Times Life
18 January 2015, Sunday

Pooch Point - Bark In Glory

There was never a better time to be a dog than now... seriously

This story has taken ages to make it to the pages… not because the writer was gloriously sitting on it, but because he couldn’t really find an opening paragraph that would hold the attention of pooch lovers for as much time as their four-legged companions do! What you are to your pet and it to you is a logic-defying association. If you love your pet dog and want to pamper him her with things that are more extravagant than chew sticks, allow us to throw some clues….

GIVE THEM AROMA THERAPY

Delhi-based Nikki Kapoor who makes gluten-free and healthy gourmet bakery products for pets, has also started aromatherapy for canines, after the demand for it grew in the country. She makes essential oils for pets to cure them of various ailments like joint pains, mood swings and dementia. She says, “These homemade oils go deep into the body and initiate the curing process. I am checking fancy numbers but the sales are growing.”

MAKE THEM APPEAR FOR A SEMESTER EXAM

You and your puppy both need schooling. But don’t freak out!” You aren’t learning to bark, and your pet isn’t learning to write. Doggiie Dog World (ddw) in Mumbai trains puppies to foolow basic commands, socialize with other pets, handle temperamental situations and ignore certain loud sounds like that of horns, crackers and ambulance sirens that are mighty annoying to dogs. Also, first time pet owners are educated on how to bring up a wellrounded pet. Says DDW’s owner Pooja Advani, "While a well-mannered dog is pride-worthy, a badly-behaed pooch is irritating. Our services improve a dog’s personality and strengthen its relationship with the owner."

GIFT THEM A SABBATICAL

Not because they can attain Nirvana but because they need time off from worldly matters like pooping all over the colony, jumping on your bed and feasting on the pillow! Pet holiday, an established trend in India, is becoming more and more popular with pet lovers. It’s not just limited to those pet-friendly hotels, but also resorts that are tailormade for pets. Just Google!

DINE OUT WITH THEM

Everytime you go out to dine, you leave your dog behind to scratch the door, guard your door or feed on the cushions. Aren’t you guilt-tripped? Every pet owner is. That’s why restaurants, where your pooch can come with you, have come up all around the country. One such eatery is Café Canine in Gurgaon. Started by Vikalp Srivastava and Richa Maheshwari, it servesscrumptious food for the entire family, including your wet-nosed buddy. Says Richa, “We also help people, who are scared of canines, get rid of the fear.”

Pooches should thank their stars, as their admirers are setting up bakeries to cater to their midnight cravings! From carrot apple cookies and honey paneer pup cakes to pizzas, bagels and sorbets, there’s a range of bakery products available exclusively for animals. Yadika Sharma, who owns The Spoilt Brat Barkery in Mumbai, says, “The way to a man’s best friend’s heart is also through his stomach. Everything that we make is free of fat, preservatives, salt and sugar, but they are tasty like a treat should be.” What next? A detox diet?

HIRE AN INTERNATIONAL PET CONSULTANT

What do you need to travel abroad? Just a passport, right? Pets need more. Every country has its own set of rules for pet travel. They can’t travel on a direct flight for as long as you do, so their flight plan will be different from yours. Also, every country has a quarantine office where pets need to be checked medically for health issues like rabies before being allowed to enter the country. You can either do all of it yourself and curse the gods, or take the help of an international pet consultant like Anupama Vinayak, who provides complete pet travel services. “All you need to do is to hand over your pet to us and we will take care of the rest. We complete the paper work, get the necessary vaccinations done and do whatever it takes to deliver your pet wherever you want.”