Day care centers, cremation and fashion accessories have gone to the dogs, literally.
Who says that day care centers nowadays are just for kids? With their busy schedules and nobody to watch over their dogs and cats, pet owners can now leave their "babies" at Pooch Park Doggie Day Care .
"We do the day care service. You can leave the dogs there for one hour [for] P50 or you can leave per night and that’s P400, that’s our boarding service," Oliver Tan, Pooch Park owner, said when he guested on ANC’s "Shop Talk" Wednesday.
Tan said some owners leave their pets at Pooch Park for one week especially if the owners are going out of town. "For boarding, we don’t have people staying inside. We secure the area [and] we have proper ventilation. Water is always available."
He said owners who want to have their pets taken care of while they go to work or run some errand they can just drop by at its centers located at Auto Depot Building on Julia Vargas Avenue in Pasig City and Robinsons Metro East along Marcos Highway. Pet owners, however, are required to present the vaccination records of their pets and provide food for their animals, he added.
Aside from day care service, Pooch Park also offers other services such as grooming and basic training.
Must love dogs
Tan said he decided to set up Pooch Park on June 18, 2006 when he realized that he could not bring his dogs inside the malls when he was out with them and he has to run some errands.
He is not a veterinarian by profession but he said he is passionate about dogs. He owns eight dogs – four Schnauzers, three Pomeranians and a Siberian Husky. A former sales agent for a petroleum company, Tan left his job to focus on managing Pooch Park.
Tan spent P500,000 to P1 million to set up his two daycare centers that can accommodate a maximum of 10 animals each for boarding purposes. Its daycare center in Auto Depot opens 9 a.m. up to 7 p.m. In Robinsons, on the other hand, it opens at 10 a.m. up to 9 p.m.
Pet lovers in RP growing
Veterinarian Dr. Edgar Unson of the Animal House Pet Clinic and Grooming Center noted that a lot has improved in terms of pet care in the Philippines compared to 22 years ago when he and his friend started the veterinary clinic.
"Twenty years ago pets were mainly for guard. They have pets pambantay ng bahay. They were the dogs outside, usually caged dogs…. having dogs inside the house were not even accepted, feeding dog food were not accepted," Unson said.
|Dr. Edgar Unson of Animal House Pet Clinic and Grooming Center says taking care of a pet is like raising a kid. Sam, a Golden Retriever, is one of his six adopted pets |
"Now, pets have moved in the bedroom. They moved in the children’s bedroom. They moved in between husband and wife… veterinarians are getting popular not only in the Philippines but worldwide because a lot of pets are in demand," he added.
The veterinarian said the number of pet owners in the country increased rapidly as more and more people began to live in condominiums and apartments.
"They want to keep a companion in their house. Small dogs are very popular right now. Pomeranians, Shih Tzu and Chihuahua are good companions," he said.
And since dogs’ life span is 10 to 15 years, the owners' attachment to their pets are understandable and inevitable. He said it is because of this that Animal House now offers cremation as one of its services.
Unson, who adopted six pets, however, reminded first-time owners that they should not be impulsive when deciding on a pet because it is a huge responsibility.
"Having a pet is not just a spur-of-the-moment thing. It should be thought of because it's a responsibility. You’re taking care of an extra mouth. It’s like having a kid. There are some expenses involved but the most important is the time," Unson said.
Some pets, particularly dogs, demand a lot of attention from their owners, he added. If possible, an individual should choose his pet accordingly, meaning an animal that fits his lifestyle. For instance, Unson said, for outdoor people it is best to get a Golden Retriever. If you like your pets to sleep in your beds, it is best to get small dogs, he advised.
Unson himself once took care of 15 pets. He said it was "very hard and very expensive."
Animal House has now 14 branches in Metro Manila that offers, among others, basic care, vaccination, deworming, grooming, hospitalization and surgeries. It also runs emergency animal clinic in Jupiter, Makati City that is open for 24 hours.
Pet owners can also shop clothes for their animals.
Georgette’s Closet originally was an online business for apparel and custom-made dresses for dogs until owner Mike Chua decided to expand the business. Chua opened a store in Katipunan in Quezon City in December 2006 with a starting capital of less than P20,000. It is open everyday, except Mondays, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Georgette’s Closet offers accessories shoes, bags, caps, necklaces among others. It also offers food, grooming, bathing, nail cutting and whitening treatment services.
"[Georgette] is the name of our dog. Georgette is named after a Chihuahua," Chua, who owns 16 small dogs, said.
Chua said in order to understand and run a business that is connected with pet care, one should know how to take care of animals himself.