Going on vacation is both relaxing and stressful if you are a pet owner. The main concern at this time is finding a place for your furry companion.
It is important that animals are dropped off in a place where they feel comfortable and receive sufficient care when you are away. This is where the concept of pet boarding comes in.
Sarah Elizabeth and Sunu Philip started âStay at Zania’sâ a few years ago and now they have a bigger space with a boarding school on Bannerghatta Road.
âOur previous space was on the roof of the apartment, but due to increased demand we found a 10,000 square foot space. We can easily accommodate 25-30 dogs at a time. With our new space, we also take cats and other pets like rabbits and hamsters on board, âexplains Sarah.
Unlike some of the other pet boarding locations, ‘Stay at Zania’s’ does not have standard food for the animals that live there. Sarah says, âWe understand that every dog ââis raised differently at home and we want to respect them. We make or supply everything the dog is used to having in the house. Unless the dog is on a special diet, for medical reasons we ask parents to provide the necessary items.
It is usually during the summer holidays and festival time that the pensions are full. The residents ask the parents of animals to make an advance reservation in order to avoid the last minute rush.
Another place families can find homes for their pets while on vacation is the online community called âWaggleâ. The community allows true dog lovers to house other dogs.
Shubha Iyer, Head of Customer Service for ‘Waggle’, explains: ‘It’s a bit like couchsurfing and Airbnb service – you sign up as a host and we do the necessary background check. And if you are looking for a place for your dog, you can choose from the registered members to take your pet on board.
Instead of leaving them in kennels, here you can find families to take care of your pets. The rates for this depend on how much families charge; on average, it is generally between Rs 400 and Rs 600 per day per dog.
There is also another pet boarding house that takes a completely different approach. This is not a pet boarding house – Devisri Sarkar, owner and dog behaviorist, welcomes dogs in need of assistance to his 5 bhk house.
His motivation for managing the boarding “The Urban Dawg” is to study the behavior of each dog and how he can adapt to society.
She makes sure to only welcome dogs that she knows will get along well with other inmates at that time.
âThey could be disabled, deaf or blind dogs, or those who are stressed by other humans and dogs. During the time they are with me I try to understand how they behave and help them interact with other dogs. As I only take a certain number of dogs, they find their own corner in the house to relax, âexplains Devisri.
In her âco-parenting model,â she teaches dogs to behave while they are away from home and helps parents better understand their dogs when they return.
She adds, âThe controls don’t help; understanding the dog’s body language is necessary.
What the pet boarding involves
Pet parents should do their research on the area first before leaving their pets behind.
The residents will contact you by phone through videos and photographs of your pets.
Most residents also have a doctor available in case of an emergency.
Do not give up
There are pet parents who make the necessary payments and leave the dog at the boarding house. It is then up to the residents to find them a new home. âWe have two dogs like this at ‘Stay at Zania’. Since we couldn’t find a home for her, she is staying with us now, âsays Sarah.
Let them know the place
It is important that pet parents take enough time to find boarding for their pets in advance rather than rushing at the last minute. âIt is important to take them there beforehand and to introduce them to the environment before leaving them there. When it comes to a last minute plan, the dog often feels like he’s been whisked away and dropped off in a new environment. It makes them stressed. This will only have a negative impact on them in the long term, âadvises Devisri.