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For Your Furry Friends

By Raji Unnikrishnan

As India commemorates its 75th Republic Day in Bahrain, we shine a spotlight on the Blue Cross Veterinary Clinic in Bahrain, an Indian business that has become an integral part of the local community. Speaking to Bahrain This Week on the clinic’s dedication to serving the larger Bahraini community, showcasing its commitment to the well-being of all animals in the country, is the managing director of the clinic, Dr Nimisha Narayanan. She comes from Kerala, has more than a decade of experience in small animal practice, and has worked as a faculty member at Kerala Veterinary University.

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Question: How has Blue Cross Veterinary Clinic contributed to the well-being of pets in Bahrain, and what role does it play in promoting responsible pet ownership?

We can say with confidence that ‘we took the first step to make veterinary care affordable in Bahrain’. A couple of years ago, veterinary care was expensive, and many low- and middle-income families were finding it difficult to afford a pet due to the higher cost of treatment and maintenance. We truly believe that preventive care is more important than treatment, and in the long run, prevention of communicable diseases and boosting immunity ensure the welfare of the pets and their owners. For example, our vaccination package, which includes four services – consultation, vaccination, deworming, and pet passport – was a game changer in veterinary care in Bahrain. We are happy to see that several clinics have followed in our footsteps. Our motto is “Excellent Veterinary Care at Affordable Prices”.

Q: In what ways does Blue Cross Veterinary Clinic incorporate Indian cultural values and traditions into its services?

Adhithi Devo Bhava! Treat your customers well and with respect. Here, our customers are both pet owners and pets. We try our best to make our customers feel at home. Our customers are both Bahraini nationals and expatriates. We treat all our customers equally, irrespective of nationality. For us, your pet matters the most.

To reiterate, affordability without compromising quality is of utmost importance to us. Currently, we have two qualified veterinarians in our clinic, one specialised in preventive medicine and the other in surgery. The surgical instruments and post-surgical care facilities are world-class, and our pet store is stocked with premium food and supplements from Royal Canin and other top brands. Several of our customers fall into the middle-income category, especially the expatriate community. A proper understanding of the customer and their needs is very important, and hence we place more emphasis on preventive care and birth control.

Q: As an Indian business operating in Bahrain, how does Blue Cross Veterinary Clinic celebrate and honour the cultural diversity of both India and Bahrain within its operations and interactions with clients?

A: We take this opportunity to thank the Bahraini government for maintaining a business-friendly environment to operate in. We receive full support from the government, especially from the ministries of Agriculture and Urban Planning, Industries and Commerce, Labour, and other entities. Our landlord also extends full support to ensure smooth operations. It’s a two-way street where our operations contribute to the agriculture and animal healthcare sectors of the economy while we get an opportunity to earn our living.

On the operations side and interactions with clients, we are open seven days a week from 10am to 8pm. Blue Cross Veterinary offers three major categories of services: clinic, pet grooming, and pet food and accessories. So, our customers can visit us during the weekend and meet all the requirements of their pets in one visit.

Q: What initiatives or plans does Blue Cross Veterinary Clinic have in place to further strengthen the bond between the Indian and Bahraini communities through its services and outreach efforts?

A: We work closely with several animal welfare groups, including Bahrain Strays and Bahrain Animal Rescue Centre. We contribute to their efforts in treating injured animals and in birth control programmes with discounted prices for our services. We also cater to the requests of animal lovers to attend to injured pets in their compounds. We provide pickup and drop-off services for our clients who are unable to visit our clinic, which is very helpful for elderly people. Shortly, we will expand our services to house calls so that pets are comfortable at their premises. We also work closely with kennels, breeders, and trainers.

Blue Cross Veterinary Clinic, located in Sanad, offers clinical services, pet grooming, and a pet store. The vets at the clinic are Dr Nimisha Narayanan and Dr Anees Rafi, both postgraduates with several years of experience in small and large animal practice. Professional nurses and groomers ensure a friendly and hygienic environment for pets at the clinic. Services include vaccinations, preventive care, birth control surgeries such as spaying and neutering, laser surgery, laser therapy, blood and urine analysis, cherry eye, and soft tissue surgeries. The clinic is also equipped with a full-fledged grooming station and an excellent selection of pet foods and supplements in our pet store.

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