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Let your dog have a holiday too!

A concern for most people when deciding to get a dog is what they will do when they travel. Bengaluru-based Waggle has addressed this issue by finding dog lovers to look after your dog in their homes. It’s a win-win situation – dogs and their pet parents get a holiday and the hosts get to enjoy having dogs!

Samira Abraham and Arjun Mathai

Samira Abraham and Arjun Mathai

Having a dog is one of the best experiences ever. What all rewarding to a dog is his loyalty,intelligence, devotion and affection. There’s nothing better than coming back home and being greeted by a happily wagging tail and wet sloppy licks.
Waggle is an online platform where pet parents can find safe and loving homes to leave their dogs, while they are away. Dogs get individual attention, care and an environment just like their home. Pet parents can travel in peace and their dog gets a barking holiday too!
The brains…
Waggle was launched in February 2013 by Arjun Mathai and Samira Abraham. “When we had to travel in October 2012, we had no option, but to leave our dog Zoe, our Golden Retriever, with one of the boarding facilities in the city. We never liked the idea of a kennel as Zoe was not used to being caged. The idea for Waggle came about as we wanted to find a better home for Zoe when we travelled,” says Samira, co-founder of Waggle.
The workflow…
Waggle provides a platform for dog lovers to sign up as hosts and enjoy the company of ‘Man’s Best Friend’ while their pet parents travel. Hosts are verified by Waggle to ensure that they are competent to take care of dogs and have had prior experience in taking care of dogs.
Pet parents, who are travelling, can search on Waggle to find their perfect host. They can send requests to hosts mentioning all the details about their dogs, travel dates, etc. Customers and hosts can message each other through Waggle if they have any clarifications or queries. The hosts have the convenience of accepting or declining a request based on their availability. If required, a meeting is scheduled prior to the actual hosting to ensure that both dogs and hosts are comfortable with each other. Once the host accepts a request, the customer can confirm the request and pay online.

The experience…

Varun and Simba

Varun and Simba

“The experience has been good…,” tells Varun Vikramann, “Finding a caretaker who will love and care for your pet as much as you is way too much to ask, but here on Waggle you find many more of the kinds ‘Someone like you’. Boarding my Simba on a short notice, Waggle was very handy by being responsive and finding me a host in less than 30 minutes. Apart from the lovely hosts, Simba had two of his kind as well to play,” he adds. Similar views were shared by Surabhi Ganguly, “I have used the service a couple of times. I love the idea that

Surabhi and Sultan

Surabhi and Sultan

I can travel worry-free, with the reassurance that my dog is individually being taken care of by dog lovers in a home, with the same comfort and conveniences that I try to provide him.” While, Vidhu Agarwal says she is overwhelmed by this god-sent concept as well as the wonderful people associated with it.

Sujal Kamath

Sujal Kamath

This way, Waggle also enables dog lovers who can’t keep a dog full time to enjoy the company of dogs for a few days while their pet parents travel. Says Sujal Kamath, a dog lover to the core, “Waggle is a true paradise for dog lovers…giving opportunities to host different breeds of dogs without the actual responsibilities of owning one. Over the past few months we have hosted three different breeds of dogs, each with their unique personality.”

Rona and Ginger

Rona and Ginger

Sometimes, the host’s dogs also love the company of other dogs. “When I learnt about Waggle, I was so excited about the concept that I signed on to be a host right away. Hosting has been a wonderful and enjoyable experience and I love that my dog Ginger gets to have his doggy friends over,” adds Rona Pinto.

Safety measures…
Waggle also has a Customer Support Helpdesk which helps customers find a host who will be the best fit for their dog. “Waggle provides 24×7 support to all our hosts, in order to provide a hassle free hosting experience to our hosts. Our team of trained dog experts guides them through any issues during a hosting,” says Samira as a matter of fact.
“While, our review system allows customer and hosts to rate and review the host and the visiting dog respectively. This benefits other customers in making a decision quickly,” she adds.
Future plans…
“Currently in Bengaluru, we are working on providing this service all through India at the earliest. We have had enquiries coming in the past from various cities. We are in the process of recruiting and verifying hosts in other cities. Our primary concern is to ensure that in every city we are present in, we have sufficient knowledgeable and dog crazy hosts to address the growing number of requests,” concludes Samira.
For more info, call the 24×7 customer support team at +919686677364 or log on to: www.waggle.in

Love thy pet, Love thy profession!

Converting your passion into your profession is a dream for all…but a reality for a lucky few. Pet love has driven many enthusiasts to venture into diverse fields – medicine, writing, grooming, training, gourmet, photography, pet walkers, pet resorts, et al. Here are three experts in their own fields – all working for the love of the pets. Excerpts.

Eshita Prasanna – Pet photographer by passion

Eshita

Eshita

Profession: Tailshots – captures your pet in a candid shoot.
Traits: From childhood, she has always been an avid pet lover and has wanted it to be an active part of her life. Her fascination with photography which began as a hobby just after she finished school went on to become her choice in post graduation.
Professional qualification:  Post graduate in photography from Light & Life Academy, Tamil Nadu.
Pet pooch: Though Eshita does not have pet of her own, she plans to have one soon.
Inspiration: Eshita loves animals and that’s the biggest reason she’s into pet photography. Eshita says: “I love their expression on camera, it’s so pure and so full of just love … every four legged is photogenic! It is so amazing to capture those candid moments of the furry
little ones.”
The offerings: Capturing candid moments and bringing out the true identities of pets to form timeless images that deserve to be
framed eternally!
Chandrashekhar Chawan – Optometrist & ocularist

Chandrashekar

Chandrashekar

Profession: Director, Shekhar Eye Research – offering prosthetic eyes.
Traits: While doing custom-made artificial eyes for humans, he got many opportunities to make artificial eyes for horse, dogs and cats while in the USA.
Professional qualification: Optometrist & ocularist practicing in Orlando, USA, before founding Shekhar Eye Research at
Mumbai in 2003.
Pet pooch: A Pug for his daughter Shreeya.
Inspiration: In the process of being a responsible pet parent, he got introduced to many veterinary doctors in India, who in turn, started referring cats and dogs to the center for prosthetic eyes.
The offerings: Custom-made artificial eyes in Medical Grade PMMA and Medical Grade Silicon and specialty contact lenses for humans, horses, dogs and cats.

Ishmeet Chandiok

Ishmeet

Ishmeet

Runs Harley’s Corner – offering cooked
pet food.
Traits: Chef Ishmeet always had a passion for food and cooking. Even as a child he would experiment by mixing different kinds of foods with the resultant concoction turning into sumptuous meal.
Professional qualifications: Being alumni of the Institute of Hotel Management, Mumbai and working with brands like Hyatt, JW Marriott and Kingfisher, he brings over 12 years of food-related experience along with him.
Pet pooch: Harley was only two months old when Ishmeet and his wife adopted the stray from a construction site near Andheri.
Inspiration: Months of research and talking to distributors and various pet parents made him start Harley’s Corner.
The offerings: Harley’s Corner, which started as a home experiment, has today transformed into a business which has a whole gourmet menu which is not only different, but also healthy and nutritious. His menu today ranges from a variety of special to mighty meals to birthday cakes and dietary meals to suit various needs.