Pawsome boarding facilities for pets in Covid-19

Caring for furry friends during pandemic


May 20, 2021

/ By / New Delhi

Pawsome boarding facilities for pets in Covid-19

Not just Delhi, but boarding facilities for pets have sprung up in other parts of the country as well

Amidst the raging pandemic, another problem that has emerged for some families is to take care of their pets if they are infected by Covid-19. To tackle this problem, individuals and organisations across India have started temporary shelters for pets till their owners recover.

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Many families across India have been finding it difficult to juggle between taking care of themselves while taking care of their pets too. To help these families, a number of temporary shelters have sprung up, set by animal lovers as well as organisations, where the infected household can send their pets while they recover from the virus.

Vipul Agrahari, who works with one such boarding facility, Happy Petting in Gurugram, Haryana, says that families often find themselves in a fix when they have to take care of pets as well as they themselves. To feed or take out their dogs becomes difficult if they are ill or quarantined. “The problem is if a family has one Covid-19 positive member who gets hospitalised, then how do they take care of the ailing patient as well as their pets? In such cases often neighbours refuse help because not everyone is comfortable with animals,” says Agrahari.

He further says that he has been getting four to five calls every day to enquire about the facility. “A lot of first-timers are calling. And people calling us to say that they need seven to 15 days of boarding, till the time their second test is done, and the report comes out negative. But, not just those with Covid are looking for boarding facilities at present,” he says.

“During the lockdown last year, with all the time people had, they preferred to buy a dog, which has increased the number of pet dogs, and even birds, cats, rabbits, and guinea pigs. Those pet parents, too, are looking for boarding facilities; but don’t want to board their small pets at big farmhouses. So we provide separate boarding facilities to cater to their needs,” adds Agrahari.

Pet Home Boarding is another boarding facility for pet dogs based in Junapur in South Delhi. Arun Shivakumar, owner of the facility informs that he has been getting around three calls per day from those whose families have tested positive. “About 60 pc pets at our three-acre farm are from families that have tested Covid positive recently. We have 38 dogs as of now,” he adds.

Talking about precautions and safety measures, he says that his team goes and picks dogs up with utmost safety while wearing masks, gloves and keeping sanitisers handy. “We offer to keep them for a minimum of 15 days. But, as soon as we bring them here, we give them a shampoo bath. Dogs don’t get affected by coronavirus, but they can be a carrier of it. So, we also sanitise ourselves to evade any possibility of getting the virus,” says Shivakumar.

Not just Delhi, but boarding facilities for pets have sprung up in other parts of the country as well.

Prerana Jha, an animal communicator and founder of Bellyfills Pet Food and Boarding in Nadergul, Telangana, says that after getting multiple requests, her team opened their doors for dogs whose owners have tested positive. Their boarding facility accommodates four to six dogs at a time and prices start from INR 750 per day.

“We have been boarding cats belonging to those who have tested positive ever since the first wave,” says Jha, who has also expanded her facility to pet cats recently. “Each cat gets their own room, and this helps in curtailing the spread of any possible infections or viruses from one animal to another,” she adds.

While these pet lovers are trying to make life easier for families with pets, they also face certain difficulties as well as the risk of infection. Kuldeep Singh Chauhan from a farm-based boarding Pet Lovers Hut, in Delhi and Gurugram, says it is difficult to provide a pick-up facility due to the rise in demand. “People are enquiring about boarding facilities for 15 days, and we are getting a lot of calls. I am not giving the facility of pick up now. Relatives or friends of the Covid affected families are still leaving their pets with us. And first we give the dogs a bath, and only then take them inside the kennel,” he says.

He goes on to say that it does not feel like a favour they are doing, but instead, an opportunity to spend more time with the pets they love. “Of course it takes time and effort, but meeting new pets and parenting them for few days feels good. It is just a hobby for us that helps a few people,” adds Chauhan.



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