Mangaluru's first ‘dog cafe’ has opened its doors in the city and is ready to cater to animal lovers and their four-legged friends. Known as ‘K9 Resto Cafe,’ the restaurant opened in mid-April and serves Indian, Chinese, Continental food as well as short eats.
Situated in Sharbat Katte near Yeyyadi, K9-Resto Café is split into two-floors and has an exclusive basement section for people and their pets. In fact, the restaurant has a special kitchen dedicated to preparing food for dogs.
"Dogs have more love to give than humans and they definitely deserve a place of their own," said Karthik Shetty, owner of K9 Resto Café.
A former airline employee, Karthik said that he was inspired by other dog cafes in cities he had visited. “I just wanted to combine my passion for opening a cafe with my love of dogs. Mangaluru has a lot of pet lovers and dog enthusiasts and a cafe like this is just what it needs. As an animal lover myself, I know that a lot of animal lovers want to spend quality time with their beloved pets beyond the four walls of their home,” he said.
Besides offering a variety of food menu, K9 Resto Café also has facilities for animals, such as a grooming centre, massage parlour and a day-care facility that has offers a monthly subscription service.
Most pet owners can't take their pets to restaurants and are often forced to leave them at home or in someone else’s care. “Dog owners can drop off their pet dogs and collect them by the end of the day. There are various monthly packages available for the owners to choose from,” Karthik said.
Caring for three dogs himself, Karthik added that it's a great spot for animal lovers to meet and discover like-minded people who share similar interests. The venture, he says, also aims to help people overcome their fear of dogs. "A lot of people may have had bad experiences with dogs in the past. We want to change that. Some of our visitors also come here, so that they can regain their confidence or discover the joy and comfort that animals bring with them," Karthik said.
The cafe already has nine in-house dogs of various breeds, including a Husky, a St. Bernard, a Labrador, a Retriever, a Cocker Spaniel, a Chow Chow, a Pug and a German Shepherd. These are trained dogs and they also interact with the pets that come along with the customers.
But it was only after meticulous planning that the dogs were brought to Mangaluru over a year ago so that they could acclimatise to the weather. “Special breeds like Huskies require a cool environment throughout and hence are provided with air-conditioning, fans in the café, wherever they move around in the vicinity," Karthik said.
Karthik has even stylised and decorated the interiors to reflect the cafes love of dogs with a spray-painted mural.
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