Tell-A-Tail: Is Mumbai A Pet Friendly City? Pet Parents And Trainers Share Their Tales

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Mumbai boasts of initiatives like Pet Santa to promote animal welfare and enthusiastic dog parents who can’t seem to spend a day away from their pets, but a quick glance through your newspapers or the internet will open your eyes to the many incidents of inhuman treatment towards the animals in our city, stray dogs to be precise. Are these the only complaints our dog lovers have about the city? Do they face any problems in acquiring pet licenses or do housing societies play a spoilsport? We asked these questions to pet enthusiasts from Mumbai and this is what they had to say.

It (raising a pet) is tough, considering the life of a Mumbaikar, but people who would like to bring home a puppy should know that they will see their own better side in living with their pets. – Brinda Thaker, Canine Trainer

Michelle and Nemo

Meet The Parents
Michelle, Creative Lead at a gaming company
A conversation with Michelle convinced me that her part Labrador and part Beagle dog, Nemo, is the apple of her eye. A tiny cuddle and Nemo’s paws resting on her legs is all she needs to make her smile after a bad day. She recounts how she was woken up once by Nemo at 3 am just because the pet was in a playful mood.

For her adorable ‘Leagle’ who loves to eat, sleep, poop and repeat, Michelle follows a set of instructions carefully like spraying or neutering the animal, shower cap while giving Nemo a bath, a capful of apple cider vinegar mixed in the dog food and 100 percent commitment to the animal.

Michelle points out the difficulty in obtaining a pet license which costs only 100 rupees and also the lack of knowledge about pets in most vets in the city. Thankfully for her, Mumbai has been pretty dog friendly and she hasn’t faced any problems from her house society regarding Nemo.

Shakti with her dog, Bono

Shakti Salgaokar, Writer
For Shakti, a chance look at the picture of a lost little puppy shared on Twitter, gave her Bono, her bundle of joy since 2010. While most of her daily experiences with Bono are memorable, he can sometimes be a little snappy and also give her a hard time when she has to leave him with her mother while she goes to work.

For all the dog parents and the ones who want to be, Shakti suggests complete dedication to the pet, especially not abandoning them and putting them through heartache. Shakti who herself took one week to adapt to Bono’s needs says that every dog is unique and what works for one dog parent may not work for the other.

She also discourages dog breeding. She mentions that some housing societies can be intolerant of pets in the already cramped up city of Mumbai. But also adds, that with complete love, understanding and patience, one can easily be a dog parent.

While recognizing that bringing up a dog in an urban concrete jungle as Mumbai is not the easiest of things, it is heartening to see so many people passionate about pets, and even bringing strays and rescue animals into their homes as a member of their family. – Abhishek Agarwal, Pet Santa

Brinda Thaker

Meet the Dog Whisperer
Brinda Thaker, a canine trainer and behaviour specialist has successfully managed to help dog parents in Mumbai who complain of their dogs facing psychological issues like attention seeking nature, fear and aggression. Teaching these pet pooches good manners and bringing them out of their shell is her job. Here is her list of DOs and DON’Ts that newly turned pet parents can follow.|

dos and donts

But the question remains, is Mumbai a dog friendly city? Apart from the lack of space that most people complain about, what Brinda doesn’t like is that the attitude of the entire country towards dogs – which is either really good or really bad. She especially mentions the preconceived notion held by most people that the dogs will either bite them or harm them in some way. This is also the reason why she suggests that there is a need to train pet dogs right. Another problem area she points out is the easy acquisition of pet licenses by most breeders, leading to faulty breeding and even ill tempered dogs at times. However, keeping these problems aside, while parenting a dog, a little compromise will not matter because the happiness they give is electrifying.

Make way for Pet Santa
Pet Santa
, consisting of 6 key members,
Aditi, Anuradha, Vinit, Michelle, Rashi and Abhishek, is a non-profit that raises funds for all the NGOs across the city that work for animal welfare. I spoke to Abhishek about the difference that parenting a dog can make to your life to which he replied that dogs help you de-stress, keep you fit, keep you happy, guard you and are always there for you, with unconditional love.

However, he added, the few challenges that one can face while bringing up a dog in a city like Mumbai are leaving them alone at home while you’re at work, seeking professional services for the dog which can be expensive. But follow the few basic dos and don’ts and most importantly, provide them with medical attention when needed and you’re ready to be a good dog parent.

I simply couldn’t resist sharing the adorable pictures of their pets, some dog parents showed me. Have a look at the “Wall of Fame” and you’ll know why one needs a like woof and wagging in their life. Send us your photos with your pet pooches and we would love to add them here, like we added Rohit Mahadev and his dog. See Gallery below.

If you are pet parent or animal lover in Mumbai, you might also find these posts useful:
‘Pawesome’ Pampering: Indulge Your Pet At Mumbai’s Specialized Pet Spas And Salons
Pet Matters: Pet Sitters And Kennels In Mumbai When Your Pet Needs A Home Away From Home
Trend Spotting: Pet Friendly Restaurants In Mumbai That Welcome Four Legged Guests
#MumbaiList: Kennels, Day Care Centres And Crèches For Dogs In Mumbai
Care And Cure For City Strays: Discover NGOs Advocating Animal Welfare In Mumbai
#MumbaiList: Dog Bakeries In Mumbai, Appeasing The Gourmet Pooch
Heads Up For Tails: Say Bow-Wow To ‘Pawsh’ Couture#MumbaiList No.2: Animal Welfare Organisations in Mumbai
World For All: Going Stray!

Featured Image: Garima Sharma’s dog, Thor

Post By Shikha Chawla (16 Posts)

Aspiring writer and student. I bite off more than I can chew, literally. Also, a sporadic dancer. Willing to beg, borrow and steal for chocolates.

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Shikha Chawla

Shikha Chawla
Aspiring writer and student. I bite off more than I can chew, literally. Also, a sporadic dancer. Willing to beg, borrow and steal for chocolates.