According to PetSecure’s A Guide to Worldwide Pet Ownership, the number of domesticated animals has grown along with the explosion of the human population. Dogs happen to be the most beloved pet, which leaves little surprise as to the increase of dog clothing designers and retailers.
In Asian countries, animals are a prevalent part of their rich culture, religions, and folklore. For example, the Chinese use animals as their zodiac signs, as well as in kung fu styles. The Japanese also believe that some animals are sacred and have built statues and shrines for them. And while Arab-Islams aren’t fond of dogs, cats are extremely revered in their religion.
If you’re an animal lover, visiting Asian countries will surely delight you. Aside from the culture, the biodiversity of Asia is prolific. It is home to thousands of animal species, some of which are endemic to the region. Domestic animals like dogs and cats are also found everywhere on this continent so you’ll definitely have a good time with them.
Is Cambodia animal-friendly?
Dogs and cats are treated like family members. A lot of households in Cambodia, particularly in the provinces, keep domestic animals.
Unfortunately, animal welfare in Cambodia is still in its infancy. According to Animal Rescue Cambodia, there are no animal welfare laws, which allows animal abuse in the country. Animals in Cambodia are perceived as a nuisance, food, or property. In fact, Cambodia harvests dog meat for food and is even sold at restaurants and eateries.
And while there are kind-hearted people like the ones at Animal-Mama Veterinary Hospital who look after animals, a lot of people are unable to do so. Most of them lack the resources to feed and care for animals. So even though many dogs and cats are fortunate enough to have a warm place to sleep and food to eat, many street animals in Cambodia must depend on clinics and organizations to care for them.
You’ll see and feel how animal-friendly the country is based on how these animals are widely accepted in various establishments. Due to the lack of green spaces in Phnom Penh, for instance, many restaurants, bars, and cafes are opening their doors to well-behaved animals. They’re also generally accepted in public spaces and rentals.
The infrastructure needed to take care of animals is not a problem either, especially in big cities. There are plenty of clinics available, including the Animal-Mama that offers personalized pet services to all animal lovers and caretakers in Cambodia.
The local community is also invested in pet care, organizing pagoda runs to help raise funds to take care of animals in need for free. Cambodia might not have solid animal welfare laws as of now, but the people are making sure they’re going to get there.
Should you take your companion animals everywhere?
It’s nice to include your animal friends in your daily activities like any other family member. However, the rule of thumb when taking animals to public spaces is to pay attention to their behavior. If they feel uncomfortable and anxious, then maybe it’s time to head home. Otherwise, it’s perfectly fine to take them with you anywhere.
Take them to pet-friendly restaurants where other customers know the score and are welcoming of pet behavior. But do make sure that you look out for signs of discomfort from your animal. This will ensure that your furry friend is enjoying and other patrons are happy as well.
Stay in pet-friendly hotels or guesthouses but look after your animal responsibly. Pet-friendly doesn’t mean everything is acceptable. If the non-stop barking keeps you awake at night, the experience could be much worse for the people in the next room.
There’s no harm in taking your animals with you wherever you want to go but only if your animal wants to. It also makes you considerate of other people as well, and it’s the best way to teach others to love animals.
Are there animal-friendly establishments in Cambodia?
Given the animal culture in Cambodia, you won’t have a hard time finding an establishment that will readily accept animals.
Baby Elephant – an ethically-run boutique hotel in Siem Reap, perfect for having a peaceful rest with your furry friend after traveling around Cambodia.
YK Art House – companion animals are very much welcome to accompany their humans who book in this guesthouse.
Farm to Table – features a garden where your pet dog can relax while you dine. The restaurant also hosts monthly Doggy Days.
Botanico Wine & Beer Garden – provides the perfect venue to bring your dog for lunch or dinner. Well-behaved animals are most welcome.
Backyard Café – where small dogs are allowed inside the premises. No need to worry about leaving your furry friend unattended at home.
The list can go on and on. In Cambodia, there are plenty of places where your animal is most welcome. So why not take them with you on your outings?