Owners go online to find ways to keep pets involved

Bangalore | New Delhi: Two-year-old Gogo, a rescued Indian, had a change of routine last week thanks to the national lock to hold the Covid-19 pandemic. His walks twice a day gave way to physical and mental games played at home with Shreya Sarkar's owner who came up with the idea for these activities from online content.

Many pet owners, who are struggling to keep their dogs at home, turn to social media and their websites, such as dog trainers, therapists, fellow parents and companies such as Canine People, Easter Tales, Dogspot.in and Happy Tailz. creating digital content with innovative solutions to problems.

Poorvaja Kumar, founder of People of Canines, which creates personalized programs to enhance interactions between humans and their pets, promotes online challenges on social media pages. One of the most recent was an agility exercise, where people used furniture and objects in their homes to drag their dogs down, jump and knit.

"While dogs are very happy to have parents home 24/7, it's also very much emphasized to be cooped up," Kumar told ET.

Rana Atheya, founder of Dogspot.in, said that in addition to posting a lot of content, the portal also has a pet expert to answer questions and get about 200 calls a day. "Right now, the focus is on helping the community," he said. "We're talking about how Covid-19 doesn't affect pets and how to keep your dogs calm."

The launch, whose investors include Ratan Tata, has also partnered with K9 School India, which is hosting live Instagram meetings to conduct dog training activities.

Namratha Rao, a dog trainer and behaviorist and founder of Pawsitive Tales, tells her social media followers to hide dry treats around the balcony or terraces and let pets suck them. "This is a great workout thanks to the exposure to different sounds, textures and smells of the outside world," Rao told ET.

Freya Rehman, co-founder of Happy Tailz, a startup that designs puzzles and pets for pets, said she received many questions. The startup now instructs parents to play DIY games.

Akshay Gupta, founder of pet fed pet pet, said: "We create content about nutrition and training and we also ask people to share videos with the fun things they do with pets."