For us humans, diet plays such a huge role in wellness – so why does it have to be any different for dogs – was the question Yamika Damani frequently asked, and then she decided the answer of the question: Clever Canines. Clever Canine is the parent venture for pets that provides training services, and functional pet treats that are natural and preservative-free. Yamika hence, has been working for years to set things right for our most loyal companions.
Just because something landed up on the shelf of your local pet store, does not mean it is safe for your pet to eat.”
Clever Canine was originally founded around the concept of providing at-your-doorstep dog training services for urban pet parents. And during that time Yamika learned about some of the most common challenges that pet parents spoke of about their pets: intolerances and/or allergies to processed and mass produced foods and other snacks/treats. Yamika realised that the change of food habits to processed food often lead to the deterioration of dogs’ physical and mental health. Recalling the earlier days, Yamika says, “The best piece of advice I could give pet parents is to read the ingredients section of the packaged foods they feed their dogs. This will help them decipher between good and bad products – if there are ingredients listed on there that you don’t recognize or that sound really complicated – your dog should probably not be eating them.”
But that couldn’t be the solution of the problem of so many ill dogs, so after much dietary research, Yamika says, “Just because something landed up on the shelf of your local pet store, does not mean it is safe for your pet to eat.” Motivated enough, she started the brand “Lickin’ Licious”. “The food treats prepared”, the entrepreneur says, “are nutritious – with only real ingredients, human grade – which means that all ingredients used are safe for human consumption and they are free of chemical preservatives and additives like synthetic flavours, colors etc.” Yamika also adds saying that just because the treats are handmade and natural, doesn’t mean taste is compromised on – “All our treats are tried and tested by canine customers, even the fussiest eaters.”
My personal mission and therefore Clever Canine’s mission is to remind people that dogs, just like us humans, do best when are on a whole food diet.”
The animal loving entrepreneur lists some of the all time favourites for the pets: milk bones – healthy crunchers that are alternatives to dangerous raw-hide chews; frosty treats in flavours like bacon and apple, pink salmon, and blueberry; grain free range biscuits in two flavours – fish, and banana; and a nutritious coconut bar called “Barkies” which contain peanut butter, coconut, and honey. The latter Yamika says, “Are great for dogs with dietary restrictions and also work great as training treats.”
Yamika who has taken Clever Canines as a full-time occupation says, “My personal mission and therefore Clever Canine’s mission is to remind people that dogs, just like us humans, do best when are on a whole food diet.” The canine lover also studied Animal Behaviour and therefore advices pet owners on their pets’ if ever odd, aggressive, and unsocial behaviour, “Have a thorough health check-up with your veterinarian to understand whether your dog’s behaviour is related to ill health – a lot of times, the dog has an underlying and untreated health issue which causes stress or pain and therefore leads to behaviour problems like aggression and unsociability.”
Promoting good canine lifestyle, Yamika says, she is currently working closely with Canine Behaviourist, Sindhoor Pangal (Bangalore Hundeskole) and Canine Wellness Coach, Helen Moore from Canada, to organize an educational course on Canine Nutrition & Health which is happening in March 2017.
A happy pet owner and an even happier entrepreneur, Yamika Damani feels her job satisfaction comes from her happy customers and the wagging tails that accompany them, whose lives she feels she has helped nurture and change.