Pets are an integral part of every aspect of a pet parent’s lives – be it daily chores, daily woes, fun get-togethers, dinners or even rockfests. You heard it right. Our furry friends have a right to party, de-stress at a pet resort, take a plunge in the pool and occasionally, indulge in some small treats. Pet psychologists say they are metro animals and need equal amounts of indulgence as any one of us. Here’s a pet parent who has rolled out a social life for pets with her start-up.

Party Barky Hai

‘A blaring success,’ is how Mumbai-based Shivani Mathur, founder of Party Barky Hai, describes her pet project, which ‘rocked’ the lives of furry friends. Mathur, who started the project initially with the plan to provide open space for animal lovers to bond better with their owners, was surprised to be bombarded with queries from around the country on events associated with the firm.
The number of clients grew, and soon celebrities joined in. This gave birth to her plan to let the dogs ‘rock’ at NH7 Weekender in 2012. “The pets went through one-month desensitising sound training programme before they attended the music fest. The pets were made to be comfortable with loud sounds, and a lot of behaviour-based training was given to them before they went out to socialise,” says Mathur.

Anuja Mishra Bajoria, a pet parent, who attended one of the gatherings organised by Mathur, recalls her experience. “In Mumbai, owing to space constraint, we were on a lookout for open events where Mojo could have some fun. He had a lot of fun, and so did we – meeting other pets and pet-obsessed people. There were tonnes of games organised and Mojo aced them all and won lots of gifts – an added bonus that made my dog a regular ‘party hopper’.”

When pets and owners get together, it’s a completely different universe of positive energy and happiness. Mathur shares her love for dogs with her life companion, stand-up comedy actor Vir Das. When asked about canine behaviour, she becomes a strict parent. “Animals react to your body language. You are calm, your dog is going to be calm too. Do not freak out when you hear a loud sound or show any sign of panic, so that the dog stops worrying/reacting to high decibels. Like parents, you have to sometimes step back and watch, and just let them be,” says Mathur.


Q. My pet cocker spaniel has rather funky breath. I gave him chewies (raw hide and dental), but to no avail. What can I do?

A. Are you brushing his teeth? If not, you need to start now. Just like us, dogs also need to brush their teeth – once a day will suffice. Dogs need brushing to avoid dental diseases like gingivitis and dental carries. Also, good dental health helps them stay healthy as plaque deposition can lead to renal, cardiac and hepatic (liver) disorders in dogs. You can’t use the same toothbrush and paste as ours. Make sure the doggie toothpaste is fluoride free and doesn’t foam too much – you can’t expect him to gargle and rinse!

Pick a finger brush. Get him used to the feel by first massaging his gums with a gloved hand and a little clove oil. Finish with a treat. You can also schedule brushing at a time before his favourite activity – before a walk, play time or food. Once he’s used to the idea with any process which making it more maids ala mode cleaning mobile, try with the paste. If the problem persists go to the vet for an examination. Even without a problem, you must get your pet’s teeth checked once every three months, sooner for breeds like pugs, boxers, Lhasa apsos and shitzus, basically dogs who have a squarish jawline as the food deposition is more. Chewies can help to some extent in dislodging food but dental chewies have to be given on the advice of the doc.

— Expert inputs by Dr Narendra Gandhi, Delhi-based veterinarian


Pet Name: Aloo

“Aloo is my therapist:” Sonya Kochhar Apicella

My pet, Aloo, is a Great Dane. He loves to place his giant head on my lap and enjoys body massages. Aloo likes it when I massage his ears; he doesn’t allow me to stop even for a minute. He is my therapist, someone who brightens dull days. Apart from his treats, my pet also enjoys car rides and family vacations. I can’t imagine a day without him.



“Pets change the energies of your home:” Shamita Shetty

I have three adorable pets, two Persian cats about four years old – one all black and one grey, and a tiny white stray with the bluest eyes you’ll see. I adopted her. She walked into my office mewing loudly on a rainy day all covered in mud and it was love at first sight. Pets change the energies of the house. The white stray, Queenie, destroys everything in her path and is quite a culture shock for my Persians! I’ve had cats in my house all my life and can’t imagine being without them.



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Are you a proud pet parent? Have a cute cat story to share? Maybe your guinea pig is giving you trouble? Whatever is your creature companion, we are here to listen to you.