After a year of lull, hotels exclusively serving animals enjoy a boom in occupants. A normalization process launched July 1 in Turkey that ended most restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic, restored reservations for hotels. As their human owners are finally able to enjoy long vacations, cats and dogs are accommodated at animal hotels across the country.
Animal hotel owners say they are fully booked this summer and are struggling with rising demand. The hotels, usually located in big cities, serve as saviors of pet owners who cannot find someone to take care of their animals, as they head to their hometowns in other parts of the country or to vacation resorts in the south.
Tarkan Özvardar, a proprietor of an animal hotel in the capital Ankara and a dog trainer for three decades, said in the absence of curfews and intercity travel restrictions people are now making up for last year and are traveling in droves for vacations. “We are too busy nowadays. Most people leave their pets here while others seek training for their dogs,” Özvardar, who also works as a dog trainer, told Anadolu Agency (AA) Friday.
He said most people complain of being unable to find a place for their animals but they usually make last-minute plans for that task. “We have a certain capacity and our hotel was fully booked one month before. It is normal as more and more people go on vacation after the normalization and due to a nine-day Qurban Bayram (Eid al-Adha) holiday,” he said.
Özvardar warned pet owners to have their animals examined by vets and have their vaccines before being left to hotels. “Owners should also check the certification of animal hotels and see if their animals can adapt to this new environment. If you have a pet, you should integrate them into your vacation plans,” he said.
Özvardar said although hotels offered all the services the animals would need, cats and dogs would be “happier” with their owners. He said they regularly sent videos of the animals’ time in the hotel to the owner to assure owners of their pets’ safety. Özvardar also pointed out to a spike in the number of cats and dogs adopted during the pandemic, when people confined to home needed loyal companions.
“But people are often not aware of the difference of cats and dogs as pets with different mindsets. Dogs can easily adapt to a new environment and owner but it is much more difficult for cats. Cats are usually unhappy to move into a new place,” he said.
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