China's Matchmaking Services For Pets: First Pet Matchmaker Opens In Shanghai

Shanghai Pet marriage
Two cats get "married" at Shanghai Normal University after being paired by a pet matchmaking service. Shanghai Daily/ Ti Gong

In China, a new service will help you find love -- for your pet. University students in Shanghai launched a matchmaking business to help people find suitable “life partners” for their domestic animals.

While the concept of matchmaking for pets may sound ridiculous to some, several Shanghai residents have already found success using the service. According to a report by the Shanghai Daily, pets can even go through the motions of having a wedding ceremony, including miniature wedding dresses and tuxedos, bridal bouquets, balloons and a “marriage certificate” signed with paw prints, for just 300 yuan ($48).

The service was conjured up by Dong Xiaocen, a sophomore at Shanghai Normal University’s school of finance, who won his school’s business plan competition with the idea. In Shanghai, Dong says that the idea came when he noticed a gap in the market. “There are many pet stores, clinics and beauty salons [for pets] in Shanghai, but pet matchmaking is still a new thing,” he said.

Dong and his team surveyed 200 pet owners in the area and found that 67 percent of people were looking to find their pets a partner.

Unfortunately, Dong’s matchmaking can’t prevent “marriage” problems at the hands of meddling owners. The business has already encountered its first separation after the owners of two Schnauzer dogs got into a fight over who owned their puppies. The dogs weren't allowed to meet again.

People matchmaking is also popular in Shanghai, home to one of the busiest “marriage markets.” Elderly matchmakers regularly line People’s Park with hundreds of listings of the essential details of various men they know: age, height, weight, occupation and salary. Each weekend, the parents and relatives of single women go shopping for a mate for their daughters, granddaughters and nieces. 

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