BLOG: Not a dog’s life!

The maximum city Mumbai boasts of a plenty of beauty parlors for dogs – that attend to canine’s various chores – pedicure, manicure, bathe, et al.   These saloons provide every sophisticated treatment to your canines that a human being can expect
 [Jawed Khurshid]
Mumbai: If there is any mortal whose fidelity can’t be doubted, it is dog. The canine always remains eager to show their affection to their master by licking, sniffing and wagging their tail.
Mumbai is probably the first city in India that boasts of beauty parlors, saloons and shops for dogs and pets. Here the denizens know pretty well how to pay these canine back for their loyalties, and they indeed cough up more pennies to keep their canine in the pink.
‘I spend Rs. 4500 on grooming besides Rs. 6000 on training session every month,’ chuckled Ravinder Sharma of Andheri. Still, they seldom complain against the high costs dog maintenance requires these days, such as grooming, training, pedicure and other canine related chores. The city can assuredly boast of exotic breeds of dogs.
Actor Tara Sharma who is the proud owner of German shepherd, recalled, ‘I’ve grown up with dogs. There always remain at least one pet in our house.’ Her family loves dogs like anything else. The family does the entire dog grooming and other related chores themselves. But when it comes to nail-cutting, oil message and bathing they take it to dog saloon. ‘Top Dog’ is their favorite ‘jaunt’ (read dog parlor).        
Model-turned-actress Anupama Varma, the third female contestant (fourth, if we count Bobby) in a dog-show that happened in the recent past, keeps to herself. She was in mourning about the passing of her pet dog. Kashmira, too, had lost her pet dog recently. The two ladies were bonded by canine commiseration.
There are plenty of people who never desist to pay liberally on their pets. This has become a necessity as grooming requires substantial chunk of the amount spent on the pets. Different breeds have different grooming requirements. This has led to the expansion of huge industry: grooming and retailing. They are making brisk business. ‘Many celebrities visit my clinic. Celina Jetley has four dogs of different breeds, Comranian, Labrador, Cocker and a furry Spaniel with soft ears that hang down,’ informed Dr. M S Chausalkar, a prominent vet of the city.
Mark – the pets and gift shop at Juhu is specifically meant for your pets. The shop contains every possible thing, ranging from food items to dogs toys. Among food there are sticks of raw hide that dogs relish to chew, in different flavors and shapes – such as, mutton, chicken, lamb and milk flavours.
Wow! It is certainly not a dog’s life. The shapes of these raw hide sticks vary to break the monotony. It can be found in several shapes such as, flat chips, rounded ball-like and bone-shaped. This reduces tarter build up and improves oral hygiene. It also safeguards your household goods during teething periods by providing proteins, minerals and fats. Tripes are dog’s treat. They have delicious savoury taste in every bite. Just one whiff of the irresistible beef tripe aroma and dogs go crazy! It contains 70% protein, 8% oil, 13% ash and 9% moisture.
Dog’s biscuits are hard mix of wheat soya, vegitable fat, vitamins, minerals and eggs. It is recommended as a mid meal or served as snack. This maintains smooth coat and healthy skin. Actor Riya Sen spends a lot on their three pet dogs, a mini Lhasa Apso, a Lhasa Terrier and the third one is a breed of the two. She regularly brings them chocolates as well as mouth-fresheners.
‘Dog City Beauty Parlour’ is a dog’s saloon where your canines receive every sophisticated treatment that a human being can expect.
An indispensable cleaning up session for dog includes wash, vigorous toweling, followed by hair drying. Hair cutting and dyeing, tick flea’s bath, oil message, herbal message, nail clipping, ear cleaning, teeth brushing are the few things that are done here by the experts.
A woman came holding a cute furry pug with lice, lamented, ‘Bahut ho gaya hai, phodne par khoon nikalta hai.’ (My pet is chronically infested with lice. It sucks so much blood that whenever I squeeze it between my nails it burst giving out oodles of blood.) Sudheer Mohite, the owner of the shop prescribed tick’s bath to the furry canine. The baths are of two kinds, one is medicated while the second one is herbal. ‘The dogs mostly suffer from skin problems, ‘informed Chausalkar. For the allergic skin we use herbal bath,’ said Mohite.
Starry eyed Mohite turned nostalgic, ‘Once my Borivali client brought his German Shepherd which was suffering from Mainz (a skin disease in which hair is lost and dandruff like patches develop, skin thickens and there is lots of irritation and itching.)’. ‘I removed the remaining hairs and properly washed skin with skin cleansing green shampoo.’ Thereafter, he applied neem oil (mustard or til oils too can be applied.) after mixing it with camphor. This was repeated for three months after which the dog recovered.
Grooming is a necessity, said Dr. Chausalkar. So the groomers must thoroughly get acquainted with the character and habits of different breeds of canine and learn to handle them accordingly.
Getting bitten is one of the professional hazards, says Mohite. But the pleasure of bathing and combing its mane and detangling hairs to remove matts, which most long haired breeds such as Lhasa Apsos have, cannot be explained in words.
When asked about the price, he said, ‘compared to few other parlours ours is a cheaper one.’ Herbal message is a bit expensive because they use a variety of herbs such as, tulsi, neem, garlic (mixed in hot oil), and small amount of camphor. This costs Rs. 550. This message removes body odour. Body perfumes too are used to suppress ‘doggy’-smell. Haircut ranges between Rs. 350 to 450. In tick flea’s bath Butox or Rid is used. This bath costs Rs. 550 – 800. Nail clipping and ear cleaning costs Rs. 30 each. For ear cleaning they use ear cleansing tonic.
There is another hip dog parlour called Tailwagger in Bandra. Gauri Keskar and Urmila Dabholkar (earlier worked with PETA) are the pioneers in this field in India. The duo felt the pulse of the demand to establish such innovative parlour after painstaking survey of the city. The Celebrities throng it. The list is serpentine, Fardeen Khan, Esha Deol, Salman Khan, Arjun Rampal, Preity Zinta, among others. 

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