Petcation’s PetXpo opened to an overwhelming response on Saturday (25/03/23). Furs, feathers, and feet gathered in large numbers in the YMCA Grounds, Nandanam Chennai for Tamil Nadu’s largest expo for the pet industry. The PetXpo caters to both the B2B and B2C segments of the pet market place. Via the PetXpo, industry players received the much-needed opportunity to showcase their offerings, directly connect with their customers and partners, and grow their business rapidly and significantly. Pet lovers / enthusiasts also found the PetXpo to be the perfect venue for socializing, cuddling, and showering love on a wide variety of pets from all around the city for two whole days (25th and 26th of March, 2023).
The PetXpo began with a grand inaugural ceremony, marked by the traditional lighting of the kuthuvilakku. Young musical maestros enthralled the audience with their scintillating mandolin performance and invoked the blessings of the Almighty. Many ‘unsung heroes of the city’ were also felicitated at the PetXpo. These individuals, though divided by distances and their strata in society, are united in their love for animals and their common goal to make a difference to the their lives. Fighting various odds – from purely monetary to societal apathy – these angels of god soldier on each day to rescue, nurture, or rehabilitate the helpless strays. Mrs. Prabha Mani has for decades been the beacon of hope for these voiceless creatures. She, with her army of like-minded rescuers, has dedicated herself to this cause. In her address at the PetXpo, she admonished societal indifference towards strays and appealed to the gathering to be more sensitive to the needs of these wonderful animals. Her passionate speech left many teary-eyed, and many more inspired. Mrs. Prabha Mani and all the other angels were honored at the PetXpo for their selfless service to animal-kind. On that note, Petcation and its partners – Scooby’s café and Petathon – and all the collaborators of the PetXpo – the Chennai Pet Dealers Welfare Association (CPDWA), PAWGA, Pets101, Indie Frost Café, Sanchu Animal Hospital, and Chennai Sniffers – declared the expo open.
People and pets started streaming in and visiting the various stalls at the PetXpo. Pets of different shapes, sizes, and breeds were in attendance at the PetXpo with their parents in tow, braving the oppressive heat. Emcees Khyati and Keerthika, ably supported by DJ Raj, kept the mood at the PetXpo light and lively through their indefatigable energy and positivity.
Oohs, aahs, and gasps were heard periodically from the section where exotic birds and animals were on display! Adults and kids watched this colorful parade with wide-eyed wonderment! Many visitors even invited the beautiful, majestic parakeets to perch on their arms, while they took selfies. The baby squirrels, the Iguana, and the world’s smallest monkey were added attractions. The brave-hearted even volunteered to wear a slithering python around their necks, while the paps feverishly captured these macho poses. The play pen for puppy dogs was a cuteness overload. Hamsters and rabbits were also prancing around to increase the cuteness quotient of the PetXpo. A glimpse of aqua life was offered by stalls selling a wide and colorful array of fish. This served as another crowd-puller at the PetXpo. Pawdorable and its cute collection of pet toys, clothes, and accessories caught the attention of many kids and pet parents. Eddy’s kitchen and its pet-friendly dietary offerings found many takers at the PetXpo. Sanchu animal hospital was seen doling out medical advice to concerned parents, and team Petathon was seen having passionate conversations with interested individuals about the pet marathon they were planning. The attentive staff at the Pets101 stall was also having animated interactions with pet parents, while providing appropriate solutions to them. Parents with training needs also approached the Paws & Play stall for some much-needed training advice. The knowledgeable, empathetic owner of Paws & Play made sure that the parents left satisfied and happy. A live pet grooming demonstration that was on session also lured visitors in large numbers. Like honeybees, people also swarmed the Holistee stall, which showcased human-grade delicacies prepared using healthy, all-natural ingredients.
The PAWGA tent was another head-turner at the PetXpo. In this roomy, air-conditioned tent, a special pet adoption drive for shelter animals was conducted as part of the two-day PetXpo. Nearly 100 shelter animals were available for adoption through this initiative. This unique drive, conducted by PAWGA, sought to spread ‘pet love’ through the
medium of Yoga. Rescued pups joined pet enthusiasts in uniquely designed yoga sessions, in an effort to find the pups loving homes by the end of the day.
The calmness exuded at the PAWGA tent was off-set only by the cacophony surrounding the pet activity zone at the PetXpo! Expert trainer Sugar Nesh and his trained canines from SDA (Sugu’s Dog Artistry) had the crowd in raptures on Saturday, with a scintillating protection and agility performance. Behavioral expert Sharath and his canine companions from Chennai Sniffers captivated the crowd on Sunday with their obedience and agility routines. The swiftness with which these animals moved, their alertness to danger, and their unquestioning loyalty to their masters is why the onlookers went ga-ga over them.
Another high point of Sunday was a visit by Chennai’s Kanni Team! A band of absolutely good-looking Native Breeds, comprising mainly of Chippiparai dogs and Kanni dogs, trooped into the PetXpo with their parents. Their agility show was a master class in obedience! It was a testament to the fact that a little training and a lot of tender love and care can turn even wild, ‘hunting’ dogs such as the Native Breeds into endearing house pets.
Many activities were also specially designed and executed at the PetXpo, so that pets, parents, and even kids visiting the expo have wholesome fun. Our training partners – SDA, Chennai Sniffers, and Paws & Play – proved that with a little guidance from trainers and a whole lot of support from parents, pets with no prior training can also complete a fun agility course. It was heart-warming to watch pets and parents navigate this course with full enthusiasm and gusto! Emcees Khyati and Keerthika also made sure that adults and kids did not leave the PetXpo disappointed! From conducting a musical chair for children to a quirky treasure hunt for parents, the full-of-life Emcees gave all visitors a wonderful time! Whenever time permitted, the Emcees also engaged in meaningful banter with pet parents to gather their feedback about the expo. A fun-filled Fashion parade was also conducted for visiting pets on both days. Watching pets and parents groove to DJ Raj’s vibrant beats gave all on-lookers a new high!
Exhausted pets, parents, and kids invaded the food court at the PetXpo to refresh and rejuvenate themselves. From mojitos, spring potatoes, biriyani, jigarthanda to pop corns and pet-friendly cakes and popsicles, everything that is a treat to taste buds was up for grabs here.
Besides the public, many celebrities and political leaders from the state of Tamil Nadu also visited the PetXpo and were left amazed by the myriad displays and activities.
In summary, the PetXpo won hands down by managing to pull thousands of pet lovers and parents from across the city to share a fun platform, where they can interact, exchange ideas, discuss needs, take advice and offerings from industry experts, and learn how to give the best care to the cutest members of their family – their pets. For this author however, the very fact that many dogs and birds found loving homes at the end of the 2-day PetXpo is the reason why it was a resounding success!