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Saigon's Exotic Dog Owners Spend $25,000 on Their Pets

While big, fluffy hunting dogs have become so popular they're likely to stop traffic in Saigon, the cost of raising these cold-weather pets in a tropical country is enough to give you a heart attack.

Case in point: Saigon-based pet owner Le Chinh dropped US$25,000 to bring an Alaskan Malamute dog from the United States to Vietnam, reports Zing. Not only did Chinh have to fork over thousands of dollars to purchase the pet, training his temperate-climate dog to adapt to Vietnam’s tropical weather forced the pet owner to take on plenty of additional expenses, including higher electric bills thanks to heavy air-con usage and a strict diet of imported food for his canine companion.

Beyond maintaining an Alaskan climate for his dog, Chinh and other owners of exotic canine breeds must go to great lengths to care for his pet's fur, which requires a specialized comb and regular dry baths. After all his efforts, the Alaskan Malamute is now accustomed to Saigon weather.

Following his success with Alaskan Malamutes, Chinh also imported an Alaskan Summo at a cost of US$10,000. The pet owner has since built a business out of distributing pure-breed canines in Vietnam.

One dog seller in District 10 told Zing that although there are foreign canines bred in Vietnam which are priced from VND5 million to 20 million, some exotic dog lovers prefer to have their pets imported to ensure pure DNA. These dogs cost US$5,000 to US$10,000 and take about a month to arrive to their new home. In Saigon, preferred breeds include the Alaskan Malamute, Summo, German Bergie and Tibetan Mastiff.

Exotic dog lover Phan Huu Thinh also points out that buying these breeds is just a starting point. Taking care of a foreign pet can double or triple the canine's initial price tag. For instance, a Tibetan Mastiff daily menu consists of 300 to 500 grams of fresh beef, milk, fetus eggs and chicken necks.

If you ask us, these giant, fluffy canines are adorabl– but they're not US$25,000 worth of adorable.

[Photo via Flickr user Tom]

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