Pet Fed, the country’s first ever pet convention, saw over 5,000 human visitors and over 250 dogs as well as a handful of cats and birds.

Running around the stalls, posing for pictures and generally upping the cute factor of the place, pets of all kinds took over Dilli Haat on Saturday.

Pet Fed, the country’s first ever pet convention, saw over 5,000 human visitors and over 250 dogs as well as a handful of cats and birds. Dilli Haat was transformed into a pet-friendly hangout, with Chihuahuas lounging on benches and Labradors enjoying themselves on slides in the play area.

Apart from stalls selling clothes, toys and baked goods for pets, there were those who offered puppies for adoption. ‘Pupcakes’, puppy-themed cupcakes, for humans competed with a ‘barkery’ offering snacks for pets.

Pet Fed was founded five months ago by two 22-year-olds, Aishwarya Tandon and Ravdeep Anand, with an aim to bring together different pet-related businesses as well as NGOs like Maneka Gandhi’s People for Animals. The event also gave dogs a chance to socialise with each other, while speakers gave tips to owners on how best to train and interact with their pets.

Mr. Anand said Pet Fed aimed at “offering something for everyone”, while maintaining a stance against animal cruelty. Ms. Tandon added: “We have taken a strong stand discrimination based on breeds. In fact, earlier today a man selling poodles came to Pet Fed and we had to kick him out.”

For visitors, more than shopping or eating out, the day was about meeting other pet-owners and animal lovers. A designer from Shalimar Bagh, Nidhi, said the convention was like a treat for her seven-year-old Pug, Khushi.

Jagmeet, whose Labrador Scooby seemed pleased with a new Superman shirt, said her dog just needed an outing. “The shirt we bought for him is available online, but we just wanted him to have fun so we brought him here,” said the young professional.

However, there were others who more competitive in their outlook. A jewellery designer, Punita Trikha, was quite confident her Chihuahuas – Whisky and Sherry – would be the talk of the convention. “We just want them to win the fashion competition,” said Ms. Trikha, pointing to the tiny dogs decked out in glittery outfits.

For pet-related businesses, the event gave them the opportunity to check out competition. Nikki Kapoor, who runs Bark On Gourmet Doggie Barkery, said the birthday cakes, cookies and snacks for dogs were becoming more popular.

“Right now, people find the idea of a bakery for dogs cool. But, the industry is expanding and we are getting more enquiries everyday. Coming to Pet Fed was more about checkings out the competition,” said Ms. Kapoor.

Meanwhile, the team behind the convention plans on expanding it to other parts of country, with Bangalore likely to host the next edition in 2015. Pet Fed’s founders are also hoping that they make it an annual affair so Delhi’s pets can have their day out.

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