The pet care eco-system was a tough one to navigate, but being a pet parent herself, Anushka Iyer decided to disrupt things and create a holistic pet healthcare company—Wiggles.in. She is building a world that’s worthy of our loving pets and community animals, and her focus is sharp as it could ever be.
Anushka Iyer, Founder & CEO of Wiggles.in, is a doting pet parent to Wiggles, Buddy and Rico and other countless pets she fosters. “I am lucky that my work allows me to build a better world for pets and their people,” she remarks. In a candid conversation, Dogs & Pups discovers there’s so much that keeps Anushka going, along with some very gripping experiences. Here is the excerpt.
D&P: Let’s get right to it, how does your day look like with Wiggles?
Anushka: As a pet parent, my responsibility towards Wiggles and my other two pets Buddy and Rico comes first. I am thankful to them and their quirks, each of them has taught me so many things. Like every pet, they can get me to cave in with their puppy eyes, and honestly Buddy would eat my hand if he could.
Work is wholesome, in fact Wiggles is the Chief Barking Officer at Wiggles.in, and he really knows his worth. Whenever it comes to filming with him, we know it’s going to be challenging yet oh so adorable. My team says that he definitely has the qualities of a star.
In fact, he also ends up attending meetings and taking other dogs for a walk every once in a while. Holding their leash between his teeth, pets are really smart and intuitive indeed. Things weren’t always like this though. Wiggles had a traumatic childhood. Dogs and cats are meant to be loved, because they give us so much, but often they are ill-treated.
When I first saw Wiggles as a puppy, his skin was in an appalling state, only to understand that his caretakers gave him a bath with washing detergent. He needed help like many other pets who fall victim to uncaring breeders. We brought him in and started his treatment. Today, he is much better, by the grace of our vets who are life-savers.
D&P: Who inspires you?
Anushka: Animals, who say and teach us so much. We have a lot to learn from them, simply because they teach us how to live in the moment. The fact is that they have no self-guilt and still have loads of selfless love to give. When we go back to our roots, we realise we are here to solve a greater purpose, which is to make a change for them. That’s when we realise that we are on the right track.
D&P: Tell us about the humble beginning
Anushka: We set out to do good and that’s still the number one priority on our list today, every single day. When we started back in December 2018, from just a bunch of us to now over 200 of us across India, I draw a lot of inspiration from our team of passionate and dedicated animal lovers, who go above & beyond to ensure the health & wellbeing of all pets, everyday.
D&P: What’s all about your ‘doing good’ policy?
Anushka: Besides creating a holistic eco-system for pets with almost 50 innovative pet products which include gut-healthy food to probiotic immunity strips and pet sanitisers, we at Wiggles also provide online vet consultations, diet consultations & behavioural consults across India. Much more than a consultation it is an assurance of a listening ear that will guide pet parents, irrespective of the time of day or night. Pet parents have undoubtedly faced at some point of time, panic situations when they need a second opinion from the comfort of their home – that’s exactly where we step in.
In fact, we have our Wiggles Tribe community on Facebook where our in-house vets, trainers, groomers, behaviourists, and nutritionists offer free and reliable advice to pet parents. The community today has over 30,000 pet parents who have become Wiggles advocates and also step in to help other pet parents – that is the community spirit we live for. Our jewel of the crown is our very own dog boarding Petsville based in Pune, which is spread across 22,000 sq ft of lush greenery & equipped with amenities like 24×7 vet assistance, grooming care, dog park, day care & training.
D&P: Mention five things you can’t do without?
Anushka: One: My pets, always! Two: Everyday hustle at work; Three: Some ‘me’ time at the end of the day; Four: Books! Five: Connecting with like-minded individuals.
D&P: Tell us about #BondedByBlood
Anushka: In early December 2020, there was a situation that many pet parents faced, and I did too. My Rico ended up suffering from tick fever and he was in dire need of a blood transfusion. Even though we are well connected, we still found it difficult to find a pet donor. We eventually did, but the fright was real and it made us wonder how helpless pet parents must feel in a similar situation. Thus was born Bonded by Blood – our attempt to unite willing pet parents who can donate their pet’s blood to save a life of a recipient pet.
When we began this endeavour, we undertook a survey and realised over 42 percent of pet parents didn’t know their pets could donate blood, and 51 percent of pet parents didn’t know pets have a blood group. Shockingly only 2 percent of pets have donated blood. We started educating pet parents, registering pet donors and connecting them with pets who needed blood to survive. I urge pet parents to come forward and register their pets as a donor, and hope they will never need to face a day such as this. It is a nightmare and doesn’t need to be like that, if we can bond together.
D&P: Your closing thoughts?
Anushka: When pets give us so much, the least we can do is give them genuine healthcare that results in happiness. And this is just the beginning.