Puppy ther­apy lifts your mood, but is it good for the puppy?

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - Ab­hi­nav Verma and Ak­shay Kaushal ab­hi­nav.verma@htlive.com

Puppy ther­apy, in which a puppy is de­liv­ered to your doorstep for you to hold and feel bet­ter, is be­ing of­fered by a com­pany based in Gur­gaon. The idea is that if you don’t have a pet, you can de­stress with a cud­dly an­i­mal with­out ac­tu­ally com­mit­ting to all the work that keep­ing a pet re­quires.

Sounds amaz­ing. But though it’s doubtlessly good for the hu­man, is it good for the puppy? What does it mean for the an­i­mal be­ing used as a com­mod­ity?

“You de­stress by stress­ing [out] the pup­pies, it sounds self­ish to me,” says Dr RT Sharma, vet­eri­nar­ian. “Mov­ing around in cabs [dur­ing puppy ther­apy de­liv­ery], traf­fic sounds and the pol­lu­tion are un­set­tling for dogs, es­pe­cially pup­pies. It’s a bet­ter idea for an­i­mal lovers to visit shel­ters and play with the pup­pies.”

How­ever An­imesh Kati­yar, who pro­vides this ser­vice, says, “Th­ese dogs have un­der­gone train­ing from a pro­fes­sional and they don’t get scared while in­ter­act­ing with new peo­ple. We do two ses­sions in a day be­cause we want the dogs to take proper rest.”

An­i­mal rights ac­tivist Amritika Phool doesn’t think it’s a great idea. “If a child throws a tantrum, we just hand them pup­pies and ev­ery­thing be­comes al­right? Con­stant changes in en­vi­ron­ment are stress­ful for pup­pies. The whole thing sounds just self­ish.”

Poorva Jo­shipura, CEO, PETA In­dia, has sim­i­lar thoughts. She says, “A puppy isn’t a toy to be played [with] for just 15 min­utes.”

If a child throws a tantrum, we just hand them pup­pies and ev­ery­thing be­comes al­right? AMRITIKA PHOOL, AN­I­MAL RIGHTS AC­TIVIST

PHOTO: ISTOCK

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