Meet our ‘Pet of the Month’, Toffiee – an amazing mother to Grace and an adorable sibling to Candy! Let’s hear for the incredible journey of this wonderful trio from their Super Mom, Shreya, who takes care of them like none other…
When and how did Toffiee come in your life? Is she you first pet?
I have always been fond of pets since I was a toddler. I used to feed and bring new dogs every now and then. Then one day my parents decided to gift me a puppy on my birthday when I was in fifth standard; her name was Milli. After she passed away due to food poisoning, I decided not to get any more pets.
When I was in third year of my engineering, I went to see puppy for my friend and ended up bringing Toffiee home. I already had an experience of having pets; I was pretty much comfortable but I was not aware of breed specific requirements. Shih tzu breed requires a lot of care and attention, which I struggled to provide in initial days but later I started learning.
Fortunately, I also have Toffiee’s baby now and I’ve named her – Grace!
Were you looking for a particular breed when you thought of bringing home a pet?
Bringing Toffiee was so sudden decision that I didn’t get a chance to look for breed. I have one more pet Candy, whom I got from a friend. When I got to know that they have Cocker Spaniel breed, I started searching about them, their requirement and temperament. When I was sure that yes I can give a better life to the pup, I brought her home.
As you just mentioned you have another pet Candy along with the mother daughter duo, Toffie and Grace. How is the rapport among three of them?
Candy is such a friendly pup that I never had to worry. Candy is like a second mother to Grace. She loves Grace as much as Toffiee loves her. They eat, play, and sleep together. In fact, Grace has similar temperament like Candy; it makes easier to have them around.
What is Toffiee’s diet and how do you take care of her nutrition? Is there any difference between Toffiee, Grace, and Candy’s diet?
Yes, there is definitely a difference in their diet and all three of them are on home cooked food. We have specific diet plan for them, which includes food according to their individual needs basically a balanced diet. I cook food for them every day, and bone broth and eggs are their favorite items. I also include dehydrated treats like fish, chicken jerkeys, and dehydrated liver and organs as snacks to provide them full nutrition.
What is Toffie’s favourite playtime activity?
Toffiee loves playing fetch with her sister Candy and she takes fetching competition very seriously. They are always fighting when it comes to fetching back the toy. Candy being the fastest never gives a chance to fetch back but Toffiee being smartest tries to snatch the toy half way. Our play time is a crazy ride.
Toffiee also loves playing with her soft toys, going on a walk, and belly rubs.
Shed some light on her grooming routine.
I believe when you have long fur baby, you have to be extra careful regarding ticks, fleas, and fur matting. Every day, I give 10–15mins to groom Toffiee, which includes combing and removing matts from her fur, if any. I also give her weekly oil massage before 1–2hrs of bath, which includes hemp and coconut oil; it helps to nourish her fur and make it healthy. Oiling also helps your pet to relax like humans and Toffiee enjoys her time.
I trim her paw fur, belly fur, and clip her nails regularly to maintain hygiene. I also use doctor prescribed tick and flea prevention spray after her bath. It helps to keep her tick free.
Did you hire any trainer to train your pets?
I think right training at the right age helps to build your pets’ temperament. I taught my babies commands by watching and learning from youtube videos. If you think you can train your babies by yourself then I think no one can be a better teacher than you!
Do you have any favourite pet shops or e-commerce sites from where you buy products for your pets?
I usually buy products from a lot of different vendors, which are mostly small businesses made in India. I get all Toffiee’s dresses custom made from ‘Furvilla’, who is an excellent pet designer and a dotting dog mom. Toffiee likes all squizzy toys from ‘Just For Wags’, who design durable and quality toys for dogs. Toffiee is a very fussy baby when it comes to food and treats but she loves treats from ‘Angel’s Kitchen’ and ‘Clever Canine’, which prepares them with human-grade products and I totally trust them. I love maintaining exquisite hair accessory collection for Toffiee, which mostly includes products from ‘Bling My Bow’. After all be Vocal for Local!
How do you plan your travels considering you have three pets to take care of? Do you take them along?
Yes, I love travelling but only with my babies. Toffiee and Candy have visited five states till now and we keep on craving for more and more adventure. We travel by car or Indian railways depending on the distance and place. We always look for a pet friendly stay on air bnb or booking.com or simple google search. We face a lot of difficulties while searching for a suitable stay considering three pets but we eventually end up getting the best one. Candy is a beach baby and Toffiee is a mountain baby, so our adventure includes both kinds of places.
Our adventure highlights are Gokarna, Ooty, Mahabaleshwar, Matheran, Chikmanglur, Humpy, and many of the Chennai beaches, also treks like Tada falls, Jog falls, and Yellagiri!
Toffie, Grace, and Candy are social media stars with phenomenal number of followers. How do you perceive this change of pets having separate identities on social media?
I am so proud that my babies have more followers than me and people recognize me by their names. I became good friends with a lot of dog parents through their social media who have similar journeys like us. Having a social media identity helps you create awareness, promote right brands for the people, and support the right cause.
Toffiee was the Mascot for India’s biggest fest, Petfed in 2019 and that was unforgettable moment. Toffiee has won a few dog fashion shows and I could only do all that because Toffiee loves getting dressing up; she recognizes and comes to me as soon as I pick her comb to groom. It also encourages me to try and do different things.
Do you think brands, nowadays, are doing enough to promote healthy petkeeping?
I think, nowadays, parents are more aware about their pets’ well being and so do the brands. Parents know which products are good for their pets considering their health and underlying issues. I have come across many brands that help and promote good food, treats, and many other pet products.
Message you wish to convey to first time pet parents.
If you are a first-time pet parent, don’t rush into this decision – do your research first and know about their requirement as you are going to bring home a life that will change your life. There are many needy pets that are looking for a home, try to bring happiness in their lives. Always consider your pets as your babies because for them you become their whole world.