Israel’s Dog Craze Spurred by Acceptance

People around the world love their pets. Cats and dogs are man’s best friend, and in the UK, they’re experiencing a decline in pet ownership. The housing crisis is leading to a steady decline in pet ownership in the UK.

But in Israel, it may be more of the costs that are a concern for people than it is the housing market.

Dogs, often seen as a rite of passage for many adults, are shown to provide a happier life, but they will also cost between 2,300 and 4,700 shekels per year to own, depending on the size of the dog. That’s a lot of money, especially for younger generations that are still trying to make their way in the world.

Cats are less expensive at 1,300 shekels per year.

This figure also doesn’t include all of the extras that people buy for their pets. The rise of Tech Tails and the dog-centric industry has led to other accessories and items not included in these costs, such as:

  • Dog seat covers
  • Designer collars
  • Bike leashes
  • Camera accessories for your pup
  • Toys
  • Treats
  • Scratching posts
  • Training

You can spend hundreds to thousands of extra shekels per year just on these additional items alone. If your pup has an injury or becomes ill, there’s a good chance that these bills will be even higher.

But for many people, the companionship is well worth the cost.

We’re also seeing many major cities embracing the dog craze. Tel Aviv had its first-ever dog festival at Yehoshua Park in 2016, with people walking from vendor to vendor buying all of the latest dog-related products.

The festival also showed just how crazy people are for their pets.

Maki tuna rolls were devoured by dogs, professional photos were being taken and there were samples of organic treats for pets available. Even dog-themed art was for sale. Owners mingled among each other, and it felt like a strong community that shared one thing in common: their love for animals.

Tel Aviv has the most dogs per capita in the world, and the self-proclaimed “friendliest world city for dogs” is home to around 30,000 dogs.

Many of the cafes allow dogs to enter, and even high-end restaurants are allowing dogs. We’ve seen dogs on taxis and city buses, and with over 70 dog parks in Tel Aviv, there is always somewhere for man’s best friend to have fun.

Four dog beaches allow pet owners to bring their pets to the beach with them, too.

So, the 4,700 shekels to “maintain” a dog per year doesn’t seem to bother Israelis, perhaps because of the dog-friendly culture. There was a time when a dog would have to stay home when a person went out to eat or went to the beach. But in Tel Aviv, the dog-human bond is stronger than ever before.

Despite all of the additional costs of owning a dog, Israelis don’t mind paying for their dogs because they have become an integral part of society, especially in Tel Aviv.  Acceptance of dogs, even in high-end restaurants, has helped fuel the dog craze and made the world more accessible to our four-legged friends.

About the Author
 Jacob Maslow is passionate about writing and has started numerous blogs and news sites. Jacob is originally from Brooklyn. He packed up his five children and made Aliyah in 2014. Jacob's experience and varied interests lend themselves to a diverse palette of topics ranging from technology, marketing, politics, social media, ethics, current affairs, family matters and more. In his spare time, Jacob enjoys being an active member of social media including groups on Facebook and taking in the latest movies. 
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