When it comes to dog care, Tel Aviv takes the biscuit


Every dog has its day in Tel Aviv, which is well-known to be an extremely canine-friendly city. And now, all 25,000 four-legged friends and their owners have been invited to a pooch-centred party to celebrate that fact.

Tel Aviv Dog Day will take place on August 26 at Bnei Dan Dog Park, one of 70 such facilities in the city.

According to the city's municipality, there is one canine resident for every 17 humans and at least 5,000 people are expected to attend the free shindig staged by entrepreneur Tal Holander, who expects it to evolve into an annual event.

This being Israel, there will be a meet-and-greet opportunity for hi-tech start-ups like Dogiz and Areyouin, apps which facilitate group walkies and other social events, alongside the stands of canine accessories.

There will also be a doggie spa dispensing not only the usual shampoos and manicures but also simultaneous 10-minute massages for man and beast. And this being Tel Aviv, the world's second largest consumer of raw fish after Tokyo, there will be sushi for dogs. There will also be lecture sessions on doggie emotions as well as nutritional and homeopathy solutions for canine ills.

"The Tel Aviv-Yafo municipality sets dogs' welfare as a high priority," said city spokesperson Mira Marcus. "The city shelter has a no-kill policy, and homeless animals are treated 24/7 by the city's vets."

Moreover, she added, the city is committed to creating activities specially tailored to canine-lovers: "Last month, we put on a special screening of the movie The Secret Life of Pets for dogs and their owners."

Such events are not necessarily needed, one would think, given that the dog parks have special canine playground equipment and there are several dog-designated beaches. Pets are welcome at a wealth of cafés and bars and there is even a dog lounge at Ben Gurion Airport.

But, in the city that never sleeps, this is still not enough: "We are in the process of developing a members' card for dogs in the city," said Ms Marcus, referring to an upcoming online project. Presumably, its users will be required to accept cookies.

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