Vacation Pet-Peeves

-Riya Nagendra, I Year B.A. English
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One of the worst parts of going to vacation when you have a pet is that you have to leave them behind while you bask on the sunny beaches of Spain (or Goa). If you can’t find anyone trustworthy enough to come and feed your cats at home, or take your dog for his daily walk, then you’re in a rut – where do you leave them when you’re gone?

The one answer used to be kennels, but as Shravan Krishnan says on the Hotel For Dogs website, they are generally in an awful state – damp cages, dogs left loose, or in open terraces without any shade. His solution was to start a hotel, where the dogs are treated like royalty, with a number of facilities to suit their needs and pamper them while the owners are away on vacation.

Started by Shravan and T.A. Adhishwar, who’ve both had bad experiences with kennels, the hotel now has a number of facilities like the specially designed swimming pool for dogs, and the opportunity to Skype with your dog!

Cat-owners (or rather, those who are owned by cats) are still in a bit of rut – there aren’t many such options for them. Hotel For Dogs has an element of reliability because of the reputation of its directors, who are well-known animal activists, but it doesn’t provide boarding for cats. Other places like the “Hostel For Dogs” in Keelkattalai, which also keeps cats, fish and birds do exist, but one never knows whether or not their services are up to the mark.

Another interesting option is “Waggle”, a website where one can find people willing to look after pets for a certain amount of time – rather like an airbnb for pets. As with airbnb, one never knows how trustworthy these temporary caretakers will be.

People who have pets can vouch for the fact that pets are like their children – there’s no taking risks when it comes to their well-being, and this makes vacationing a little difficult. If you have friendly neighbours or a relative who lives nearby whom you can trust with taking care of your pet, then there’s nothing like it.

Otherwise, there’s always that one unfortunate family member who has to stay behind to clean the litter, while the rest of you live it up in Majorca (or Goa).


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