Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Making a meal of it: how one man went from dog phobia to dog dinners

Mumbai businessman Wasiff Khan used to be scared of dogs, particularly the strays on the street of the bustling Indian city. But once he took inspiration from tiffin box deliveries of food to homes and offices, his fear turned into a thriving business and a new-found respect and love for dogs.

Homecare Dogfood now provides daily deliveries of dog meals to the likes of Bollywood A-listers and top executives.

"The dogs know that the food is coming. They jump up. It's so nice to see that, to know that they are waiting for the product. They don't need to see a watch. They start barking. They're very intelligent animals," Khan is quoted as saying in the AFP article which prompted me to write this post.

Four years ago, Khan got inspiration for the idea and worked on overcoming his fear. Undertanding that dogs are members of the family, he undertook research into appropriate foods for different breeds and ages, noted the favourite foods of his clients' dogs and spoke to animal health specialists.

The first meal was a meat and rice mixture, similar to those that vets sometimes recommend for dogs with a sensitive tummy. The local strays loved it, and the potential clients who were offered free samples found themselves signing up to deliveries.

You can read the full article about Khan's business model and they way his innovative idea developed by following the link above. Sure, most of us would still happily schlep to the supermarket or order online for a bag or case of commercial food (or the ingredients for a carefully-prepared home diet) but it's still promising to see that someone with a fear can grow to love dogs and understand the reverence with which they're treated in loving homes.

[Image source as above]
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