HYDERABAD: Pets have become family and we would like to take them everywhere we go. Often, it’s not feasible to carry them to all the places we visit; not all places are pet-friendly. But there are some who understand our separation anxiety with our pets, and vice-versa, and welcome the furry friends with open arms. Pets are even the main customers at some cafés, which serve everything from pet-friendly biryani, macaroni, cakes, ice-creams to special platters and soups all made while keeping the safety of our four-legged friends in mind. The pets can even run around in some of the cafes and get in that much-needed cardio.
Here’s a café that is ‘designed for pets’ where humans are allowed, as Hemanth Sakarwal, owner of Café De Loco in Gachibowli, puts it. Ever since the Covid-induced lockdown was enforced last year, the open-air café, where pets could run free, opened and shut multiple times until Sakarwal decided to completely close the place to avoid any infection. But don’t lose heart, the café will be relocated to a new 600-sq-yard location, which is likely to open by December. “We miss meeting the dogs. We get many calls asking when will the place reopen but we still think it’s not safe with the Covid situation. But stay put, it’s just a matter of few months,” says Sakarwal.
Sakarwal and his wife Roochira make dog cakes, cookies and pawffles, which they sell online. All their food is tested on humans, Sakarwal says, and adds that it is also quite tasty! “Whatever we used to sell at the café, we have launched the dry version of the same. These are all made by our machines. Though there are no preservatives in the dry meat, their shelf life is eight to nine months. The meat does not lose its enzymes, flavour and nutrients,” says Sakarwal.
On their regular menu, Café De Loco would serve oats, biryani, macaroni, soups and even toast with eggs for their furry friends. Their ‘menu for homosapiens’ has sandwiches, burgers, pastas, fries, bruschetta, crepes and coffee, among others. Apart from good food, Café De Loco has undertaken over 300 adoptions and continue to do so online.
Want to take out your pet for a treat? Need someone to babysit your pet while you’re away for the weekend? Or maybe you want your dog to socialise? The Pet Café in Banjara Hills is your one-stop destination for all these needs. Open any door of this three-storied building and you’ll find at least four to five dogs. The first two floors are dedicated to the café and the third is for boarding the dogs.
In the two years of its existence, the café was able to get 150 stray dogs adopted. “Whenever we rescue a dog, we first go through a medical treatment — vaccination, curing infections, removing ticks and leeches. Then we start a basic training, which includes teaching the dog to sit, stay and give its paw. This increases their adoption chances,” says Deven Baheti, the owner of the café.
All of The Pet Café’s food — cakes, meatballs, protein bowl, dehydrated treats, and much more — is prepared by the owners, Deven and his wife Sonam. The café also has an in-house cat and the owners make sure that it gets along with the dogs.
Dhanesh Sharma, owner of the vegan Terrassen Café in Banjara Hills, says pets are an essential part of the family. “As we allow kids, we allow pets too. The decision to allow pets came naturally, there was no question about it,” he says.
Other pet-friendly cafes in the city are Autumn Leaf Café in Jubliee Hills, The Roastery Coffee House in Banjara Hills, The Coffee Cup in Sainikpuri and Humming Bird Café in Madhapur.