Bengaluru is one of the most pet-friendly cities in India. Besides numerous pet boarding spaces, the city is also home to exclusive resorts and areas just for our furry friends, where they can go for a swim and indulge in other physical activities.
‘The Dog Park at The Elephant Pond’ by HollyBoo Pet Ventures is one such place. The idea for this occurred to Srikanth Shankar, founder and chief experience officer at HollyBoo, when he was looking for a place for his high-energy boxer dog.
The property has a natural pond where dogs can go swimming, an activity which Srikanth calls a natural stimulation and workout for dogs.
It is also the first private off-the-leash dog park located near Ragihalli.
Pets make friends, owners network
“We get about 20 to 25 dogs on an average every weekend. While the pets run around or take a dip in the pond, their parents hang out and network with other pet owners. A lot of pet parenting related information also changes hands here,” says Srikanth. Some owners take the chance to enjoy a book in the heart of nature while others use the space to train their dogs.
There is an outdoor kitchen and a changing menu. Though there is no accommodation as both pets and parents are enthusiastic about the idea of camping under the sky once in a while.
“We organise bonfire, barbecue and play games. This is popular with pets and pet parents.”
Pets socialise, gain confidence and get exercise
Letting pets socialise with others boosts their confidence and equips them to deal with the absence of their owner.
“Just like humans need different activities, so do dogs. It is important to see the outside world and know the do’s and don’ts,” says Greshma Dhanarajan, who, along with her four-year-old furry kid, Diva, is a regular at The HideAway, a pet-friendly resort in the outskirts of the city.
She takes her dog for fishing, swimming and interactions with other pets.
Growing trend but lack of training shows
Ajay Thambi, director, Canaan Pet Resort, says the trend of taking one’s dog for fun activities is common in the west and is fast catching on in India as well. “However, they are not equipped for this as the dogs are not trained properly.”
He also points out that though dog ownership in Bengaluru has risen, there aren’t enough open spaces for dogs here.
“It is important for every dog to get a regular dose of physical exercise for better development. Canaan has pet boarding facilities, grooming services, a play area and a dedicated swimming pool which parents can use on an hourly basis.”
Doggies love to swim
A swimming pool is the main attraction among dogs. “Many pet owners bring their dogs for a swim during the summer months. It is a covered pool, so they can bring in their pet at any time of the day,” says Ajay. Canaan also provides hydrotherapy to dogs suffering from injuries like hip-dislocation. For dogs who can’t swim, they provide life jackets and assistance during the swimming session.
Every week, about 15 people come to use only the swimming pool. Apart from this, many customers book their slots for weekends on a regular basis too.
Early socialisation is important
It is important to train your dog to meet and socialise with other pets from an early age itself. In the west, a dog is trained how to deal with situations like going to a cafe, travelling in a metro or flying in a plane.