Furry tales: Pet parents vs boarding centres
With summer vacations fast approaching and a rise in the workation trend, the demand for pet boarding services has seen an upward spring. These centres make it easier for pet parents to tend to their travel needs while being assured that their bundle of joy is taken care of. But, from the fear of infections to management issues, several challenges plague both the parents and those running the boarding facilities — leading to quite a tug of war between the two parties.
“I have had bad experiences twice at different boarding centres,” shares Parul Gupta, a Gurugram-based educator, who feels that a big challenge that pet parents face while leaving their furry baby, is the temperament issue of other pets residing there. “Some pets can be very aggressive. I got my baby back and noticed some bruises on his body. If caretakers are more careful, these things can be taken care of. Another challenge is your baby catching an infection from others, like kennel cough, ticks, fleas, etc,” Gupta shares.
Vidhi Vishnoi, a Gurugram-based tax manager, chooses to leave her almost two-year-old German Shepherd with friends and family, or takes him along on her travels, after sour experiences with boarding facilities in the past. “Some lack hygiene and aren’t safe for our doggos. Now, we look for pet-friendly accommodation on our vacations.”
However, the people at the boarding centres also endure their own share of issues. Vandana Sinha, owner of Rocks and Pebbles dog park, cafe and boarding, in Gurugram, speaks about the challenges she has faced: “Most boarding facilities have a zero tolerance policy (to admit pets without proof of their vaccination). Some (pet parents) take it personally, and say, ‘How can you think we are not responsible?’ Some want us to speak to their vets, but we have to insist on (written) proof. Also, to prevent humping and fights, we have to separate some dogs. Their parents get upset as to why the doggos are not allowed to mingle with other pets. They refuse to believe that it can be dangerous!”
Chetna Singh, who runs a boarding named Ginger Dog Boarding and Grooming in Gurugram, narrates how a customer insisted on picking up their pet up after operational hours: “How can someone force us to work in non-operating hours only because I run a boarding and stay in the same premises? People should respect each other and the terms that have been discussed before.”
Dr. Vinod sharma, head of Veterinary services at DCC Animal Hospital suggests things to keep in mind when visiting a dog boarding centre. “There should be pet-friendly staff and clean kennels. Videos and photographs should be shared on a daily basis, so that the pet parent doesn’t feel unaware. Pet parents should also provide the things which their dog loves the most like bed, toys etc.”Dr Santosh Kumar, veterinarian, adds: “The place should be spacious and not over crowded. Pets should given individual attention. The boarding centre should know the medical history of the pet and the caretaker should know about the animal’s food choices. They should be able to arrange and provide what it eats.”
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