Up until recently, pet owners in Bahrain didn’t really have a lot of options when it comes to the training and emotional health (yes, that’s a thing and it’s really important) of their pets. Nonetheless, things are slowly but surely turning for the better with the launch of the Pets Academy. Did you also envision little puppies and kittens wearing cute graduation gowns like we did after reading the name? Too cute of a mental image.
If you are a proud parent of a beloved four-legged furry family member, you should definitely check out their services. As usual, we made it easier for you with this article.
We recently got in touch with Duaa Al Masqati, founder of Pets Academy to discuss what prompted them to launch this initiative, its impact on the target market, and the viability of this rather unique business model, among other topics.
All about their background.
Pets Academy started off as a new online platform to help pet owners to provide better care to the emotional and behavioral aspects of their cats and dogs.
Duaa, the Founder, started Pets Academy to provide general pet care information and counter misconceptions that often lead to abandonment, neglect, and abuse of animals.
“I have been doing animal rescue on my own for the past few years and noticed that pets are being abandoned on the streets or in shelters over small issues; issues that can be easily resolved with the right approach,” said explained.
Currently, Pets Academy is purely a social platform with users reaching out to Duaa using Instagram and WhatsApp, then consulting her and her team through video calls, or even requesting an on-site visit. The latter is the go-to choice for pet owners who would rather have an expert visiting their homes and demonstrate to them the proper ways to interact and train a pet. They have also introduced virtual training sessions, in order to continue offering their training remotely amidst the pandemic.
Understanding their services.
Currently, Pets Academy primarily focuses on two services:
- Feline or Cat Behaviorist: Pets Academy experts use their years of experience in cat behavioral study and training to address specific cat issues. Notably, this is the first-of-its-kind offering in the Kingdom.
- On-site dog training: Traditionally, dog training is a somewhat expensive service in Bahrain that costs you anywhere between 150 BD to 450 BD per dog. Pets Academy attempts to resolve that by offering a very affordable dog training program. Not only is it affordable, but Pets Academy’s experts also do something that most dog trainers do not usually prefer doing — they help dog owners to learn how to train their dogs by themselves.
On that note, Duaa said: “Through Pets Academy I would teach people how to train their dog instead of simply training the dog for them. That way, they can visualize how they should be interacting with their pet and how to train them; and in case the client has multiple dogs they would be able to train the other dogs on their own because they would have the techniques and skills to do so.” She also added “It’s very important that owners train their dogs themselves because it helps in strengthening their relationship with their pet, which is why we prefer teaching them the right approach, rather than doing the training for them”
Another big difference that separates Pets Academy from other kennel trainer businesses is that Pets Academy conducts their training sessions in the clients homes, that way the clients can witness the training process and the pet is in a familiar environment, hence they would be more receptive to the training that is taking place. This is in stark contrast with most other training facilities where you are required to bring the pet to their premises.
Additionally, Pets Academy also regularly posts informative content in both Arabic and English that pet owners can use to educate themselves about feline and canine-related issues.
What it’s looking like so far.
We asked Duaa to share a couple of examples of the types of cases they have so far worked on. This is what she had to say:
“We have had many people contact us regarding different situations. A lady reached out to us once because her cat kept relieving itself in her plant pots instead of the litterbox, we told her what needs to be done and it was resolved instantly.”
She added, “Another client contacted us because her dog kept on chewing on her furniture. She explained that she walks her dog 3 times a day to tire her out, but it’s not working. So I explained to her the importance of both physical and mental stimulation in order to avoid destructive behavior, I then went over to her house and showed her how to provide that mental stimulation for her dog – she soon messaged me telling me how well behaved her little girl has been since the training session.”
Despite starting small, Pets Academy has already made itself quite a reputation even outside Bahrain which is evident from the fact that Duaa is often contacted by people from the broader GCC region as well as regional countries.
We’re totally loving this sort of new culture of listening to your pets in order to really understand their needs, it’s definitely a paw in the right direction when it comes to treating animals in the best way possible.