With the summer holidays in full swing, many of Doha’s residents have been housing their pets in boarding kennels and other facilities to ensure that their animals are well-looked after while they are away.
However, the problem facing pet-owning travellers is the lack of space in the few facilities in Qatar, and the ever-increasing demand for the few available places.
During the school holidays, many households are completely empty whilst whole families and even domestic staff often take their leave during the hottest period of the year. But this leads to an issue which is often forgotten – and this is the need for somewhere and someone to bear the responsibility of looking after the family pet that is being left behind.
Currently, pets can be boarded at the Paws and Claws kennels or the Pampered Pets farm, but there are also a number veterinary surgeries that also run their own boarding facilities on site.
The owners of Pampered Pets Kennels claimed that they aim to provide love and care for their visitors, making the time spent on their farm as much a “holiday” for the pet as the subsequent holiday the kennels allow their owners to take.
“Our caretakers provide the three daily walks, the hugs and kisses, the playtime and socialisation necessary in keeping your animal companion happy, safe and loved while you are away,” they claimed.
Janet Berry from Paws and Claws explained that there was still a huge demand for boarding facilities during the summer, and claimed that her kennels were fully booked as early as March this year, when customers had already booked up the kennels from June until mid-September.
“We are constantly getting phone calls from people who are planning to go away and have not thought about what they are going to do with their pets,” explained Berry, adding “unfortunately we are full to capacity with about 30 dogs and 40 cats as well as birds, hamsters, rabbits and other pets.”
However, Berry pointed out that she has noticed a large increase in the number of holidaymakers who are taking their pets with them when they leave Qatar for their break.
“A lot more people are taking their animals as accompanied baggage as it is not too expensive and probably works out being cheaper than leaving them in boarding kennels in many cases,” she said.
“I always recommend that people who come to the kennels when we are full should look into taking their animals with them,” she said, adding “as long as they are going to be away for at least six weeks then it is definitely worth it – I wouldn’t recommend putting the animals through the process for any less time.”
She also mentioned the European Pet Passport Scheme, which she claimed would further improve the current situation, as people would be able to travel with even more ease from country to country.
“I have been told that government officials are still looking into the scheme, so hopefully it will be introduced soon,” said Berry, adding “hopefully this will also prevent people from simply abandoning their animals when they leave the country for good.”
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