Benita Adesuyan gets a guided tour around the new luxury My Second Home, the world’s largest indoor dog park, that can accommodate 170 canines, and discovers that a dog’s life isn’t quite so bad after all.
When three dog owners met in the desert, none of them knew that a year later they’d be creating the world’s largest indoor dog park.
My Second Home, in Dubai Investment Park, is a dog’s dream. The huge indoor space is fully air-conditioned, has a pool for dogs to take a dip and plenty of toys and food are all at hand. Owners can also use the park as a place to exercise their dogs and escape the searing heat. And when they need a holiday, they can check their beloved four-legged friend into one of 200 luxury suites, safe in the knowledge that their pet will have all the same comforts that they would at home – if not more.
‘There’s not enough animal facilities around,’ says Sanjiv Dhiman, one of the park’s co-founders. ‘There are only a few little parks in Dubai where you can take your dogs. You can’t take them to the beach for a swim, and you can only take them to the desert to let them off the leash, but many get lost out there. So we decided to create our own space.’
The dog park and boarding suites opened at the beginning of the month and have already secured a number of regular day-care users and suites have been booked up for the summer hiatus. Dhiman says that My Second Home is giving some of the city’s dog owners the first real chance to take a break. ‘So far, the business that we’re getting is from people who have never boarded their dogs before,’ Dhiman says. ‘People never went to boarding kennels because they naturally assumed that the dog would be inside all day and in a cage. But that’s what we’re trying to get away from.’
The indoor park is open to all dog owners as long as the dog has passed the park’s rigorous registration and assessment process and is registered with Dubai Municipality. When inside the park, owners are fully responsible for their pet while they exercise their dogs on the turf, but boarders can enjoy one-on-one handler attention.
Some breeds, such as the Pitt Bull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier cannot be imported into the UAE, but according to the Dubai Municipality, if they’re already in the country, they can remain, so long as they are muzzled while in public places and registered with the Municipality. As such, the centre also accepts them.
Vaughn Pillay, the centre’s animal behaviourist and head dog trainer assesses every dog before deciding if it can use the park or reside in it. Another key aspect of the park is that it only allows dogs of the same size and temperament to play at the same time. ‘We separate dogs by size because some are boisterous and/or energetic. We don’t want the little ones in with larger, more aggressive dogs,’ he says.
Especially small breeds are catered for, too, at the park’s ‘Little Gems’ accommodation, which resembles a child’s nursery complete with chandeliers and action hero paintings, is designed specifically for delicate breeds. And in a bid to recreate home completely, all the brightly coloured rooms in the villas have flat screen TVs mounted on the walls, showing www.dogtv.com – a channel scientifically designed to provide the right kind of company for dogs when left alone – around the clock. The dogs sleep in rooms with orthopaedic beds, and the Dhs350 per night presidential suite is, at 12 foot by eight foot, larger than some people’s bedrooms. ‘Before the dog is checked in, we go to its house and take pictures, so we can recreate that environment to whatever extent the owners want,’ says Dhiman. ‘So if the dog always sits on the couch, we’ll put a couch in its suite. If it likes an armchair, that’s what we’ll provide.’
The whole facility is made with the dogs’ comfort and its owner’s peace of mind at heart. Suites are painted with lick-proof paint that is non-toxic, so it doesn’t irritate the skin. All lights are LED, as the flicker from normal lights can affect a dog’s mood. In addition, the designated dog’s kitchen will provide your pooch’s favourite meal.
My Second Home has plans to expand and in the next two months its accommodation will double, Groomingdales spa will open at the facility, providing pet pedicures and fur trimming, a cattery will be introduced, as will a supervised crèche for those visiting the park with young children, and, to top off the luxury, a shaded outdoor Balinese resort-themed doggy pool will open next month. It would appear that a dog’s life isn’t quite so bad after all.
Dhs500 (one-time membership fee), from Dhs50 (dog park usage for one dog and owner), from Dhs100 (day care for one dog), from
Dhs150 (single occupancy in a standard room). Dubai Investment Park, www.mysecondhomedubai.com (055 221 6351).
Other animal boarding services in Dubai
The Pet Palace of Dubai
A luxurious dog kennel and cattery.
Al Quoz, www.petpalace.ae (04 323 6993).
Urban Tails Pet Resort
Offers dog and cat boarding as well as day care.
Dubai Investment Park, www.urbantailsdubai.com (04 884 8847).
Dubai Kennels & Cattery
A home for felines and canines run by an experienced vet.
Motor City, www.dkc.ae (04 211 4800).