Love animals? Here's a comprehensive guide to living with pets in the big city. Aside from pet-friendly restaurants and bars, check out our list of recommended vets, pet groomers, training and boarding centres, as well as animal NGOs making a difference.
Pet-friendly restaurants and bars
As long as your pets are potty-trained, they are allowed to roam around the restaurant while you dig into fork-tender Alabama barbecue ribs and spicy Buffalo wings. Your dog might get snacks from the diners around you. All the better then – both you and your furball will leave as satisfied customers.
A place for pet owners who love beer, neighbourhood joint Sid’s Pub in Bangsar South boasts an extensive menu that stretches from breakfast through to latenight bites so you can lounge the day away with your furry companion. Dine alfresco on the patio – leash in one hand, a cold brew in the other. While your pooch won’t be too interested in your pint, best keep an eye on your greasy pork burger.
Grab some beer, stake out a spot in front of the large TV screen and catch a live match with your pooch. The animal-loving folks at Tom, Dick and Harry’s encourage patrons to come with their pets so bring your dog along and let it socialise. You’ll never have to come home to a lonely mutt with sad puppy eyes ever again.
The best brunch seats at The Red Beanbag are the coveted windowside tables but those dining with their pets should know that the airy patio area – overlooking Publika’s garden – is the best. A peaceful respite from shopping-bag-toting horde, The Red Beanbag dishes out hearty fare: fry-ups, poached-to-perfection Eggs Atlantic and almond-studded French toast. It’s almost perfect, then, that you can savour these great dishes with your furkid by your side.
When you drop by the bar for their regular comedy nights, you don’t have to go solo, because you can bring your furkid with you. The Pound doesn’t serve dog food but who’s stopping you from sneaking juicy meat scraps to your pet? Only small and medium-sized canines are allowed, however, as their location on the first floor make it a tight fit for bigger doggie companions. Of course, your pups will have to be well-behaved and sociable too.
Animal NGOs you should know
‘Ampang! Shah Alam!’ screams Paskaran, one of the three full-time caretakers at Malaysia Independent Animal Rescue (MIAR). He must have noticed our puzzled looks. ‘We usually name the dogs after the places we found them,’ smiles the 46-year-old man, who later points to another named Tan Sri. Located near Metro Point Kajang (its full address is not disclosed due to past cases of dog-dumping and dog-poisoning), MIAR is presently home to nearly 75 dogs. Ranging from injured strays that are found on the streets and later deposited at this modest shelter to the ones Paskaran and MIAR founder Puspa Rani save from abusive owners, the rehabilitated dogs are placed in four designated areas within the tiny compound. ‘Every dog here has a story,’ explains Paskaran, who’s been with the three-year-old NGO for the past couple of years. One heart-warming tale in particular involves the aptly named Christmas, who was rescued on Christmas Eve last year with an exposed skull filled with maggots. Vets advised the team to put Christmas down, but Puspa – an erstwhile chartered accountant who now runs MIAR full time – was adamant he be nursed back to health, recalled Paskaran. ‘He’s survived the worst and now he’s alright. It was nothing short of a miracle.’ Despite qualified success stories like Christmas, Paskaran and the rest of MIAR have had to contend with ongoing issues like constant flooding due to the shelter’s location on low ground. The past April also saw MIAR hit with a whopping RM22,0
Good for owners looking for a place that will make their pet feel more 'at home' with frequent human interaction, this home boarding service is more in the style of a pet sitting service. With the exception of small animals like hamsters, your pet is allowed to roam free in the house and will only be confined to a room at night. Call for more info.
This cats-only boarding centre has a more rustic feel with spacious cat shacks. Each unit is equipped with a mosquito net, litter box, bedding, scratch post and shelves equipped for cat sightseeing. If you have a group of three or four cats, the specially adapted kampung house is designed for big groups and even features a balcony.
For your precious pooches, no ordinary kennels will do. At Puppy Cottage, pups will frolic in cageless cubicles that are fitted with CCTV so you can view your pets via the internet while abroad. If your dog suffers from separation anxiety, here’s the best place to train them to be less clingy as pets are encouraged to socialise with other ‘guests’. Pampering treatments such as natural mud spa and aromatic salt bath are also available to give your pup that extra shine.
If your precious pooch is a shy one and you're looking for a homey boarding space, Wagcations is your stop. This home boarding centre provides free basic training and encourages socialisation to help dogs come out of their shell. It's also CCTV-monitored so your pooches can roam freely with air conditioning for comfort. Wagcations also offers home visit services for dogs that don’t do well out of their usual environment as well as pet transportation within Klang Valley. Regular walks to nearby parks and cafés are provided.
This animal farm in Kundang houses about 300 abused and abandoned animals that include dogs, cats and a single goat. Though the animals have a permanent home at the farm, you can ease their financial burdens by adopting or fostering. If you simply want to spend time with the animals, the centre conducts guided farm tours every first Sunday of the month.
In Malaysia, stray dogs often lead uncertain, perilous lives because of both apathy and ill-treatment. This canine welfare initiative finds homes for abandoned or injured dogs and applies a no-kill neutering policy. Throw them a bone by picking up a furry friend or two at one of their many adoption drives. The ‘Adopt, Don’t Buy’ campaign motto has never been so relevant.
PAWS is a major player in Malaysia’s animal adoption circle, currently housing over 400 rescued animals. Surrendered animals are kept at the Subang centre so long as they don’t outnumber the adoptions, which may otherwise result in euthanasia. If you want to make a difference but can’t bear the responsibility of looking after an animal, donate old newspapers, old clothes and canned pet food.
Formerly known as Paws Mission, Second Chance is doing its best to control the overpopulation of strays on our streets by taking in homeless dogs. This modest sanctuary has successfully found homes for over 300 dogs and conducted over 25 adoption drives since it was established in 2009. Do your part by always rooting for adoption over purchase.
The founding father of animal rights in Malaysia has recently moved to a new eco-friendly rehabilitation and adoption centre in Ampang Jaya to accommodate over 400 animals. Kitties and puppies that pass through the doors of the SPCA are neutered, healed (if needed) and put up for adoption. Before picking up your pet, you will be interviewed by SPCA staff to ensure responsible ownership while an animal inspector may visit your residence in the first few weeks to observe the progress of your new friend.
KL Pooch Rescue (KLPR) is an animal rehabilitation centre equipped with a spacious boarding centre, gym, swimming pool and open-space grooming salon for dogs (Doggie Doos Grooming & Spa). The good people at KLPR take in dogs and the occasional cats that are under emergency situations or in need of medical attention. The animals are put up for adoption when they have regained full health.
Cats and dogs up for adoption at SPCA Selangor
These ten lovely companions at the SPCA are in need of a good home.