By ALMA J. BUELVA
WHAT started as a pet grooming salon in August 2015 has morphed into a full pet cafe two years later that gives its canine customers and their doting owners thoughtful services fit for a queen.
Barkingham Pet Cafe is located in E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue in Quezon City, a long and busy stretch of road with not much points of interests to offer. So, when a humble pet-friendly establishment with English ambiance opened shop, it attracted a steady stream of dog-loving customers who perhaps also love their teas.
The name Barkingham and the logo of a dog wearing a bearskin hat captured exactly what the British people hold dear in their hearts: their royals and their dogs. Both set the tone for what Filipino dog lovers can expect when they visit the Barkingham Pet Cafe: a royal treatment.
While Barkingham has no red carpet rolled out for visitors, its attention to details helps carry out that London theme in every nook and cranny of the place. Adding a cafe to their dog parlor was a natural progression to give dog owners a place to relax while their dogs are being groomed.
“We specialize in unhurried quality service...We thought there was more we can do for our beloved pet owners who are waiting for their pets to finish their groom. Barkingham is a chill hangout spot for people and pets,” said Pearl Choco, Barkingham's manager.
The cafe area teems with items for humans and dogs alike. The menu lists sandwiches and coffees and teas for the two-legged guests, while paws-ta, pupper patties and sundry items are available for the four-legged ones.
Unlike the usual pet cafes that feature resident pets that guests can play with, Barkingham has no in-house pets. The ones you'll see there are paying (dog) customers who are there for a bath or trim or to nibble on Barkingham's homemade baked dog treats. Pearl said they get visited by at least a hundred pets a week.
“Pet grooming shops are all similar, but we take pride in the connection and genuine love we have for every pet (and pet owner) that comes through our doors,” added Pearl.
True enough, Barkingham uniquely has a veterinarian on standby to check on every dog after being groomed.
“We believe pets and their owners deserve much more, so we put up an in-house vet office to promote a 360-degree wellness of pets...We offer free vet check-ups for our clients after every full groom,” Pearl told MetroPets.
Barkingham's veterinarian is available from Monday to Saturday, 11am to 6pm to provide free check-ups, vaccinations and minor surgeries.
Barkingham's royal-class offerings have customers from south of Metro Manila asking for a branch there. Pearl said they have no expansion plans at the moment, but they are open to building a bigger and better Barkingham for pet owners to enjoy.
“We want to provide only the best service we can and to be a pet's second home where we love and care for them as our own,” she said.
IT was no ordinary Sunday at the park last weekend when dogs of various breeds and sizes occupied the Greenfield District in Pasig for hours of fun.
Exhibitors vied for dog owners' attention by showcasing their products for dogs including food and supplements, clothes and leashes, trolleys and toys, bath and grooming essentials, cages and beds, and a lot more.
Dogs participated in different games along with their owners or handlers for a chance to win special prizes from event sponsors.
Members of different dog clubs proudly brought their dogs to the event, with many of them wearing their groups' official T-shirts.
Paws in the Park 3 was organized by the Philippine Canine Sports Alliance. -- MetroPets
AT Cartimar, a known enclave of pet shops located in Pasay City, one must prepare to part with his hard earned money in exchange for a puppy or a kitten priced willy-nilly by jaded vendors out to make a quick buck.
We set foot once again in this puppy mills territory to document the pet shops' seemingly random pricing that can baffle and shock the naive.
The prices of dogs at Cartimar vary from store to store and they are usually negotiable. Other details such as the dog's color, size and age can also affect the final price.
There are also cats (mostly Persian) and other animals being sold at Cartimar.
Hamsters are being sold P100 a pair for the small breed and P100 each for the big variety.
Ordinary rabbits are priced P450 a pair, while dwarf and lion head rabbits cost P900 a pair.
Also for sale that day was a young pot-bellied pig. The black beauty has a P6,000 tag price, but the vendor was willing to chop off P500 to get rid of him. --- AJB
The following prices were obtained from interviews with shop owners on June 26, 2015:
TIENDESITAS in Pasig City is known for its Pet Village, a special section for pet shops that has seen better days. The area is scheduled to be relocated to a new wing next year. MetroPets "inspected" it recently and noted that the place was cleaner and no pets seem to be in a very bad situation due to neglect unlike before. There are also more shops offering pet grooming services now. Here are the pets we saw.