Playful pet parenting

People have realized, especially after COVID-19, that pets are family members, not strangers.

HYDERABAD: Pet rearing has been a trend for a long time and has become essential for many people. Understanding how to do it right is crucial, so CE spoke to JS Rama Krishna, Growel Group’s head of pet nutrition, who shared his knowledge on effective pet parenting.

Having been in the industry for 18 years, Rama Krishna is well versed in animal care. He explained: “I am also a parent of pets, and it is better to refer to ourselves as parents of pets instead of owners. In India, we always treat animals as part of the family.

Even a cow would have a name and be referred to as “she” or “he”, never “it”. While the term “pet parenting” is relatively new, the concept has always existed in India. People have realized, especially after COVID-19, that animals are family members, not strangers. Many people who live alone for work or other reasons find comfort and companionship in their pets. Animals understand emotions, which is what makes them special.”

Discussing the importance of pet food, Rama Krishna highlighted a gap in the market for vegetarian pet food. “About 32 percent of India’s population is vegetarian, and we have 40 million households, many with a cat or a dog. Some people are uncomfortable with non-vegetarian pet foods and resort to feeding their pets egg whites and vegetables. At Growel, we are soon launching a vegetarian range of pet foods, using ingredients that meet the nutritional needs of animals at different stages of life.”

JS Rama Krishna

On the topic of adopting indie dogs, Rama Krishna emphasized the need for caution. “It’s great that people adopt indie dogs, moving away from the trend of owning pure breeds, which often leads to puppy mills and genetic defects. Indie dogs can be stubborn, so it’s important to understand their behavior and connect with them according to their moods. Every animal has unique behaviors, and responsible parenting involves adapting to these differences.”

Rama Krishna also advised socializing pets, especially at events. “Consider your pet’s comfort levels. Gradually acclimate to larger groups of dogs, perhaps by visiting local parks. Sudden exposure to large gatherings can cause stress and irritability. Training your dog to remain calm in different environments and involving them in your daily life is key.”

He concluded with a message for all pet parents: “Always give time to your pet and allow it to grow with its individuality. Take care of its nutrition, as a healthier pet is a happier pet. Animals are not stressed unless there is a change in their environment.Encourage everyone to experience the joy of having an animal.Pet cafes are a great way to experience animal affection , which is something that can really enrich your life.

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