With the number of pets increasing every month, Navi Mumbai pet dog parents demand dog parks in prime nodes of the city, more than ever, now that one is coming up in Vashi.
Navi Mumbai: Pet parents in the city are very excited to have got their first ever “Pet Corner” and the news that the Vashi Dog Park is just about complete and could be thrown open in the month of January 2022. While the pet corner is well received by all, every pet parent is eagerly waiting for the dog park to open and are hopeful that the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) will not disappoint them .
Well, the concept of a dog park may sound ridiculous to many but the fact is that Navi Mumbai needs a couple of dog parks more than ever before.
Why? Well, the growing population of pet dogs in Navi Mumbai and the lack of personal space for dog walking or play, calls for an immediate provision of parks or separate zones dedicated to dogs.
To be frank, dog parks are the best bets as everybody needs some space, including dogs!
The population of pet dogs in Navi Mumbai is growing
Keeping aside statistics, there has been a constant growth in the population of pet dogs in Navi Mumbai. The rampant growth in pet food shops is proof enough to support such fact.
Surprisingly, the growing population of pet dogs is not limited to high rise buildings and posh localities alone. Almost every dog lover, irrespective of his or her social status, has taken in a pet dog wherever possible. As a result, the number of pet dogs has been scaling up every month.
Additionally, it is not just dogs of quality breed that become pets, but also street dogs, who are being added to the pet population in Navi Mumbai. So you see, there are a lot of pets in city homes at the moment.
Kapil Malhotra, founder of The Bark Treat, a holistic pet shop at Seawoods, shares, “In the last couple of years there has been a tremendous growth in the number of pet parents in Navi Mumbai. You can find a pet shop in every nook and corner of the city and they are all doing good business. I keep getting calls from people who want to buy or adopt pet dogs all the time. There are more pet dogs in Navi Mumbai than we know.”
“Due to lack of space, especially pet friendly space, there are many pet parents who take their pet dogs to isolated spots like I do, to give their pets some freedom and required exercise. Sadly, the lack of dog friendly spaces in Navi Mumbai is also one of the reasons that many pet parents avoiding taking their pets out often. Nobody likes inspecting glaring eyes and shrugging heads,” he adds.
So many pet dogs and so little walking space or play areas (for dogs) in Navi Mumbai
It is a known fact the pet parents in Navi Mumbai struggle to take their pet dogs out for regular walks or play for several reasons, one being lack of dedicated space to walk them around.
The fact is, that not all pet dog parents in Navi Mumbai live in dog-loving societies with ample space to walk their dogs, or convenient open spaces around to take their pet dogs out for a walk.
Taking dogs along for morning walks and jogs on dedicated jogging tracks in Navi Mumbai is a problem in itself as people generally don’t like their space to be shared with dogs for various reasons.
And the idea of taking your pet dog to a park in Navi Mumbai is completely out of question. No pets are allowed in parks in our city.
So you see, the city of Navi Mumbai has so many pet dogs but not enough space for them to walk around or play freely.
Dog parks are a must for Navi Mumbai’s pet dogs
Well, Navi Mumbai, the City of the Twenty First Century, strives to take strides never taken before by others and do things differently. So, why lag behind at developing dog parks?
The growing population of pet dogs, the extreme lack of space (for dogs), unruly people and dog haters or animal haters in general, are reason enough for the city of Navi Mumbai to develop dedicated dog parks in prime nodes.
It is not a demand of luxury but the need of the hour. The administration should understand that there is dearth of dog-friendly spaces in the city. Every now and then we get to hear about skirmishes between dog lovers and dog haters or acts of violence against street dogs. (We will get back to the pitiful situation of street dogs in another article.).
In such a scenario a dog park is the best option for the well-being of pet dogs and pet parents alike.
Barsha Mitra, a gifted Animal Communicator and founder of “Jalesmina”, a Telepathic Animal Communication organisation, shares, “A dog park in Navi Mumbai will be a thrilling concept for pet dog parents in the city. Not only will it allow city pet dogs the opportunity to socialize with other pet dogs but also to grow physically and psychologically. Dogs are social and very energetic animals and park that will allow them to walk, exercise or run around freely in the company of other dogs will help boost their morale. Staying home all the time and going out for a 5 minute walk only for relieving themselves does no good to them.”
“Also, many pet dog parents feel guilty about having to leave their pet children home while they go to a park or other such place to walk. Having a dog park in Navi Mumbai will allow a majority of such pet parents to share some special time with their pet dogs outside their homes too. To be frank, a dog park in Navi Mumbai will allow pet parents to share quality moments with their best friends even outside the four walls of their homes ,” she adds.
How will dog parks help pet dogs in Navi Mumbai in the first place?
To keep it precise and simple, pet dogs, or dogs in general, need to walk, run and play freely every day, or at least on alternate days. Dogs need to unwind just like humans do. Even sitting calmly in the grass can do wonnders for their minds.
In Navi Mumbai, there is no limit of open spaces for people but when it comes to dogs, there are restrictions for reasons we all know.
If we get a few dog parks in some of the nodes of Navi Mumbai with major population of pet dogs, then it will prove beneficial in many ways for the dogs at least.
Firstly, dogs will get a personal space where they won’t have to care about any “human” walking around cursing or glaring at them.
Secondly, they will be able to flex their muscles and indulge in physical activities as well as unhindered sniffing routines to stimulate their minds.
Lastly, all the unhindered activity that dogs will be able to indulge in will help maintain their overall mental and physical health.
So what kind of dog parks does Navi Mumbai need?
Well, ideally we need “Off-leash dog parks in Navi Mumbai” where dogs can simply run around without any hindrance. However, there has to be a certain amount of discretion on the pet parents’ part – they need to be very forthcoming about whether or not their dogs need to be on a leash. Letting untrained dogs loose in a park full of dogs can lead to many serious incidents.
Alternatively, there can be dog parks that switch from off-leash to on-leash mode on alternate days to accommodate all types of pet dogs.
Facilities needed at dog parks in Navi Mumbai (whenever they develop them)
Talking about facilities that would be required at dog parks in Navi Mumbai, once developed, there are a couple of things that are most essential.
Following is a list of essential facilities needed at dog parks in Navi Mumbai:
- Dog training and exercise equipment
- Off-leash and On-leash lawns or sections
- One large or more preferably two small splash pools
- A spacious amphitheatre for pet events
- Water dispensers and bowls
- Vending machines or counters for poop bags
- Separate sections for big and small dogs
- Access to a 24×7 local vet
- An expert dog trainer
Best locations for dog parks in Navi Mumbai
The best locations for developing dog parks in Navi Mumbai would be Vashi, Nerul –Seawoods and Kharghar as they seem to have a huge concentration of pet shops, indicating the possibility of a high number of pet dogs or pets in general.
Advocate Shelly Pandya, a resident of Kharghar, says, “The NMMC should try to develop at least one dog park, no matter how small or with lest equipment and facilities. It would help a lot of pet parents in Navi Mumbai. At least in Kharghar, there are a lot of open and unused plots that pet parents use for walking their dogs or letting them play off the leash for some time. This is not possible in many other nodes that don’t have such open spaces.”
“Navi Mumbai needs dog parks but before that it needs a veterinary hospital, one that the administration has been promising since years,” she adds.
An alternative to developing dog parks in Navi Mumbai from scratch
There is an alternative to developing a dog park from scratch in Navi Mumbai and saving money if the budget doesn’t allow.
How? Well, there are lot of open and green spaces in almost all nodes of Navi Mumbai. These spots whether or not market for any project, lie unused and unattended. These can be used for dog walk and play activities.
The idea is to zero in on one such spot or multiple spots in individual nodes and turn them into official dog parks or zones.
If nothing else then only a strong and sturdy fence and basic facilities like water and loo would suffice.
The priority here is to provide dedicated spots for dog walking or play and even one with bare minimum facilities would suffice. The need is for privacy and liberty (away from ever glaring eyes and cursing tongues).
Some possible disadvantages or cons of having a dog park
Well, off-leash dog parks can have some disadvantages or cons too as follows:
- Potential of danger from aggressive dogs for both humans and dogs
- Passing on of ticks and other diseases from one dog to another
- Over-excited dogs getting out of control and getting into inappropriate acts
- An increased level of noise pollution owing to incessant barking of dogs
- Not ideal for hosting big and small dogs at the same time
- Possibility of damage to plants in the park
- Possibility of getting dogs hurt owing to unsafe equipment in the park
- Increased cleaning/sanitation work for caretakers of such parks
- Possible increase in the maintenance cost of the park
- Possibility of skirmishes between dog owners
- Complaints from neighboring societies about inconvenient barking noise
These are some of the major disadvantages or cons that a dog park can have. However, with correct planning and strict rules, it can be a fruitful effort.
Strict pointers or rules to be followed by pet dog parents in dog parks
If ever, Navi Mumbai gets a dog park then it would be very important for pet parents to play their part responsibly and look after their dogs in the park
Following rules should have to be followed in Navi Mumbai Dog Parks (once developed)
- Don’t bring aggressive pet dogs to the dog park
- Always keep our dog on a leash if he/she tends to get excited and carried away
- Maintain safe distance from other aggressive or unwelcoming dogs
- Don’t let your pet dogs chew on or uproot plants in the dog park
- Ensure that your pet dog is not suffering from ticks or any other infectious disease
- Always pick your pet dog’s poop as a responsible pet parent
- Make sure that your pet dog doesn’t indulge in inappropriate behaviour
- Never leave your dog unattended for any reason
- Avoid going to the park if your pet dog barks incessantly without reason
As a responsible pet dog parent always keep these points in mind before venturing out to a dog park or in the local area.
NMMC’s delayed plans to develop a dog park in Navi Mumbai
Surprisingly, in February 2019, the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC), had announced their decision to develop a dog park in Vashi, based on a proposal moved by a local corporator.
The said dog park was meant to be Navi Mumbai’s first such park to be developed within the Veer Savarkar municipal garden at sector 8 in Vashi. The park, exclusively meant for dogs, was to cover 870 sq m of the existing garden, and would have cost Rs. 29.4 lakh.
The best part of the dog park was the plan to install dog friendly play equipment like low-level see-saws, steps and slopes, among other things.
The park was set to be completed and let open for Navi Mumbai’s pet dogs in the month of April, 2019. However, the plan never took off for reasons unknown.
In a similar fashion, another such park proposed to be developed in Nerul could also not get materialized.
So, plans of developing a dog park in Navi Mumbai has never taken off for various reasons in the past and now, owing to the pandemic, every such project may take more time than ever.
P.S. We did not take any official quote from NMMC for dog parks in Navi Mumbai. However, we will be discussing with them after publishing this article.
Our (LocalPress.in) Opinion
Well, there is a lot that can be done for pet dogs as well as street dogs if the administration diligently pursues and executes plans that are rotting on paper. If Navi Mumbai citizens recollect, the city is still waiting for the “Animal Hospital” promised years ago. Where is that?
It is understood that if an important things like an animal hospital can be sidelined for whatsoever reason, then a “luxury provision” like a “dog park” stands no chance.
We just hope that the administration will start priortising and find reasons to do things rather than giving explanations about why they can’t do them.
To be frank, there is no space crunch in Navi Mumbai so developing things like dog parks, skating rinks, cycling tracks and other such things would do much good to the city than developing unused or undesired golf courses.
Last Updated on December 14, 2021 by lp@admin