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Dhriti Gandhi Ranjan
Dhriti Gandhi Ranjan

PET CAFES

Paw-some experience

66theloveroom What fun! A family unwinding with their pet dog at The Love Room restaurant in Kolkata | Salil Bera

Dog beer and gluten-free pizzas are among the attractions at pet cafes

Nayni Tandon, 29, has not taken up a regular job after she got a gift—a labrador named Gogo—from her friend in 2015. She used to tutor students at her home. It was then that she thought of opening a dog cafe, Puppychino, in Shahpur Jat, Delhi, where people could relax with them.

Said Nayni, “Puppychino happened out of our experience. None of the restaurants in Delhi used to allow dogs inside the premises. Our cafe is for doggie parents who want to take their dogs out, instead of leaving them behind, and enjoy good food together.”

With three resident dogs (Gogo and two Siberian huskies, Simba and Maya) on the premises, Puppychino offers day boarding services for dogs. The cafe has kept two-thirds of the area as a play zone where pets roam unchained. The remaining area is used as the sitting space for pets and their owners.

Said Nayni, “We allow owners to bring food from home and share their pets’ schedule. No pet is forced to eat the cafe’s food. Our staff provide all the assistance to feed the dogs, cats and other animals.”

65aiabradornew Anything for my doggie: A labrador and its owner relaxing at the TherPUP Cafe in Bengaluru | Bhanu Prakash Chandra

Puppychino offers a delectable menu: popsicles, shakes, pizzas, pasta, pancakes, muffins, etc. The dishes are prepared by the in-house chefs under Nayni’s supervision. They say all the ingredients are dog-friendly and have less sugar, salt and spices, keeping in mind the animals’ digestive system. Said Nayni, “We do not add syrups or artificial substances in popsicles. We serve pizza made from gluten-free flour, oats and eggs.” She said that birthdays of dogs are celebrated at the cafe, with cakes made with healthy ingredients such as curd, gluten-free flour, eggs and carrots.

Mumbai-born Sahil Gupta, owner, TabulaBeach, in Delhi, opened his cafe in 2011 along with his friends Rohan Gupta and Sameer Kohli. Said Sahil Gupta, “After doing research, I realised none of the cafes in Delhi was pet-friendly. I come from Bandra where most of the cafes and restaurants are pet-friendly. There are parks for dogs by the beach, where I walked every evening. I wished for something similar in Delhi, and that’s how we made TabulaBeach, a pet-friendly cafe.”

In keeping with its name, TabulaBeach has pits of sand to give it a beach-like feel since dogs like playing in sand. Nested in the Asiad Village, the beach-themed cafe allows dogs to roll in mud. The cafe offers a platter of good treats for dogs. Five different flavours of packed doggy treats—chicken, juicy chicken, chicken hotdog, oatmeal (for vegetarian pets) and chicken mini burger—are served along with biscuits. The cafe also offers boiled chicken to supplement their protein intake. Birthday parties are organised at the cafe with dogs of varied breeds participating.

Said Nandini Singh Jhabua, an art curator, “I regularly visit TabulaBeach on Sundays with my husband, two kids and Leo [her beagle]. The best thing about the place is that besides concentrating on the packaged dog food, they also have boiled chicken. It is really a healthy treat and light on stomach.” TabulaBeach organises special games for the furry buddies.

Said Gupta, “On special occasions, like the birthday celebrations of dogs, we don’t prepare food in the kitchen as we are not equipped to do that. We tie up with companies that are in the business.”

Bubbles Singh, who is a regular visitor at TabulaBeach, said the cafe was a friendly and comfortable place for all dog lovers. Said Singh, “Bux, our pug, is not so friendly and hates to stay at home. He goes for walks but that’s not enough to keep him playful. Confining dogs to the homes makes them lethargic and angry.”

TherPUP in Bengaluru offers a larger-than-life experience for dog lovers, with 10 well-trained resident dogs and a wholesome meal that is prepared in consultation with veterinary doctors. Vinayak Chaturvedi and Ankur Jain, who manage the cafe, turned their love for dogs into a passionate business venture. Said Jain, “We have 8,000 square feet of area, which is attached to a bungalow. Despite that, we have kept only 60 chairs as we wanted a massive area for dogs to move around.”

Said Chaturvedi, “We did our research on dog food and came to know that dogs are allergic to milk products. So we introduced yak milk in the dishes as it is considered to be the healthiest supplement. Besides, we give dogs buttermilk, chicken stock, veggies, rice, pumpkin, carrots and sweet potatoes.” The cafe also serves healthy desserts, such as melony popsicle, made from coconut milk and watermelon. Also listed in the menu is the dog beer, which has no alcohol. “Chicken stock, vegetables and malt extracts are used [in the beer]. To clarify, malt does not have any side effects on animals,” said Chaturvedi.

66frequenters At your service, pooches: Frequenters and their pets at TabulaBeach, a beach-themed cafe in Delhi | Aayush Goel

Beer for dogs is also a part of The Love Room, Kolkata, a concept by Shruti Singh and Ankush Battoo, who met through common friends who share a love for dogs. Started last September, it offers a four-course meal. It has an in-house area with nine residential dogs.

The Love Room, besides offering continental dishes for humans, is known for its dog pizza (done with wheat base, de-seeded tomato sauce, chicken and egg pieces), vegetable pasta, chicken and rice with turmeric, fish and egg tacos as well as chicken stick with gravy and veggies (which includes grilled chicken breast pieces served with herbs and veggies like carrots and sweet potato). Said Singh, “We consult veterinary doctors on the food habits of the pets. The only spices that are added are herbs like celery, mint, parsley and basil.”

Zoo Bar, in Mumbai, which offers simple dishes, was started by Nishant Joshi, a proud owner of nearly 40 animals. Said Joshi, “Throughout my life, I have been an animal lover. We conceptualised Zoo Bar after I had trouble taking my bulky dogs to eating-out places. No restaurants or cafes allowed my babies, so I decided to open a place where animals could share a meal with humans.” Zoo Bar serves simple and nutritious food like buttermilk, chicken pops and vegetable pops.

A dog’s world

Puppychino, Delhi: It is the first dog cafe in Delhi. The cafe has dedicated two-thirds of the area as a play zone where pets are kept unchained. Popsicles, pasta, pancakes, etc, are offered to dogs.

TherPUP, Bengaluru: The cafe serves desserts. Also listed in the menu is the dog beer, which has no alcohol.

TabulaBeach, Delhi: The beach-themed cafe allows dogs to roll in mud. The cafe offers chicken, juicy chicken, chicken hotdog, oatmeal (for vegetarian pets) and chicken mini burger, along with biscuits.

The Love Room, Kolkata: The cafe is known for its dog pizza (done with wheat base and de-seeded tomato sauce, chicken and egg pieces).

Zoo Bar, Mumbai: It is known for providing a special menu for pets. Simple food like buttermilk, chicken pops and vegetable pops are available for all pets keeping in mind their nutritious content.

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The Week

Topics : #lifestyle | #dining

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