This International Dog Day, save a stray with The Woof Roof or curate a special box for your beloved pet from thedogbox.in
International Dog Day which falls on August 26th is a day in which we celebrate every dog, no matter what breed they might be, across the world.
It is a day we give back to a species, that gives so much to us humans, unconditionally and without any expectation in return.
Man and dog, go back to centuries ago when we were mere hunter gatherers, and dogs were pack animals.
It was when the two came together, that they were unstoppable. Man became dogs’ best friend, and dogs became man's faithful companion.
Over the year’s dogs have been domesticated and continue to be by our side, showing us utmost loyalty, compassion, protection, and most importantly, love.
As the famous saying by French poet and writer, Anatole France goes, 'Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.’
On International Dog Day YS Weekender spoke to Diljit Kaur co-founder of 'The Woof Roof', an NGO, and Harsh Chandak, Co-Founder, ‘thedogbox.in' company, on the work they are doing to make the lives of our four-legged friends safe and special.
The Woof Roof
YSW: When was your NGO, The Woof Roof started and what was the motivation behind it?
DK: We started long back because of our passion and love for animals but we gave the name, registered ourselves as an NGO, and started giving dedicated time during the lockdown.
We saw many street dogs starving for basics like food and water and it was disheartening to see them suffering! So, gradually we spread our area of food distribution every day.
YSW: Where are you located?
DK: Vaishali, Ghaziabad.
YSW: How do you go about finding stray dogs, and ensuring that they are vaccinated, de-wormed and find safe homes?
DK: We mostly put puppies for adoption, and we do the first round of vaccinations when they are about 6 weeks old.
We also adopt some of them at The Woof Roof, who need extra care or are ill.
We maintain their vaccination report cards and catch up with the dog parents once in a while either on the phone or by meeting them.
YSW: How many members in your core team?
DK: As of now just the two of us, my husband, Dev and I.
YSW: Which veterinary clinic, doctors, or healthcare staff do you work in close association with?
DK: We have our go-to vet near our home itself, Laxmi Dog Clinic. Dr Manoj also accompanies us sometimes when we rescue the dogs.
YSW: How have you managed to successfully help over 100+ dogs, and how does the fruit of your hard work feel?
DK: It’s an overwhelming feeling! When you return from work to the shelter it’s like therapy. All the stress goes away when they come running towards me!
YSW: How does one go about contacting The Woof Roof, upon finding a stray? And what necessary precautions should the individual take, to best help the animal.
DK: We do not have many channels to reach us, but people are getting in touch on Instagram/ Facebook. We are also active on local Facebook groups. We get to know about a dog in need when people post on these social media platforms.
One of the smartest ways is to call a local vet and speak to him, tell him the condition of the dog and follow his instructions.
If you think you can take him to the nearby animal hospital, that’s the best.
Please do remember that an animal can be harmful when he is in pain. You need to earn his trust before helping him.
YSW: Your advice/tips to those wishing to help stray dogs near their home or on their street?
DK: Start by feeding them basic food and water. Provide them shelter in peak summers, monsoons, and winters. Report the stray dog in pain to your local NGOs.
YSW: Are there any leading NGOs or other pet care organisations you would like to partner with in the future?
DK: OSD (Voice of Stray Dogs) Official by Rakesh Shukla in Bangalore. @themodernmowgli19, run by a 23-year-old and @kvaab_welfare, run by Kunaal Bose.
YSW: What is your message to dog lovers this International Dog Day?
DK: CREATE A PAW-SITIVE IMPACT! Our dogs selflessly comfort us, keep us safe and bring a smile to our faces.
They are man’s best friend for a reason! Take some time to give them back the love.
Do your bit to rescue the homeless & harmed dogs and pat them with care. That’s all :)
The Dog Box
YSW: Tell us about what inspired ‘thedogbox.in’
HC: The origin of The Dog Box was in 2019 at the University of Warwick, where Harshit, our founder, was tasked to write a dissertation.
Little did we know that this 30,000-word document would play such a crucial role in developing our envisioned platform!
Fast-forward to a year later, during which we surveyed over 700 people, brainstormed for thousands of hours and underwent countless iterations, ‘The Dog Box’ was finally born, with three determined co-founders; Harshit, Harsh and Kushal at its helm. Together, they embarked on a quest to revolutionise the way pet parenting works.
YSW: Where are you’ll located?
HC: We are based out of Bangalore, but being an e-commerce website, we deliver our boxes across the country.
YSW: How do you go about changing the lives of dogs out there with your unique pet boxes?
HC: At The Dog Box we want to create experiences for your dogs to suit their unique personalities.
Each of our boxes are designed to match your dog's breed, age and personality. (BAP).
Thereby making it the ‘BAP’ of all boxes, or at least that’s what we like to say.
YSW: What does one find in the Dog Box? And what is each box priced at?
HC: The Dog Box includes a whole host of dog care products like tail-chasing toys, tempting treats, a host of grooming products, fun accessories and much more that are sure to delight your dog.
Usually each of our boxes have 1-2 toys, 2 grooming products, 2 treats and 1 surprise accessory.
We have a range of 3 wonderfully curated boxes (The Shiny Silver Wag-On, The Bold Gold Wag-On and The Plucky Platinum Wag-On) of pet care.
A fully loaded monthly subscription box starts at Rs 2500, but if you subscribe for longer periods of time you can get the same boxes for as low as Rs 2100 per month.
Also, we have free shipping for all our subscribers and the value of the box is always more than what you actually pay.
YSW: With each dog box purchased, you go about helping feed a stray. What are some of the foods you provide to stray animals?
HC: Yes, that is true. This is an initiative we are really passionate about. We normally, tend to feed them boiled rice, along with biscuits and the occasional treat.
YSW: How many members do you have in your core team?
HC: Our core team consists of three members, essentially our three Co-Founders; Harshit, Harsh and Kushal. All three of us are handling the day-to-day operations of the business. Additionally, we have a third party that assists us with our digital marketing activities.
YSW: Who are some of the companies and pet care startups you have collaborated with in the past to bring your vision to life?
HC: We have collaborated with many pet care startups such as Paw Petisserie, Capt Zack, Bark Butler, Papa Pawsome etc.
The entire list can be found on our website. These companies have been instrumental in helping us bringing our vison to life as they have guided us from the beginning.
YSW: Who would you most like to collaborate with in the future?
HC: Being a subscription box service, we have to continuously provide our customers with unique and high-quality products.
This is why we are always on the lookout for collaborations with individuals and companies that can offer us a unique and high-quality dog care products.
YSW: How do you ensure all the dogs nutrition needs are met? And do you customise your boxes according to the breed of the dog, age, and health concerns?
HC: Every customer of ours has to go through a registration process wherein we collect all the information to meet their dogs' requirements as per their BAP.
Additionally, we take feedback from our all our customers and combine it with our systems to ensure that the next box is better than the current one. So, in essence the box keeps getting better with time.
YSW: What has the response been like from pet owners out there?
HC: Being a new company, it took us time to gain some trust in the market and we are still working on increasing our brand presence.
However, the love and warmth that we have received in such a short time span has really been overwhelming.
More importantly, the valuable feedback given by them has helped us improve our offering substantially.
YSW: Your message to pet lovers this International Dog Day?
HC: The best way to celebrate International Dog Day is to it go and pamper them. In fact, don’t just celebrate the day with your dog but also with all yours doggo's friends on the streets! Feed a stray on this special day.
YSW: Are you coming up with any new exciting products or features?
HC: We are going to be launching our ‘One-Time Purchase Boxes' as well as our ‘Gift The Dog Box’ sections by mid-September. This is something we are very excited about, especially with the festive season coming up.
Edited by Asha Chowdary