BANGALORE: “Its a dog’s life”; was earlier inferred in a derogatory sense. But the same people would have to swallow their words with a lump, as the the rise in pet luxury stands testimony for the pampered lives they have begun to lead. From gourmet food to pet accessories, restaurants catering to pets to pet salons, the list is endless. Over the last few years the number of people adopting pets have also exponentially increased. So much so, that luxury facilities available for pets in the market are witness to the hike in the number of people opting to have pets.
Undisputed are the benefits of having a feeline or a canine companion. The unconditional love that they give in return for a single pat on the head has an uncanny calmness to it, that has the potential to relive you of any kind of stress. Research has also proved that the company of pets, especially canines is not only a mood lifter, in many cases they also aid in physical and emotional rehabilitation as well.
Nirmala, owner of Under the Mango Tree, is probably one of the first entrepreneurs in the city to welcome pets to her restaurants. “I used to miss my pet when I used to go to work. So I decided to bring her to work with me. A few guest saw that and enquired if they could bring their pets as well. It was then that I decided to have a breakfast on the first first Sunday of every month dedicated to them,” she said.
While Nirmala, began catering to pet food only recently, players like her have been in the market for a while now. Kamini Nanda, owner of Petchef, started baking gourmet food for pets after she realising the dire requirement of variations in pet food. Nanda also caters to special pet needs like diabetic, vegetarian and vegan diets. One of her clients is a strict vegetarian.
“For his pet, I use soya flour in the cookies, as it is rich in proteins,” she says while for the diabetic dog, “I go easy on sweeteners like honey and sweet fruits and vegetables while baking.” As for over weight pets, she bakes treats that are low in starch and oil but high on fibre. With over 75 happy clients, Nanda has baked for a variety of breeds. Pet Dhaba is another such venture that caters to home cooked meals for pets. “Many Banagloreans are indulging in expensive pedigrees. The breed is not what determines the pet’s cost, the pedigree is what matters. Since the dogs are so costly, their grooming will also be equally damaging when it comes to the pockets,” says Veterinarian doctor, Lohit. From pet clothes to pet salons and spa’s that offer services like coconut massages, facials, haircuts, blow drying, aromatherapy and and finally tender coconut water to refresh the pet after some heavy pampering. And that’s not all,
Natasha Chandy, a canine counsellor says that dogs can feel high levels of fear; can have severe phobias, separation anxiety, and food-related problems. “My role as a canine behaviour counsellor is to explain the dog’s point of view to the owner and bridge the communication gap,” she said. But the increase in spending by their ‘masters’ is a small token of appreciation for all they ‘bark’ or ‘purr’ for.