THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Is your pet dog in need of a hair wash, haircut, hairstyling or a simple brushing? If the hair is in perfect order, maybe the dog needs trimming of the nails? Or cleaning the ears? All you need to do is pick up the mobile phone and make a call to ‘Cammando Dog Hostel and Training Centre’ at Peyad, on the outskirts of the city. Cammando would send an A-Star car (read mobile beauty clinic) that is armed with a huge array of brushes and combs, nail clippers, shampoos and what not. The veterinary technicians would give the doggies a complete makeover, and after the beauty treatment, they not only look but also smell wonderful.
‘’Cutting the nails might sound simple, but the nails of the dogs are dark in colour and it is difficult to differentiate them from the skin around. One careless move and the doggie paws get easily cut and will start bleeding,’’ said Suresh, who runs the centre.
Same is the case with the fur. The fur, when it grows long, tends to get all tangled and messy, making it impossible for the dog-owner to brush it neat and tidy. ‘’It is most difficult with the miniature breeds. These dogs like the Lhasa Apso are very playful but generally very aggressive. Besides, they do not tolerate even a little bit of pain. The dog-owners find it difficult to detangle the hair, but we are trained to deal with such dogs,’’ explained Sreekumar, a veterinary technician associated with the Centre.
Just as important as the nails and the hair are the ears of the dog, that need frequent cleaning. ‘’The ears of the Dachshunds and the Rottweilers tend to get clogged fast and this not only affects their hearing, but can also give rise to infection. We clean the doggie ears very carefully,’’ said Suresh.
The regular grooming also includes cleaning of the anal glands, which would otherwise cause maggot wounds, the technicians at the centre told Express. The total expense of a grooming session would be anything between ` 350 and ` 1,500, depending on the breed of the dog.
You can also ‘drop off and pick later’ your dog from the Centre at Peyad, which will save you the transportation charges. The centre has two fully equipped rooms that serve as the beauty parlour and there you can even dress up your pugs in shorts, get bows that are just perfect for the dog’s neck and even little woolly buns to decorate the legs.
The A-Star car also doubles up as an ambulance akin to our 108 for humans, the difference is that it is available for registered users only. ‘’This is because there are pranksters who call up from booths and we lose valuable time and effort. So, now, we have made it mandatory that those who would like to use this facility should register with us. We now have over 80,000 pet-owners registered with us,’’ said Suresh.
The ambulance service, however, does not come free. The charges for the veterinary surgeon, cost of medicine and transportation will have to be met. The former two will vary, while the cost of transportation will be ` 100 for a 10- kilometre distance.
‘’With most family members going out for work or studies, there is usually no one to take care of the sick pets. In that case, we bring them to our dog hostel here, cure them of the disease and take them back. Many of our customers say that this service is a big boon to them,’’ said Suresh.
Though not as sophisticated as an ambulance for human beings, the doggie ambulance is equipped with anti-inflammatory medicines, drip sets, syringes, and life-saving drugs. Equipment for oxygen delivery or anaesthesia are, however, missing as they are pretty expensive.
The Omni van, which was initially used for transportation, was sold off recently. The doggies, however, have no reason to complain as they can now have a cool, luxury ride in the A-Star.