Picture dogs chilling in a pool, playing with toys and unwinding under the sun. While dog pool parties ain’t a new concept, new additions such as beer for dogs on the menu, energy healing sessions, consulting nutritionists, trainer tips, games, dog spa, scrumptious dog food and more has made these gatherings more happening, and added to the participants.
Somanshu Kalra, an admin for Dogs Day Out, a community of dog lovers has been organising these parties twice a month in Delhi-NCR. “The pool parties are not just attended by people with pets, but by dog lovers as well. Since a lot of new things are coming up, there has been a sharp rise in the number of people joining in. We had to set a limit to the participants as there is only so much a dog park can accommodate. There are eatables provided by the cafe owners too. One of our pool parties also had an energy healing session for dogs. Because of the high participation, we request the cafe owners to lower the prices, and they do oblige us,” he says.
“At a dog pool party, I am his plus one,” says Raghav Khattar, a resident of Delhi, who works in the travel business. Khattar has been taking his Labrador Joey to these parties. “My dog was pretty impressed with me the first time I took him to one. His kind is just as entitled to party as us. With more pet-friendly cafes and pool party events coming up, it’s a great opportunity for them to socialise and for us to unwind with friends,” he adds.
Shephali Kafliwal, a corporate professional from Gurgaon, says, “When you meet other dog owners, you get to discuss pet diets, vets and most importantly, we get to make friends.It’s a get-together where not just my dog has a blast, but I too enjoy. Initially there wouldn’t be a lot of people, but that has changed.”
Eshita Katyal has been running Off the Leash, a dog’s park and cafe for more than a year in Gurgaon. She says the trend of dog pool parties is catching up . “My husband and I would be shooed away from all parks and societies when we would take our dog out. I was staying at a plush society in Gurgaon, phase-5 where I had to face several complaints because of the dog barking, going in the lift etc. The idea stemmed from providing dogs a place to run freely and get proper exercise. People from Delhi have been regulars. Last week we had people coming all the way from Noida,” she says.
“Dog pool parties are in vogue,” says, Nadir Khan, who has been running a two-acre farm with a swimming pool called Nadir’s Ark in sector-59, Gurgaon. With the pricing being ₹400 per dog, Khan says the footfall is higher on weekends. “People bring their pets, stay for a few hours. While pets have a ball in the pool, the owners spend time reading a book. Quite often, FB groups of dog lovers organise these parties. Depending on the parties, we provide provisions for food and grooming vans after the dogs have played around in the farm.We’ll be organising training session for pets too,” he shares.
In Delhi too, it’s a dog’s world, and unwinding in summer is must.“We launched our dog beer in April. It’s a non-alcoholic and non- carbonated beer for dogs, which is made of chicken stock, coconut water among other ingredients. We keep it chilled for them. It’s been a hit with pet parents,” says owner, Nayani Tandon, Puppychino Café ,Delhi. It’s safe to say, pet parents are going all out to keep their furry friends happy.