IVRI: Mecca of Veterinary Sciences

In its 120 years of eventful journey, the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) has been the torchbearer for pioneering research contributions and quality post-graduate education in veterinary and animal sciences.

Izzatnagar-based IVRI has been instrumental in undertaking holistic research in veterinary and animal sciences besides promoting high quality education and training. The institute is well-known for developing systems and technologies for better animal health care and production and their transfer to end-users, in the process functioning as an effective instrument for nutritional security, poverty alleviation and rural construction.

Days of yore

IVRI has its genesis way back to December 9, 1889 when the institute was known as Imperial Bacteriological Laboratory in Pune, which was later relocated to Mukteswar, Kumaon Hills in 1893 to facilitate segregation and quarantine of highly contagious organisms. The Izatnagar Campus, the present headquarters of the Institute came into existence in 1913. In 1925, it was re-designated as Imperial Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) but after independence, the new name Indian Veterinary Research Institute was coined.

The expanse and reach

Today, the institute has four campuses in Izatnagar (Uttar Pradesh), Bangalore (Karnataka), Mukteswar (Uttrakhand) and Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh) and three regional stations at Kolkata (West Bengal), Srinagar (J&K) currently stationed at Mukteswar and Palampur (Himachal Pradesh). Besides, they have 21 research divisions, Centres for Animal Disease Research and Diagnosis, and Wildlife Conservation, Management and Disease Surveillance-sections and other supporting central facilities.

Quality manpower

This premier scientific organization today has earned the status of a national institute in the country. The institute currently has 239 scientists, 449 technical, 343 administrative, 1790 auxiliary and supporting staff.

Educational offerings

The Institute was conferred the Deemed to be University status by University Grants Commission, Government of India in 1983 and today the university offers Master’s programme in 22 disciplines, Ph.D. programme in 19 disciplines, and National diploma courses in 9 disciplines as a part of continuing education for field veterinarians, besides several short-term specialized training courses for the professionals and vocational trainings to the farmers.

Technologies developed

A major focus of research at IVRI has been the development of sensitive and specific diagnostics and immunoprophylactics. More than 50 immunobiologicals against many bacterial, viral and parasitic diseases of economic importance have been developed making the country self-reliant in veterinary medicine. The institute has registered 36 technologies for patenting including two under PCT and one with national phase entry into the USA, which makes it a forerunner among the ICAR institutes.

The institute has been actively working towards the betterment of animal health care for over a century and will continue to develop more such technologies for the betterment of our animal friends.

For further details, contact:
Indian Veterinary Research Institute
(Indian Council of Agricultural Research),
Izatnagar, Bareilly-243122 (UP)
Ph: 0581-2300096,
Fax: 0581-2303284,
e-mail: dirivri@ivri.up.nic.in

Meow Fully Paltoo: fostering responsible pet parenting

Vetnex, in association with Meow 104.8 FM, has come up with a radio show ‘Fully Paltoo’ wherein listeners can get valuable information on responsible pet parenting and get advice from experts.

How many of you get angry when somebody calls your sweetie as just a ‘dog’? Most of you would definitely agree that your pet is not just a dog, he’s a family member, no less than you or me. If you too think so, tune in to Meow 104.8 FM for listeners in Delhi & NCR on Tuesdays between 5 and 6 pm and let’s all bask in the love of our pets.

The show is hosted by RJ Ginni and experts who give valuable advice to listeners on various aspects of pet parenting.

The show focuses on unique human and pet bonding. It’s all about your attachment with your pet and encourages pet parents to go to holidays where pets are allowed. When you bring home a pet, you bring home a family member. Children spend less time on TV when you have pets at home, senior citizens get companionship, even couples love to share the puppy love.

Those who think that pets and babies don’t go together, here’s good news. Pet and baby bonding is very strong and important as it helps the baby to develop, besides giving him company. Pets make kids more active as they play and walk with them. They become mentally more alert, more fearless of other animals, more socially aware, more responsible and learn to share.

A caller at a show called up and told how her pet dog helped her during exams. “Whenever I was stressed, he used to come near me and nibble my hand – giving a nice massage which acted as a stress-buster,” she told.

Yet another caller shared how she was scared of dogs until she was blessed with a Lab Leo. “My life changed completely after that. I feel hurt when somebody calls him a dog. I add his name whenever I sign a card for my friends and relatives. I talk to him about everything and he really seems to understand,” she cooed.

One caller wanted to have another dog at her home. Experts echoed, “You have to be careful about do’s and don’ts about getting another dog as they can get jealous and feel neglected.” They added, “Typically, the new pet and existing one should be introduced in a new environment and not in your home, once they are comfortable, bring them home. Dog appeasing pheromones (D.A.P.) – can help your existing pet and bring down the stress levels.”

Pets too get stressed. The various stress factors may include family going out, firecrackers, new family member in the family, summer heat, etc. Listeners were advised to take care of emotional feelings of their pets. Dogs have an understanding as a 2.5-3 years oldchild and they can actually understand 70-80 words.

Both the host (Ginni) and the experts stress on responsible pet parenting and advise the listeners to take care of their dog as their baby. And it’s just a small price to pay for the love and companionship our pets give back to us!

The show is still on and our readers can tune in to the show and enrich themselves with expert advice and valuable information.

Baked with Love for our Loving Pooch

Are you looking for some yummy treats for your pooch? Just imagine if these treats have your pooch’s name written over them or have his picture printed on them? Amazing, isn’t it? Well, if you are looking for such beautiful and innovative cookies, then Mydogsbakery is the place with a difference!

For Kris Otto and any other dog lover, Mydogsbakery is not just a bakery. Offi cially started in April 2004, it is a life-long project for Kris, who started with baking and food artistry for loved ones and in this case, it is for our pampered pooches.As Kris puts it, “I started a high-end bakery for people, specializing in wedding online cakes When I sold that business, I wanted something to satisfy both my passions – baking and dogs. And that gave me this wonderful idea of starting a bakery especially for dogs.” And it is not just baking that give Kris pleasure.

She also enjoys the artistry and special detail attention that goes into every treat. “Right now, my website offers phototreats and nametreats. And people are so surprised and delighted to see phototreats. Infact, I have even seen people cry with appreciation,” she adds. “But in addition to these, I get many requests to ‘invent’ other products for business customers. For example, I have a line of beach/ocean dog treats I exclusively make for a dog store on the beach. I offer them treats in a variety of shapes like shells, fi sh, octopus, starfi sh, whales, sharks, crabs etc. The business customers often order large quantities of the treats with their logo as they are great advertisements for them,” tells Kris.

“But, shape is not a limitation, we can make unique shapes, if I can’t fi nd the cookie cutter I am looking for, I make my own cookie cutters of the desired shape,” adds Kris proudly.

And this is not all. Kris also uses her many years in the baking/food artistry field to decorate the dog cookies. “For example, I use food colouring to ‘paint’ cookies.

I have a ‘rainbow paw’ where each dog toe is painted with a colour of the rainbow,” she adds.

And which of her products are canines’ hot favourites? “Flavour wise, it would be the roast beef and potato. The salmon is very popular for the arctic breeds such as Huskies and Malamutes. Since I live in the mountains, we have a lot of those breeds locally,” tells Kris proudly.

On top of that, she gets stories of dogs being ‘bad’ just to get to her yummy smelling treats. “One dog actually chewed off the front of a drawer, where the cookies were kept in. Several dogs have gotten to and eaten all the Christmas presents that people have personalized for their friends and family dogs!”

Telling something about her future plans, Kris reveals that she even gets many requests for just the cookies without the personalization as they are so yummy and healthy. She plans to come out with cookies, which are specially made for different festivals.

After dogs, cats would be the lucky ones to have exquisitely manufactured cat treats from Kris. “I am working on www. mycatsbakery.com right now. I have tested many homemade treats on many cats. These cats are defi nitely a much pickier lot than the dogs! My most successful recipe so far is a cute little fi sh shape treat made from fresh salmon and rice fl our. My cat Joey loves the dog cookies, his favourite being licking off the icing I use to write the names or frame the photos with,” laughs Kris.

For more details,
visit: www.mydogsbakery.net

A Knotty Affair

There were Adams seeking Eves desperately…all over at one-of-its-own-kind doggy matchmaking event. It received an overwhelming response as dog lovers stormed Ansal Plaza, New Delhi to fi nd a beloved for their loyal companion.

As the bride and groom walked down the aisle, dressed in best of fi neries ready to exchange their wedding vows, it seemed the whole universe was there to solemnize their union. This is not a scene straight out of a Hollywood fl ick or a Page 3 story about some celebrity wedding. But it is an unique initiative of organizing doggies’ matchmaking event for the fi rst time in Delhi at Ansal Plaza for dog lovers who wanted to fi nd a mate for their adorable pooches.A Starry affair

Flowers adorned the venue and a band strummed out melodies as the bride and groom wearing glitzy trousseau walked the

red carpet to tie the nuptial knot. The sight was not only a delight for dog lovers but for the onlookers also who looked amazed at the hoopla surrounding the union of man’s best friend.

Animal lover’s delight

The event caught fancy of many pet parents. The organizers received an overwhelming response from pet lovers. “It is a great experience being here, so many breeds to see. So much love to share. There should be a day when Puchki should feel important. It is her day today,” said Puchki’s proud owners Rudra and Aditya. “Finally a place where I can take my Daisy too,” added Anjana.

“The contests are fun and I have enrolled Fluty, my beagle in the most fat dog contest,” gushed Dipanki.

Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge

Unable to contain their excitement Susan and Pawan who were their looking for beautiful brides for their fou bachelors, said, “It’s a dog’s day out completely.”

Excitement ruled the roost after six pairs were declared man and wife. It seemed it was time for the Dilwale pooches to take their beloved Dulhaniya home. The only sad part was the newly weds could not zoom to a cozy honeymoon destination.

Meet the matchmaker

Mr Arif Sheikh, COO, Ansal Plaza Malls and the brain behind this mass wedding said, “We are overwhelmed with the positive response of dog lovers in the city. Innovation and creativity is what Ansal Plaza is known for. Such events enhance the experience of our customers.”

“This is part of our corporate social responsibility initiatives, and the purpose is to spread an animal friendly image of the mall,” he added.

The evening also saw a host of other competitions organized for man’s faithful companion. It included events like cutest dog, most naughty dog and most well dressed dog.

Feng Shui around your pets

Pets contribute a lot to the movement of energy (chi) in a living space when they move. Every space needs active energy & love…and our pets definitely give us both. According to Feng Shui, cosmic breath or chi energy permeates the atmosphere, the earth and all living things and it can increase happiness, wealth and prosperity.

A pair of dogs say a Golden Retriever or even a Daschund with slightly long ears (compared to the Chinese “fu-dogs” who are symbolic of protection to the home) are kept at many homes in the eastern hemisphere not just as pets but to safeguard the home from bad luck. Here are a few things to be kept in mind to ensure a harmonious atmosphere in a home with pets.

  • Dogs and cats are very sensitive to the environment. When pets choose the place to sleep, always ensure that color and patterns of the bedding are in harmony with the elemental energy of the position.
  • Keep the clutter away…and also keep your pet clean and happy.
  • Caged animals are not approved by Feng Shui. Many homes have pets, which are locked in all day long as the family members go to work and the pets stay all alone till evening. This affects the mental health of the pets.
  • Feng Shui considers the movement of pets like dogs and cats within a home as “Yang” energy (positive) and their running about is said to distribute the “Chi” within the home, as such a healthy pet is an asset.
  • Creating sacred space for our animal companions not only makes them healthier and happier but also enriches our lives as well.
So, while it’s nice to have a pet, the fi rst priority must always be the pet’s health, safety, and care. Remember having pets in Feng Shui is to usher in happiness, peace and good energy, so bring home your pets, maintain them, treat them with utmost love, care and respect, and see your surroundings fi ll with positive energies.(SBS Surendran is a qualifi ed Electrical Engineer and has been practicing Vaastu for 14 years and Feng Shui science for over 10 years now. A regular columnist in leading newspapers and magazines, he has been popular for his simple writing skills and the technical analysis of the premises by virtue of being an engineer.)

Finding Felix

We often read about the heroic deeds our four-legged friends do for their two-legged companions. The human-canine bond is so strong that even humans sometimes go out of their way to help them in dire situations. Here’s a real-life story of a pup, who was rescued from Pune Waterworks Canal by the team of RESQ-a non-profi t animal welfare organization.

9:30 pm – Call received from Mrs Farida who reported that a dog was stuck in the Pune Waterworks Canal in Camp for the last 4 hours. He was howling, and no one came to the rescue, despite of several calls made to the Fire Brigade. It was then that Shruti and Tanya were on the way back from Camp and Neha intimated them about the dog.

9:35 pm – Tanya and Shruti rushed to the spot but could not see or even hear the dog. Thinking it was a false alarm, they decided to leave when suddenly they noticed some movement on the other side of the canal. And it was only then that they discovered a dog, who was stuck on a ledge on the side of the canal. Water was flowing with a strong current, making it impossible for the dog to move. The canal must have been about 10-15 feet wide, at least. And the sides, i.e. the two walls of the canal, were concrete and totally perpendicular to the canal. Luckily, the dog had found one small rock to balance himself on. But, both Tanya and Shruti realised that they need a lot of help, as this was going to be a Herculean task. They immediately called for back up and equipment.

9:45 pm – Neha contacted three volunteers (Varun, Parinit, Utkarsh) to go along with her. They collected torches, a small piece of rope, an old duppata, a leash, a few sticks and headed straight to the spot.

10:15 pm – Authorities at the waterworks refused to let them access the spot. They made a few calls to a local corporator (Adv Avinash Raj Salve) who spoke to the authorities and they were fi nally allowed to access the area where the dog was.

10:25 pm – It was dark, they couldn’t view the dog directly. There was a small side path filled with garbage that was their only landing. Tanya and Parinit moved to the other side of the canal to get a glimpse of the dog. They tied the duppata, rope and leash together, and fastened it around Varun’s waist. He started his climb down. It wasn’t an easy one – his foot slipped once and they all went numb. As soon as the rubble fell, the dog got scared and started moving to the other side. Varun had to be hoisted up again. When the dog moved, Tanya and Parinit realised he was a puppy, not more than five months old.

Varun got down to the ledge from the left, but again the puppy ran to the other side. The rope was too short for Varun to move around safely. So, they once again called the Fire Brigade, this time they just asked for a rope so that they could tie one more person and send him down.

11:35 pm – The Fire Brigade arrived with the ropes. Time was passing and they were just hoping that the puppy would not jump into water in panic. One kind-hearted fi re brigade man went down with the rope from one side. He shoved the puppy towards Varun who was ready with the sedation shot.

12:15 am – The puppy ran towards Varun, who gave him an intramuscular shot with one hand (as he was hanging from a rope). The puppy was so exhausted that he gave into the sedation within 30 seconds. Varun was on a vertical drop, into heavy current water, with both his hands off the rope handling the pup, relying totally on the fact that the rope would hold him and his freinds would not let go.

12:30 am – Varun put him in a huge bag which was tied to another rope and hoisted up. Neha quickly got the pup out and was relieved to fi nd him uninjured. Varun was fi nally pulled up as well.

The puppy was an adorable brown, well fed male dog, who had either lost his way or had been abandoned somewhere. Wherever he came from, however he got there… Varun’s guts and the RESQ team’s determination saved his life. He was safe, and we named him ‘Felix’ (From a Roman cognomen meaning lucky and successful in Latin). Kudos, to all those who have given Felix a second chance on life!

Valaya creates Magic Collar

Valaya creates Magic Collar

Fun, frolic, fi esta, fashion…surely a great combination to have a gala time. And once again our adorable pooches have stood for a cause at the Magic Collar – the haute carnival – Dog show in support of The Valaya Magic Foundation for the girl child. Crème de la crème of Delhi’s fashionista converged with their cuddly-cute canines to create magic at Dugal farms. Lemme unfold all the hurly-burly tales of that sunny Sunday.

A wonderful sunny afternoon, a carnival of elegance and style, perhaps the most beautiful gathering of Delhi’s finest, interesting concepts, the very special Magic girls make for a very special Sunday dedicated to a very special cause. We are talking about The Magic Collar ‘The Haute Carnival Dog Show’ organized by The Valaya Magic Foundation to ‘educate and empower the girl child’ at New Delhi.

Who’s who…

The venue was bejeweled to welcome all pooch lovers… including glamorous celebs and hotshot socialites. Like Mandira Bedi (as dog show judge), Nafi sa Ali, Rohit Bal, Rakshanda Khan (as compere for the fashion show), Meghna Valaya, Raseel Gujral and Navin Ansal, Leena Singh and her daughter Riya, VN Dalmia and his daughter Himani and son Pranav, Gauri and Nainika Karan, Angad Bedi and Parul Vadehra, Tina Chatwal and Noyanika Chatterjee, Rajesh Pratap Singh, Seema and Sandeep Jajodia, restaurateur – A D Singh, Sanjay Sharma – MD Swaroski, Vidyun Singh, and Guneeta Thurkal… Woof!  When who’s who of Delhi social circuit turn up for the event, we queried Valaya about the link between this event and our furry angels. To which he replied, “Conceptualized on the lines of prestigious yet fun-fi lled haute pageant, this very original dog show salutes man’s best friend, the dog, who loves all family members equally, regardless of whether they are girls or boys. The dog, therefore becomes a champion for the cause, and in a way shows man that love is unconditional and certainly not gender based.” Nanhi Singh, project director, Magic, added, “Its just unconditional love of a dog. He loves everyone equally, he doesn’t distinguish between rich and poor, girl or boy…he simply loves.”

Paws cause…,

This high profile event was not just a dog show; its main raison d’être is to raise funds for the foundation – committed towards the upliftment of the girl child. It aims to equip her with better awareness and educational opportunities, hence making her an equal citizen of a country still biased. “This initiative is my own way to pay back to the society. I am doing it for my own conscious,” added elated Valaya with a good response in the early hours of the event.

Party time!

One ‘Maharaja’ was dressed up in a fl ashy red embroidered attire with a matching velvet umbrella… while another one came in a pram looking like a sweet angel. Around 100 dogs got registered for the show… and were ready to enthrall the audience.

When JJ’s name comes…its grandeur comes next to our mind. Like always, he had done it again. And when doggies took over the ramp…it became one helluva experience for all the pooch lovers. People were applauding and cheering for every pooch…as they walked, strutted, jogged, sauntered and acted on the ramp. Most of the pooches were shutterbug’s delight. Any which way doggie lovers just had a blast.

The mega fundraiser also included performance by The Indo-Austrian Children’s Global Peace choir conducted under the aegis of Grammy award winning composer Gerald Wirth. Power packed performance by Usha Uthup added more zing… Once Usha Uthup started her performance, the whole gathering was just jiving on her tunes. And she did manage to win a great applause as well. When she was there, we did ask her about the doggie link…quite obvious. “Well! I am an avid animal lover. Dog teaches us loyalty and peace, so for me they are the best companions,” replied Usha.

The finale – a fashion presentation with models and dogs parading creations by designers Manish Arora, Rohit Bal, Rajesh Pratap Singh, and JJ Valaya.

Win Win… Chow Chow

Jack (Chow Chow), a hotshot Jack-of-all-trades bagged maximum number of prizes and also clinched the Champion of Champions award along with a sterling trophy.

Mamma says…

Once the fashion show was over, the excited mothers shared their joys. “It was really good to see beautiful people with even more beautiful dogs. It was something I always wanted to do and today I did it, I walked the ramp with my sweety,” said Gauri. “Daisy – my pet is my darling and today he is looking more stunning to me,” shared Raseel Gujral. Mandira Bedi, being a judge, faced a tough time, while short-listing the winners, as her heart pounded equally for all ravishing pooches. “I love dogs…they are real sweethearts. And today they all are looking stunningly awesome. For me they all are winners,” she explained.

Model Noyanika Chatterjee and Tina Chatwal, former Femina Miss India Asia Pacifi c, 2003, were making great style statements, and adoring cute canines, as well. Tina happily admitted her love for canines.

Nafi sa Ali, introduced herself as an animal activist and said, “These dog shows are the best platform to see all the breeds of dogs that are available in India. I equally love a pedigree and a pariah…for me its just unconditional love that caught my attention for this event.”

Other delights…

The other attractions around were AD Singh’s cuisine salon by Olive Bar and Kitchens, a Bacardi cocktail Bar, a Coffee lounge by Café Coffee Day, exclusive thematic designer collectibles by 4 top fashion gurus, a candid photo studio, cartoonist Irfan on site, a pet mart with rare and exotic puppies, pet foods and accessories, a fabulous raffl e, live music and great kids’ space area added to the aura of a pawfect day.

– by Smita Mishra

Paws for the cause!

The Valaya Magic Foundation is an initiative to create a society in which every girl child is offered equal opportunity to grow up to her full potential, free from gender bias and prejudice. It has already opened the fi rst Magic Centre with over a hundred girl students, with plans to open a second center in Vasant Kunj. They plan to start satellite primary Magic centers in different villages providing meals, medical check-up, tuitions and free education by qualifi ed teachers. These schools will provide vocational training. Over time, there are plans to acquire land and raise funds to set up a full-fl edged Magic school imparting education till class XII.

“We have 115 girls in our Bhatti-Khurd, Chattarpur center. And we have plans to open a second center very soon. No matter who you are, where you are or what you do, the one thing that will set you apart is education and your level of awareness. The Magic Foundation, in its own small way, wishes to empower as many girl children as it can, who can then live their own terms and be economically, socially and emotionally independent,” told J J Valaya.

Canine on Duty

Saving our souls… canine commandos

“A good dog deserves a good home,” says a famous proverb, well now-adays, it should be, “A good dog deserves a good job and good rewards,” and why not… they have it all. They are being appointed as officers and are indispensable parts of our military and para-military forces. Some are winning international rewards, while others are getting bravery awards, its all win-win situation for them. Here’s a tribute to our canine heroes. Dogs are our guards… since time immemorial. But they are not only protectors of our homes but are joining the forces and serving the nation…not only in India…but world over.

Inspecting terror… a canine way

Inspectors Shiva and Zorro have a reputation of being no nonsense offi cers of Bhopal’s Railway Protection Force (RPF). The areas under their jurisdiction are from Khandwa to Jhansi besides VIP duties. People swear by their honesty and commitment and know that nothing escapes their keen senses…they can easily smell the fi sh. These “offi cers” are sniffer dogs, put into service by the Bhopal police force. Inspector Shiva is a Labrador while inspector Zorro is a Doberman.

Canine commandos… at army headquarters

Today sniffer dogs are not only part of the police force, but Army as well. With time, their contribution towards smashing terrorist hideouts and seizure of arms and ammunition has gone beyond expectations… Bow, sniffing terror all the way and nailing criminals and terrorists too. There have been innumerable instances where Army sniffer dogs have been of use in anti-military operations. It was keeping this in mind that in Jammu, the Remount Veterinary Corps have been engaged in the breeding and training of dogs and mules for assistance to the troops.

In fact, be it the urban concrete jungles or the unfriendly terrains of Siachen, sniffer dogs are always up to their jobs…wholeheartedly. In fact in the confi nes of snow and ice, the sole companions of our Army men are these sniffer squad. They know that God forbid, if they ever get lost in the icy wilderness, it is only their canine friends who will find them. These dogs are trained for avalanche rescue, bomb detection and guard duties, among other things.

Saving …world over

World over, canines sniff out both explosives and human threats.

The state of Israel uses the largest number of Military working dogs of any country today besides France. Their Army, Air Force and Navy, all have K9 units, used mostly for routine security, patrolling, explosives detection and even rescue. If that’s not enough, here’s something more, Israel also has “Civilian K9 units,” like the SAR K9 units (the yellow helmets), who provide internal security for Jewish settlements, in the Gaza Strip, West Bank and other areas.

With their dedication, fearlessness, loyalty, instincts, and zealous participation, these canine members are proving to be indispensable for their human counterparts. With more and more such wet-nosed members being inducted into the forces – they are really proving to be “man’s best friend,” in more ways than one in today’s world.

– by Amrita Sharma


Grooming parlours for pooches : because they are worth it!


How do you pamper your little canine? Give him tasty treats, gift him a toy, take him out for a ride or a walk …or better still gift him a day at a grooming salon – a perfect gift for your pampered pooch. Your darling would not only feel pampered but look pampered too! Here’s a peek at the grooming facilities available internationally.


Eiffel, a 175 lb Newfoundland comes to Wag ‘N Wash pet grooming salon. He is groomed lying down on the table since he cannot stand. Though it involved three pet groomers to complete the job, but Eiffel left one clean, short, happy dog!! Such is the magic of grooming parlours and this is the care our pampered pooches get!

Too much has been said and heard about the benefits of grooming and pet parents have become quite aware of it. For most pet parents, grooming is a simple three-step process: preparation (brush out mats, trim nails, take out hair from inside the ears, clean eyes, etc); bath (shampoo, conditioner, clean eyes and ears) and dry (hand dry/brush). This is basic grooming but there is more to it. After this regular grooming process comes the finishing process where the pet undergoes scissoring/clipping to give her the pretty look.

Now, think of all the luxurious treatment you get at your grooming parlour – spas, massage, hair cuts, facials, aromatherapy, etc. Don’t you think your pooches also deserve such holistic beauty treatments because they are worth it? Internationally, pets are pampered with such treatments at the grooming spas. As Sandy Patak of Soapy Puppy Dog Spa, Alpharetta, US puts it, “Just as you enjoy day spa, dogs enjoy Soapy Puppy Dog Spa. We are a new concept dedicated to pampering pets with hydromassage baths, spa quality shampoo, and services conducted by caring individuals in our spa environment.” And just as we are inclined towards natural products, we pamper our canines with natural products as well. “We use all natural products, never chemicals and pesticides. One of our most popular treatments is our exfoliation package. It includes a special macadamia nut shampoo and 5 minute massage,” tells Sandy. At Soapy Puppy Dog Spa, each canine is treated with respect and tender care. They receive a special homemade treat, a luxury kennel with a comfy bed. On top of it, each part of the grooming process includes aromatherapy to relax the dog. Toronto-based Timmie Doggie Outfitters offers grooming, aromatherapy, facials and massage. This exclusive boutique offering clothing, accessories and food for dogs and cat, found grooming facilities to be a natural extension to their business. “We wanted to bring the store and spa together to create a complete pooch-pampering experience,” tells Paul Ryu, coowner, Timmie Doggie Outfitters, Toronto.

Let’s see what Janie Semprevivo of Wag ‘N Wash, New Jersey, offers at her salon. “Every pet grooming at our salon includes a therapeutic massaging bath with our jet wash, nail trimming, ear cleaning, pads trimmed, medicated shampoo when necessary, cologne, bandanna or bow.” They offer a wide variety of special services including: medicated shampoos, tooth brushing, hot oil treatments for dry and lifeless coats, nail filing, herbal flea dips, special 3-step de-skunking process and the FURminator de-shedding programme. “FURminator Shedless Treatment is a specialized anti-shedding treatment that dramatically reduces the mess and clean up of unwanted pet hair. The secret to the treatment is a special de-shedding tool designed to stop the shedding where it begins in the undercoat of your pet. Studies have shown the FURminator treatment can reduce shedding in pets from 4-6 weeks (shedding periods may vary depending on the breed and health of your pet). And this treatment has been endorsed by veterinarians who understand the importance of healthy skin and coat!” explains Janie.

These grooming parlours understand that no two dogs are alike. Hence, they offer special treatments for puppies, older dogs, arthritic dogs, sensitive skin and allergy dogs. “We understand that just like people, each pet is an individual and deserves individual care, with attention to their breed standard, personal style, body shape and personality,” tells Kellie Taylor of Precious Paws Pet Grooming salon, New Jersey. Kellie also understands that both pets as well as pet parents can be nervous while the pet is groomed. Hence, their salon is designed on an open floor plan, where parents can observe their pet’s entire grooming process, from bath to beautiful, as they are receiving the best care. “We also offer appointments that allow them to stay with their pet and hold their paw, just as they would hold their child during their haircut,” she adds.

Such is the popularity of pet grooming facilities that Tomy Maugeri Dog Salons launched their third location in Chelsea, after two facilities in New York. Headed by veteran groomer, Tomy Maugeri, this two-year-old company has built a large and loyal following by providing grooming services for the pet parents. “We have also added webcams into the salons so that anxious pet parents at home or office, can use the passwordprotected website to observe their pets being groomed,” he adds. This salon also provides obedience classes, pet-sitting and dog walking services. As Tomy explains, “We don’t just provide great grooming. Many of our clients have told us that they need pet care everyday or when they are on vacation. Our ‘Home Stay Program’ allows client’s pets to stay at one of our employee’s homes while they are on a vacation.”

One thing we found at all grooming salons that the owners were dog lovers themselves and for some, starting a grooming parlour was more of a passion. As Andrea Zivari- Giannoglou of A to Z Pet Grooming, Toronto, explains, “It is very strange how I started dog grooming as a career. I am trained as a mechanical engineer and I used to work on Tank ammunition for the U.S. Army. When I had my first baby, I quit working. I wanted to start a business and being a dog lover, I started a pet shop with a friend in 2004. In 2005, we started the grooming facility in our shop and since the response was very good, we turned the whole store into a dog grooming parlour in 2006.” Andrea always wanted to have a dog but could not have one. “Now I feel like a child again whenever I am working on a dog. I love dogs! I feel it is all very artistic and my dogs are a work of art when they are finished. I am really glad when I am able to groom a difficult dog that nobody else can or even wants to do. I feel like a million bucks when a dog that needs care can get it from me,” she adds. And undoubtedly the pet owners feel happy as their pooches are looking good and feeling good too!

K9 Grooming: a passion, not a profession

For pet groomers, grooming is not a profession, but it is their way of showering their love on canines, to be with them 24×7, to love and pamper them. For them work is a pleasure… something that makes their life complete and our canines healthy and beautiful.

It is a wonderful experience to pamper our pets and see them bask in love and care. And grooming is just another way to pampering. Just think of how you feel when you go for your routine haircut or massage! Of course, you feel delighted, so do our canines. Sometimes, our hectic lifestyles do not permit us to groom them. But don’t worry! For there are specialised pet grooming salons to indulge your pets, that will groom them in the most relaxed and friendly atmosphere. To know more about the grooming facilities available in India, D&P contacted four chic grooming salons in India and here’s what we sniffed :

Groom your ‘Fuzzy Wuzzy’ kid here

“Some time ago a TV channel was doing a programme on my grooming parlour and they were curious about the aroma therapy massages and their effect on the dog. I told them that it makes them stress free, relaxes their muscles, and being happy, contented and enjoying the massage and the attention given to them, they normally go to sleep. Well, they wanted me to demonstrate this on TV and to my surprise, brought in a huge Rottweiler. It is really funny to recollect this incident because as soon as I started the massage, and as if the dog had understood every word I had spoken, promptly put his head down on the grooming table and went to sleep. The TV personnel thought that I was a Magician!” 

A lthough Yash of Yashbans Kennels always had a grooming parlour in existence at her farm, but the professional parlour ‘Fuzzy Wuzzy Pet Grooming Parlour,’ a brain child of Prithvi Jayakaran of Glenands Pet Shops and Yash, was started just three years ago in Bangalore. There’s an interesting story behind such a unique name and as Yash puts it, “My daughter Radhiya chose the name, as the very first grooming we did was on a really fuzzy, wuzzy unkempt Poodle.”

Being a professional breeder, grooming was a natural choice for diversification. “Right from the beginning, my daughters Radhiya and Rishya and my friends were very appreciative of the thought of me starting a professional grooming parlour. They knew I was talented and were confident that I would succeed. The question that remained was how to manage time, with my breeding and boarding kennels. In the beginning, the grooming parlour was just an extension or a branch of my already existing profession but now with my daughters too completely devoted to this profession, it has become a full-fledged grooming facility,” tells Yash.

Yash is a born animal-lover and opening of a grooming parlour dedicated to pets is an extension of her passion for dogs. “From treating injured animals to giving shelter to abandoned and homeless dogs and cats, I was so involved and passionate that I actually had a small zoo on my terrace and that too without my extremely strict father’s knowledge,” recollects Yash. So how did her passion for pets turned into a profession? “I got into breeding pedigreed dogs, and established myself as one of India’s most reputed and successful breeder. Though grooming was always a part and parcel of my owning pets, and imperative in my show career, it turned into a profession when I started realizing that you can actually make or break a show dog’s career, just with your expertise on grooming the pet,” came a quick reply from enthusiastic Yash. 

So, how has Yash’s breeding experience helped her in grooming? “I have been involved with dogs for almost three decades. My understanding of the breeds and their construction, the correct type of hair cuts and trimming that most coated breeds required and their necessity, gives me an extra edge. Besides, I am also extremely patient and believe in doing anything to perfection,” replies Yash.

Another question that came to our mind was is there any training required to become a professional groomer? “Yes, both me and my elder daughter have been trained in the art of professional grooming both in the States and Thailand. My younger daughter, who actually supersedes us as a groomer is actually my prodigy and completely trained by me,” explains Yash.

But, Yash insists that grooming is a form of art and should be inborn in you. “You can only learn the basics and methods of grooming at a professional school. You require considerable amount of talent to visualize a perfect specimen as per the breed standards. Like a sculptor or an artist, and tons of patience, it is absolutely necessary and the knack to make the pet feel comfortable and not threatened or unhappy,” she adds.

So, how does Yash feel on being a groomer? “Oh! It is a wonderful, exhilarating and therapeutic experience for me! I get a sense of immense satisfaction at seeing a happy, contended pet and a satisfied customer. There is no greater joy than to see the pets looking forward to their sessions at the grooming parlour. Besides, I feel like the creator. My experience, craftsmanship, patience, love and understanding helps me create a beautifully structured canine, finding his or her faults, and making him or her look like a Best In Show Winner. I feel so proud when people travel great distances, coming from other cities, just to get their dog groomed by me,” exclaimed Yash.

Fuzzy Wuzzy is well equipped with all the necessary gadgets and equipments, including individual bath tubs for small and large dogs, with hot and cold water shower sprays, professional grooming tables, blowers, table top as well as hand dryers, clippers, shears, shampoos, aroma massage oils, toothpastes, mouth sprays, brushes, combs, hair colours (both temporary and long lasting), perfumes, ornaments, bows, clips, party dresses and accessories.

So what is the time required to groom a pooch? “We need probably 1 – 1 1/2 hours and sometimes even 3 hours on a single pet. Hence, we do not accept more than 3-4 pets in a day, depending on the breed and the condition of the pet,” tells Yash. No wonder then that her clientele includes actors, models, politicians, musicians, artists, the so-called page 3 people, MDs of multinational companies, and the very loving middleclass passerby too. 

Yash believes that grooming intensifies the bond between the pet and his parent. “Once you start grooming your dog on a regular schedule, you will actually start seeing the benefits for the pet and yourself, and the bond that you establish between yourselves. A great looking, clean pet is a sheer joy to own,” concludes Yash.

To pamper your canine, contact: Fuzzy Wuzzy Pet Grooming Parlour, No 1, 17th ‘F’ cross (adjacent to Glenands Pet Shop), Indira Nagar II Stage, Bangalore- 560 077, Ph: 98440 58080/ 98450 01449/ 41261470, email: Yashbans@email.com or visit www.yashbans.com

To make your canine kid feel like a ‘Top Dog’

In just two years after its inception, Top Dog has become one of the most happening joint for pets. They come here with their parents oblivious of their looks and when they leave this place; they are entirely transformed into a prim and proper canine, which is indeed a treat for their parents.

As Cookie Khanna, the entrepreneur behind this reputed pet grooming salon, puts it, “My passion for pets made me want to work with them, but not in the medical field. I started becoming more aware and started noticing that there are a lot of exotic and high maintenance breeds coming into India but there is a lack of professional services to look after them. After researching the grooming field, I decided to do a certified course in dog grooming in New York. And that’s how TOP DOG was born!”

Cookie has done a course at the NYSDG in New York. “This Master Groomer certified course allows me to work as a trained professional anywhere in the world,’ tells Cookie proudly.

Was the path into this unknown territory full of roses or thorns? “Well, my family has always supported me in all my decisions. They also felt it was an untapped market and seeing my passion for pets, this seemed to be the perfect career path for me. My friends thought it was a very odd job but at the same time thought it was a fabulous idea,” recollects Cookie. And seeing the popularity of Top Dog in Mumbai, they all must be rejoicing at Cookie’s wonderful idea of opening a pet grooming salon. 

At the end of the day at work, how does Cookie feel? “It feels great to know that I can put unkept dogs out of their misery and send them home feeling like the Top Dog in town. It’s a great feeling to know that so many people actually wanna learn and are willing to spend money on their pets to keep them clean and well kept. And what makes me happy is that I can help them in this entire process,” tells Cookie proudly.

Is there any irritating aspect of this profession? “I simply love my profession but I am very unhappy when I see that some parents do not care about grooming their dog. I once had to groom a dog that was so badly matted that it took me 4 hours to remove them from his coat. It was like a carpet. I had to literally cut through the coat with scissors and then shave. The hair of his face, eyes and neck were also tangled and the poor dog could barely see through the hair. It was horrible and made me realize that some people truly do not care for their darling friends! But at that end of it, the dog was so happy when he left that it was all worth it!” tells Cookie.

So, in a day how many pets are pampered at Top Dog? “I groom 5-12 dogs in a day and it is really a joyful experience to see them all leave my salon looking their best. All dogs that come to my parlor are celebrities. A person who brings in a fabulously kept dog is a true celebrity to me,” tells Cookie.

At Top Dogs, your pooch can get his haircuts, bathing, oil massages, nail clipping, ear cleaning etc, besides tick n’ flea control, shedding treatments and pedicures amongst other things. “All the equipments are top of the line and imported. I have professional grooming equipment, be it scissors or nail clippers or shampoos,” tells Cookie proudly.

An avid dog lover herself, Cookie wants our readers to love their pooches and take care of them. “A dog is not a stuffed toy, but a child who never ever grows up. He needs to be looked after for his entire life and that’s the part you play. Dogs cannot speak and tell you what they need. Always keep your dog well. Bathe him regularly and check him every couple of days. Because remember a well-groomed dog is a happy dog!” And we all definitely agree!

To pamper your canine, contact: Top Dog,Professional Pet Styling Services, 45, Hoosein Manor, Bomanji Petit Road, Mumbai– 26, Tel: 98200 70992 / 32414605, email: topdogbombay@gmail.com

Simply ‘TailWaggers’ delight

A Golden Retriever rushes out of his car, enters into the salon and jumps straight into the tub and looks as expectantly waiting for weekly bath to commence!!! Then, there is one Lhasa Apso who regularly comes here for a trim and falls promptly asleep every time and wakes up only when his haircut is complete. Such instances are very common at Mumbai-based TailWaggers salon, which needs no introduction.

The suave Gauri and Urmila have been grooming pets here for the past five years. As Urmila puts it, “Both me and Gauri share an equal humungous passion for animals and dogs in particular. Gauri while working as an assistant to a vet used to help people groom their dogs at home and me, after working with PETA for sometime decided I wanted to do some more hands-on work with dogs so we got together and decided to open a grooming salon for dogs. This is how TailWaggers came into being,” tells Urmila. What a perfect name for our lil’ tail waggers!

Both Gauri and Urmila have excelled themselves with on the job training and to keep themselves abreast with the latest in the pet grooming industry, they constantly refer to books and the internet for newer and better ideas. 

How did the friends and relatives of these svelte damsels react on their career as a pet groomer? “Of course, there were lots of raised eyebrows initially, especially taking into consideration that ours was the first salon in the country. So, it was slightly difficult in the beginning because in India it was unheard of to take your dog outside the house for a bath or any sort of grooming. But, our families have been supportive of our efforts throughout and we did not let them down. Also, the vets in the city were and still are a huge support system as they refer their patients, whenever necessary, to our salon,” recollects Urmila.

“But once people started warming up to the concept, they realized how much more convenient it is to take your dog to a professional groomer and get him groomed. Also, earlier people had Poms, Labs and maybe German Shepherds, who were easier to groom, but now people have more exotic breeds from all over the world like Poodles, Shi-Tzus, Afghan Hounds, Bichon Frises. All these breeds have very specialized grooming requirements, which our salon provides. The pet grooming industry is small but is a rapidly growing field and actually the current response is great,” tells Urmila proudly.

So, how do Gauri and Urmila function when their doggy clients come in for his/her grooming session? “After getting a brief from their pet parent about what they have in mind, we then suggest a grooming or cutting based on the dog’s coat type, condition and climate the dog is in. Our emphasis and style of grooming is where the dog not just looks good but also feels comfortable,” tells Urmila enthusiastically. That’s the spirit, we don’t want our lil’ friends to feel uncomfortable, they should look and feel good at the same time!

Are Gauri and Urmila happy with their present job? “Oh! It is absolutely and positively the best job in the whole world and we wouldn’t trade anything for it. To be surrounded with dogs of all shapes, sizes, colour all day long is a bliss!!” comes an enthusiastic reply.

“Almost all our experiences have been great and when you work with dogs, your day is bound to be full of fun stuff. Often clients call back and say that their dog has come home looking and feeling like a new dog and that really makes our day! There are some clients who send us flowers and cakes to thank us and this kind of appreciation always makes us feel great,” tells Urmila.

TailWaggers Pet Salon offers facilities like haircuts, conditioning baths, medicated baths, tick and flea control treatments, detangling treatments, nail cutting, ear cleaning, teeth brushing, oil massages and aromatherapy rinses. “We have the latest haircutting machines with interchangeable blades and different attachment combs for different types and lengths of haircuts. We also have a stand dryer that is specially designed to dry out the moisture from the root of the hair outward. We have some great pet colognes and perfumes, which as a finishing spray make the dogs smelling fresh, and clean for a long time. Also the dryers we use fluff out the coat and makes their coat really shine,” tells Urmila.

So, how many pets do Gauri and Urmila beautify in a day? “On an average, we groom about 10 -12 pets in a day. Being situated in the Bollywood city, our salon is buzz with celebrities like Salman Khan, Upen Patel, Esha Deol, Vivek Oberoi, Arjun Rampal, Preity Zinta, Boman Irani, Fardeen Khan, etc, who come along their pooches,” tells Urmila proudly.

Are there any tips that Gauri and Urmila would like to give to our readers? “Yes of course! Other than returning the unconditional love that you get from your dog, we suggest that you regularly check his or her coat for matts, ticks fleas, skin problems – all of which should immediately be attended to. Atleast once (if it is a short haired coat) or twice to thrice (if your dog has a long coat), brush his or her coat first against the direction of hair growth and then towards it. Make sure the eyes and ears are clean and his nails clipped either from a groomer or a vet. Make sure your dog has a comfortable length and thickness of coat depending on the current season and climate. Seek the help of a professional groomer at regular intervals. Besides, a regular hand on home grooming is also a great way for you to spend some quality time with your canine best friend.”

To pamper your canine, contact: TailWaggers Pet Salon, 6th Road, Pali Village, Behind Real Palace, Bandra (W), Mumbai, Ph: 9820127572.

Your pooch deserves a ‘Scooby Scrub’

Scooby Scrub is becoming a favourite destination for pets and their parents in Delhi. This grooming parlour has been recently established in April 2007 by an avid animal lover couple Preeti S Kumar and Sanjeev Kumar. The couple left their established careers to pursue their love and passion for dogs. Preeti was a school teacher while Sanjeev was a bank manager. “I succumbed to the desire to get closer to the first love of my life – ‘pets’. Grooming is one activity which will enable me to stay close to the four legged ones all the time,” tells Preeti enthusiastically. Similar views are echoed by Sanjeev who adds, “I left my 13 years of hard work at a bank, to follow my passion and love for the pets.” It would come as a little surprise for dog lovers as they can very well understand.

To chase their dream as dog lovers, the couple has got formal training in grooming from the famous Wanaporn Sangpongchawal’s training institute in Bangkok, who herself has done her professional training from the ‘New York school of Dog Grooming.’

So, what was the reaction this couple got from their friends and relatives? “To them it was a very new and unique concept, so inspite of being supportive, they were very uncertain about the future of such a venture,” tells the duo. “Even though only a short period has passed but now they are able to see what we visualized was right. 

There is definitely a need to have a professionally run pet grooming parlour in Delhi and we are getting really good response.”

And Preeti and Sanjeev are happy than ever. “As is said ‘To have the cake and eat it too’ what more could we want, to do work that we enjoy the most, being close to the ones we love and still have a livelihood,” exclaims the duo excitedly.

“The expression on the face of our customers when they come to pick up their pets after our grooming is an extremely satisfying and wonderful experience in itself, every time around,” tells Preeti. And who would not agree, we ourselves gleam with joy when our darling gets his share of grooming!

Scooby Scrub offers facilities like basic grooming, complete grooming, show grooming, pet hygiene, herbal baths, tick & flea baths, de-matting, colouring/streaking and massage. For this, they have bought specialised equipment like professional clippers, clipping blades, trimmers, scissors and other miscellaneous items, which are especially imported from reputed manufacturers based in America.

Pet grooming is not just a profession for them, they give individual attention to dogs. “At a maximum, we groom 4-5 dogs so as to be able to justify the quality of work we intend to provide to the pet and to his/her owner,” tells Sanjeev. Little wonder then that their parlour caters to the top rung diplomats/bureaucrats in Delhi and several of the top of the line industrialists’ pets including owners of Khaitan, Ricoh, CTC Malls/Plazas, Waves Malls and many more.

Both Preeti and Sanjeev believe, “Love your pet as much as you can, as their love is unconditional. Pet hygiene is the most essential part of grooming, which includes much more than just a normal bath, ear cleaning and nail clipping.”

To pamper your canine, contact: Scooby Scrub, Shop No 12, DDA Market, Neeti Bagh, New Delhi – 110049, Ph : 32448809, Mobile: 9810897138, 9811128809, email:scoobyscrub@yahoo.co.in