By Anna Valmero
PASIG CITY, METRO MANILA - With 50 different shops and salons spread in a section of this 30,000-square meter shopping complex, everyday is a busy day for pet store owners at the Tiendesitas’ Pet Village.
First-time dog and cat owners usually go here to bargain for adjustable and colorful leashes, calming collars, stainless feeding bowls, cute dog clothes, dog cones (to prevent them from licking sores in the body) and travel carriers for different needs, says Jayme Chua, owner of Jayme Petshop at the Pet Village.
A standard dog leash includes body harness-types and collar types. As a rule of thumb, a body harness and leash are more preferable to use with small or toy dogs such as Chihuahuas, Pomeranians, Yorkshire terriers and similar breeds over large dogs.
Depending on the material and size of the leash – whether it is made of cotton, plastic, leather, or stainless steel - prices range from P150 to P1,000. “Calming” collars (P400 up), which contain pheromones from mother dogs to aid in dogs with separation anxiety from their masters who leave for work, are also offered in most shops.
An advice to first-time buyers: Be on the lookout for sales in different shops as they dispose old-style leashes for P50 apiece. Do remember to bring along your dog with you or measure his size to make sure you buy the right leash.
In terms of feeding bowls, there are different types which can be made of plastic or stainless steel, small to large sizes and those that can be placed on raised or hanging twin feeders or on the ground. Unless you want your dog to have a separate water bowl, you can always opt for water dispensers that can be attached to doors of carriers or cages.
Owners who love to dress their dogs can also find a wide array of costumes ranging from school basketball jerseys, casual jeans with prints, tutus and dresses, even formal wear such as a shiny tuxedo with matching cape. This early, dog clothes are on sale from P150 and above in anticipation of the Christmas season.
Dog carriers are among the best-selling pet accessories in most shops. The most affordable and versatile of the carriers are the simple cotton totes (P300 to P800) with an opening for the puppy or dog to peek his or her head out, says Annie, a sales staff of Love Me Petshop.
For long road trips, you can also opt for more expensive stylish leather bags (P2,600 and up) with meshed windows on both sides to allow breathing. If you opt for this bag, make sure that you travel in an air-conditioned car or public vehicle so your pet does not succumb to heat stroke.
For multi-purpose “airline-approved” carriers and crates, always aim to buy one where the pet can stand and turn around. At home, these types of carriers can serve as your pet’s crate where they sleep or put their toys after play. Annie recommends investing in carriers that adhere to flight standards.
The airline-approved carriers can range from P1,000 to P3,000 depending on the size and can be a more useful alternative than metal cages unless you intend to place the cage outside your house.
Most shops also offer canned food and dog food pellets at low prices. When buying them, though, make sure to ask for the expiration date and check for bumps in cans.
Tiendesitas is also a good place to take your pet for all-around grooming. Most pet salons offer a P400-package that includes bathing, brushing their teeth, ear cleaning, cutting of dewclaws, dematting (removing hair locks) and dog haircuts.
One of the best value-for-money pet salons in the area is The Purple Groom (near the car entrance at the North side). This salon is definitely one of the busiest at the Pet Village. It’s also recommended by blogger Lee Ghen She of ShenAddiction.com who says the groomers of the shop are skilled and good at calming dogs during grooming.
“No matter how fancy dog grooming store is, when they have groomers lacking in skill, it’s no use. Thankfully, they take good care of my babies going as far as giving them water when they need it,” wrote Shen. (View photos of her three toy dogs after grooming here.)
Walking your dogs at Tiendesitas is another bonding activity and offers a chance to meet other dog lovers and potential mate for your dog.
A warning for first-time dog owners: make sure that your dog is updated in terms of vaccines and shots to avoid getting viruses from dogs sold in shops. If possible, avoid touching dogs for sale just because they are cute and then proceed with touching your pet or eat without hand washing. Unwashed hands offer a means to transfer diseases and a heartbreak waiting to happen, in case your dog gets sick.
Overall, the shopping experience at Tiendesitas for your pets is a worthwhile experience. You have a wide selection of products. Best of all, you can haggle for prices if you buy in bulk.
How to get there:
By commute, you can reach Tiendesitas from Ortigas Ave. Take a bus or jeepneys headed towards C5. From Makati, you can take an FX in Ayala Avenue going to Cainta or Marikina, which passes by C5.
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