet community together. There will be 67 exhibitors showcasing a variety of pet products and services.
Other highlights include an adoption drive, organised with Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA), called "Speed Dating Adoption".
"According to Euromonitor (2011), the projected pet population in Singapore is set to grow from 789,300 in 2011 to 824,600 in 2016," said MP Singapore Executive Director Jason Ng. "The projected increase in amount of pets would naturally lead to a greater need for pet-related products.”
"Pet food sales in Singapore reached US$72 million in 2012," he added. "It was projected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 3.9 per cent over the following five years. Now, the value of the pet food market is expected to reach US$85.6 million by next year."
The Unique Pet Breed Showcase will take place again on Saturday, with other breeds such as the Chinese Crested dog and the Bengal Cat said to feature.