Pet boarding

Pet boarding services see rise amid third wave of COVID | Kolkata News

As India continues to battle the third wave of COVID-19, pet boarding services are in demand again. With entire families infected with the virus, nurseries have become the only safe haven for pet parents to ensure their furry companions receive the proper care during these difficult times. As the demand for pet boarding increases, boarding owners are taking the utmost precautions to ensure the transition is hassle-free.

The number of boarding requests increases, but the duration decreases

Shivi Nigam, owner of a Delhi-based NCR foster home, started receiving applications last week. It all started with a Labrador, whose doctor parents had COVID. “Similar requests started pouring in after that and at the moment I’m looking after a total of seven cats and dogs. The rate of requests for foster care has increased by 30%,” says She. Sooraj (Shyamal) Thakker, owner of a Mumbai-based dog nursery, agrees. “This, I believe, is just the beginning. With the increase in COVID cases, these demands are bound to grow exponentially. The same thing happened in the first and second waves over the past two years. In most cases, friends and relatives refuse to take care of pets and they end up ending up in our boarding houses,” he adds. However, this year, the length of their stays is decreasing. “In 2021, each animal would stay with us for 20 days to a month. Now it has dropped to 10-15 days because the home isolation period for mild or asymptomatic COVID patients has been reduced from 10 to seven days,” said Debasrita Bhattacharyya, a Kolkata-based ward owner. dog care.

Good meals and walks explain rise in foster care

*Kolkata-based Sanjoy and Ritu Ghosh, a teacher and software professional, adopted Ludo, a golden retriever puppy, in March 2021. Both are now sick with COVID and Ludo spends his days in a boarding house. “We had no choice but to find him temporary accommodation. We give him homemade meals and going to the market in this state to buy ingredients is out of the question. Even if you manage meals with home delivery apps, you have to walk it at least once a day and it’s not feasible at the moment,” shares Mitashree, who is recovering at home.
Some even send their furry children to nurseries at the slightest sign of illness. This is because pets can be surface spreaders. Bangalore*-based banker Rohan Kapoor self-isolated over the weekend after starting to feel unwell. His feline friend Zorro has been sent to a pet care home. “My test results are pending, but I registered Zorro at a nearby nursery. I live with my elderly parents and Zorro can be a surface spreader in case I get infected,” he says.

Shivi Nigam (4)

Pet walkers in demand

In many cases, parents of pets who experience mild symptoms manage to care for their pets at home. However, they hire a dog walker to take their furry friend out at least once a day. But it is not without logistical challenges. “In Mumbai, it is illegal to visit the house of a family affected by COVID. If a walker visits the house to take the dog out, the housing company often raises an objection,” shares Sooraj.


Boarding owners ensure safety when caring for pets

In almost all cases, nursery owners are asked to visit the home and collect the animal because the family cannot go out. Bangalore-based kennel owner Hema Deepak, who has been in the business for over 11 years, says, “In 2021, I had to visit several pet parent homes wearing PPE suits to pickups”. Debasrita, who cares for seven dogs from different locations in Kolkata, ensures utmost safety when visiting an infected parent’s house. “Just last week I brought in a four month old Indie pup after all three parents tested positive. Although masks, sanitizers and PPE kits are mandatory, we make sure the house is sanitized before entering and after we leave,” she adds.

Dr. Chandrakanta Chakraborty, veterinarian and radiologist, says:

  • A caregiver should mop the animal at least once a day with diluted disinfectant
  • The animal should not be allowed to enter the room of the infected family member
  • It is safer to choose a less crowded time to walk the animal
  • The paws should be washed properly once the animal is home

Choosing the Right Pet Boarding

  • Although cribs can be a good temporary solution, they can lead to several future health issues like parasites and other illnesses
  • Investigate the crèche’s background before registering your pet
  • · No responsible foster family would welcome a pet without vaccination certificates, deworming records. If they do, avoid the place
  • Ask for a diet chart and daily pet routine at the boarding house
  • Send someone to visit the nursery before registering your pet

*Name changed on request