Choose a job you love and never work a day in your life. For us that work in the pet industry, you either have a pet, or you’re planning to get one! But being a pet parent requires so much more than having a comfortable home where a furry friend can join, it requires research, mental preparation, and continuous effort to give them the best life ever!
That includes enforcing rules, and boundaries, and establishing trust, topped with respect. Being a good leader means that sometimes, you have to be stern and not give in to those adorable faces begging for more food! As hard as that is, Whan, the creator of Bangkok Dog-Friendly Cafe & Restaurant, has given us amazing insight on being the best pawrent with living proof, the goodest boy: Khaki the Pomeranian who joined us for the interview! Let’s get to know them better!
I’m Whan and this is Khaki, we both like growth. My family has a pool business, dog pools, and grooming, called Charmar Cafe.
We started operating over 10 years ago and I helped my family set up the business at first. It was a lot of work, but it was fun! I got a lot of experience. I also learned so much about pets, in ways I’d never imagined myself to see.
The reason why I started the Bangkok Dog-friendly group was that Bangkok isn’t a very dog-friendly place. First off, at that time, I stopped living with my parents and moved into the city. I wanted to stay in the center, or some condo. A pet-friendly place is already hard to come by.
Plus, I wanted to spend time with my pet but it was hard to find a place that would accept us. Even the parks didn’t allow us in. Luckily, it’s becoming more pet friendly nowadays. But if we’re really in the city, there are still not that many places that are truly pet friendly. There are still limitations.
I started a group called Bangkok Dog-friendly Cafe & Restaurant because I feel like every time I bring my pet somewhere, I have to call in and ask the restaurant if they’re okay with it. Not only if they allow dogs, but do they have to stay in a bag? Or other rules we might need to follow?
That’s why I feel like others probably also struggle with this too. So I started the group in English! Because I bet expats have a harder time. I’m Thai and I feel like it’s hard already, what about foreigners? I felt so weird when I used to do that alone, bringing my pet in a bag, when it’s just me.
I also wanted friends who were pet parents as well, so I don’t feel too weird alone. Those who bring their fur babies to places, so I started a group of like-minded people to form a community. I understand that Thailand, we’re not the most dog-friendly country. It might be because people don’t know how to train their pets for a public area. That’s why I wanted a group. Plus, we get to make friends in the process! A huge part of it is also informing people about the social etiquette and care we need to give, and how to treat the pet, so others who aren’t dog lovers can also be in the same place.
We love going out together! We do it so often. Nowadays we’re traveling to Phangan here and there. Months at a time, usually. Before this, during covid, the airlines were closed and they didn’t accept him. I had to go first and had to get a taxi I trusted to send Khaki off at the island. So when he was leaving, he took Khaki with him before I flew back.
There are also times when we fly together. Because he’s so small, if we fly with Bangkok Airways, they have a section where you can stay together! So you get to breathe the same air. No need to worry about them staying in separate places. So that happens too, where we fly both ways. But recently, it’s been with the car.
For new pawrents, I have a friend who’s just started too. She’s a brand new Chihuahua mom. If it’s your first time, and you’ve never had a pet before, you have to be adamant. In most cases, I’ve seen, like when I’m at the dog pool, I can see a lot of pawrents caving in! Especially if they’re new to this. Anything goes! Letting their pets do whatever they want. In the end, when you go to places together, it’ll be hard for both of you.
From what I know, and my own experiences, they [pets] love learning. Give them some rules and structure. As I said, my friend just had her first dog, and the only advice I give her is that she has to be stern. They see us as the alpha. So we have to be good leaders. We can’t keep giving them what they want all the time. We’re gonna spend the rest of our lives together, in a functioning society, so we can’t leave them to be whatever they desire.
For those who don’t have a pet, before you get one, really consider it beforehand. As I said, I work in the pet industry and I see it all the time. People come to us when they try to find forever homes for their friends. It made me really understand that strays really need a home. They’re adorable, and the pro of taking in a dog that’s already grown is that their personality has already formed. So we’ll know for sure if we’ll get along or not. There will be friends who are super polite or some that are super playful! Both are cute.
If you have a pet, do your research! I’ve seen so many cases where they get abandoned. So I feel like the first rule is to consider adoption. It can be cheaper as well, and you can see if you match [personality-wise]. Another rule is that, if you want them, you’ll want to take care of them forever right? Remember that they won’t always be this bubbly. Like anything in life, when they get old, they might not be able to care for themselves. In the caregiver position, you have to remember that they’re attached to you the most. So if you want to care for a big dog, remember that you’ll be the one caring for them when they get too old too.
If you want a pet, get one after you’ve prepared. Just as I said, we have to be the best leader for them. Thank you!
If we truly love our furry friends, teaching them rules and boundaries can be difficult, but it’s the best thing you can do to keep them safe, mentally stimulated, and respectful. You can both spend more time together in public, enjoy your moments together, and spend quality time learning new tricks!
If you find it a little tough to enforce these rules for your fur babies yourselves, consider professional training sessions. We have a friend who’s been training our canine friends for decades! Check out Kani Kraze at TRAIL & TAIL for some quality lessons from a seasoned trainer like Fabia.
Thank you to theCOMMONS Thonglor for allowing us to film and conduct this interview in their space. Also, thank you to Whan and the adorable Khaki for welcoming our team and answering all our questions with enthusiasm, all while providing insightful tips.
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