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From sleeping in their own room to specially prepared food, some dogs in Malaysia are pampered by their owners | Life

Grooming centers provide socialization services for dogs where they are placed in open areas with other dogs to mingle with each other.  — Photo by Farhan Najib
Grooming centers provide socialization services for dogs where they are placed in open areas with other dogs to mingle with each other. — Photo by Farhan Najib

IPOH, April 8 — She has her own air-conditioned bedroom that is stocked with countless toys.

But sometimes Bozzi the Silky Terrier still sneaks into his human daddy Richard Lee’s room to sleep in his bed.

Welcome to the world of dogs that share a good life with humans.

Richard Lee said that Bozzi, the Silky Terrier, sleeps in an air-conditioned room and receives daily transportation by car.  — Image courtesy of Richard Lee
Richard Lee said that Bozzi, the Silky Terrier, sleeps in an air-conditioned room and receives daily transportation by car. — Image courtesy of Richard Lee

Sole proprietor Lee said that in addition to sleeping in air-conditioned rooms, Bozzi also takes daily car rides.

“I take her for a 30-minute drive before the day is out,” Lee said of her four-year-old dog.

As people stop having children, pets, especially dogs, are embraced to provide companionship.

A study last year found that nearly 50 percent of households in Malaysia had pets.

To make sure Bozzi is in good health, Lee feeds him home-cooked meals instead of store-bought kibble.

“She has a choice of tuna, salmon or pork, either grilled or steamed,” he said, adding that for snacks, Bozzi eats cream crackers.

Bozzi’s special diet comes from Lee’s years of experience raising dogs.

“Before Bozzi, I had another Silky Terrier who suffered from a number of health problems.”

“He only recovered after I changed his diet to home cooking,” said the 60-year-old, who can’t keep track of how much money he spends on Bozzi.

In addition to his special diet and daily car rides, Bozzi also meets his friends during his outings to hair salons.

“Since she stays home alone most of the time due to my schedule, I would sometimes send her to daycare so she could play with other dogs.”

Businesswoman Eunice Chen said her three dogs are not caged at home and sleep with her in her room at night.  — Image courtesy of Eunice Chen
Businesswoman Eunice Chen said her three dogs are not caged at home and sleep with her in her room at night. — Image courtesy of Eunice Chen

Like Lee, businesswoman Eunice Chen’s three dogs — two poodles and a shih tzu — roam freely around her home.

A non-believer of the cage, the 32-year-old said the trio also sleeps with her in her room at night.

“They are very close to me and they are like my babies.”

Although Chen spends up to RM600 on their food, he also sends them out to groom themselves periodically.

“This is to ensure they have a beautiful coat.”

Special services available for dogs

Just like humans, all the work and no play makes Jack a boring kid.

Some dogs become anxious and fearful of anything unknown if they are not well socialized.

Therefore, grooming centers provide socialization services for dogs where they are placed in open areas with other dogs to mingle with each other.

Friendly Pet House owner Jason Hoe said that unlike boarding houses where dogs are kept in their respective enclosures, some owners send their dogs to daycare.

“Some dogs get upset when they are left home alone. Therefore, owners will send them to daycare where their pets can play and socialize with other dogs and reduce their energy.”

Gone too are the days when owners groomed their pets themselves.

The friendly owner of the Pet House, Jason Hoe.  — Photo by Farhan Najib
The friendly owner of the Pet House, Jason Hoe. — Photo by Farhan Najib

Hoe said that just like humans going to salons and beauticians for grooming, dogs are also sent to grooming centers.

“Pet owners send their dogs for a complete grooming that involves trimming hair and nails.”

“For owners who want to pamper their pets more, there are also spa sessions where a special shampoo is used to help the dogs’ hair become more fluffy and the color of the hair stands out,” he said.

On special occasions, owners also ask for their pet’s hair to be specially styled or even dyed with non-permanent dyes that can be washed off with water.

Specially prepared meals and restaurant dinners.

On special occasions, there are special dog food to usher in the festive season.  — Image via Facebook/ FurrenzPets
On special occasions, there are special dog food to usher in the festive season. — Image via Facebook/ FurrenzPets

As people become more health conscious, they also want their pets to stay healthy.

While some owners feed their pets mass-produced kibble, Furrenz.com provides pets with freshly prepared foods that help keep pets healthy.

Its operator SY Cheah said its dog food is made from a wide variety of meats, including poultry, wild boar, lamb, beef, duck and fish.

“To the meat we add vitamins, supplements, vegetables, fruits and offal,” he said, adding that the meat is fed raw.

Cheah said that one of the positives of feeding raw food to pets is that they will have a nicer coat.

“Sometimes pet owners feed their pets raw food due to pet health issues.”

During the festive seasons, Cheah also has food to mark the occasion.

“The next occasion we will celebrate is the Dumpling Festival. Instead of sticky rice, my Zhong Zhi will be made from just meat.”

The specially prepared holiday food, Cheah said, was to ensure the dogs weren’t left out of the celebrations.

If eating at home isn’t your thing, there are also pet-friendly restaurants that allow four-legged customers.

Owners can take their pets to pet-friendly restaurants to celebrate special occasions.  — Facebook Image/ CuBs & Mugs
Owners can take their pets to pet-friendly restaurants to celebrate special occasions. — Image from Facebook/CuBs & CuPs

Cubs and Cups co-owner Peyman Baba Shamsi said that in addition to providing food for pet owners, his cafe at Desa Sri Hartamas also caters to pets.

“Pet owners have the option of fusion food, while their pets can choose between poultry, pork, fish and vegetables.”

To celebrate special occasions like birthdays, Peyman said coffee helps pet owners, too.

“Owners can book our cafe and invite other pet owners to celebrate their pet’s special occasion.”

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