Sean Parker
Sean Parker, General Manager, My Second Home Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai’s booming pet care sector is getting ready for a bumper summer as owners finalise plans to make sure the whole family gets a chance to kick back and relax. But what’s driving the huge increase in demand for high-end dog and cat boarding and day care?

Much of the growth being experienced across the My Second Home group’s huge flagship DIP resort and newer Al Quoz facility, stems from the inexorable march of the pet humanisation trend, the large number of apartment dwellers in the Emirate and the tail of the upsurge in ownership during the pandemic.

More and more owners are coming to see themselves as pet parents rather than just owners, and as they look to treat their dogs like children, they’re seeking a more interactive and customised home-from-home experience for them when they’re away. Creating such an experience is a huge responsibility on Dubai’s boarding and day care facilities to make sure dogs are given a chance to rehearse appropriate behaviour and engage the regions of their brains that only managed interaction with other dogs can accomplish. Day care demand is driven by the summer temperatures, which make outdoor exercise impossible, as well as by the rising number of dogs living in apartments and villas with small gardens that don’t permit off leash exercise.

Meeting the needs of dogs requires a lot of indoor recreation space with appropriate non-slip flooring and regular opportunities to go to the toilet in dedicated areas rather in rest or play space. Enough room for invigorating exercise is important - ideally with a chance to swim under the supervision of a high ratio of trained staff.

All dogs should be assessed before being allowed to use a facility to protect them and their playmates. Happy and well-adjusted dogs produce a safe and secure environment, and vice versa. Ensuring vaccinations are up to date is also important – as is making sure the immunity is sufficient via a quick and simple VacciCheck. Risk assessment should sit at the heart of every facility and owners should insist on ISO accreditation for safety systems and procedures.