Ask the Expert

Dr K G Umesh (MVSc, MSc (UK)) is a Postgraduate in Clinical Medicine. He has been a lecturer in clinical medicine at Vet College in Bangalore for 15 years, and has won the ‘best teacher’ award in the year 2000. He is a member of European Society for Vet Dermatology and is currently working for WALTHAM as Regional Associate for South Asia.

Ask the Expert

Dr K G Umesh (MVSc, MSc (UK)) is a Postgraduate in Clinical Medicine. He has been a lecturer in clinical medicine at Vet College in Bangalore for 15 years, and has won the ‘best teacher’ award in the year 2000. He is a member of European Society for Vet Dermatology and is currently working for WALTHAM as Regional Associate for South Asia.

Q: My five-year-old Lab is having skin allergy, please help.
– Ranjeet, Indore

Dr KG Umesh: Allergies are common in dogs and some common allergies included atopy, food allergy, contact allergy and flea allergy which cause skin rashes, itching, etc. Flea control, identifying and avoiding food ingredients/contacts, helps your pet to free from respective allergies. However, atopy, which is most common allergy in pets, has genetic basis and pets show allergy to environmental pollens, molds, dander (shed skin cells), house dust, tobacco smoke and a variety of other substances. Such cases cannot be cured but required multimodal approach to manage. So, efforts should be directed at managing your pet’s symptoms and secondary infections using approved topical and oral medications.

Q: My pet Gracie is a seven-year-old Dalmatian. She suffers from breathing problem due to dust. Please advise what can be done to cure it?
– Deeti Chaterjee, Kolkata

Dr KG Umesh: In dogs, as in humans, chest diseases (airways, lungs, heart) are common cause for breathing problems. Some cases are caused by an infection or inflammation or allergies in the respiratory tract. Growths or foreign bodies or obstructive diseases, anatomical issues may also cause breathing problems in dogs. If your pet’s breathing problem is confirmed to be caused by allergies, keeping your pet away from such offending allergens will generally help (in addition to anti-allergic medications for managing breathing problem). Please contact your vet.

Q: My German Shepard has awful ear infection. He doesn’t allow us to touch the ears to even check the condition. Sometimes he cries in pain. Had once got treated with vet, but not very effective. Can you help me with this?
– Chaitrali, Bengaluru

Dr KG Umesh: Inflammation in ear canal may occur as a simple reaction due to parasites, overgrowth of microbes or growths. It may also arise from allergic disease like atopy or endocrine diseases or ear canal anatomical problems. Affected animals are often very irritated by the inflammation and exhibit signs such as scratching at the ear, shaking the head, holding the head tilted to one side. If inflammation or pain is severe at first that the ear cannot be handled painlessly, your vet may prescribe pills/administer injections to control pain/infection or clean ears under sedation. Failure to address the underlying cause in a pet with ear problem dooms one to treatment failure. Your vet may advise series of tests including cytology to find out the underlying cause. Your vet can show you how to properly clean and instill ear drops at home. Keeping your pet’s ears clean is important because it helps prevent an environment in the ears that promotes inflammation.

Q: I have a three-year-old Lab who has fungal allergy. Please tell me what is the right treatment?
– Sumitha, Thrissur, Kerala

Dr KG Umesh: Allergies like atopy or allergy to flea bite or food proteins are common in dogs. Atopic pet can develop allergy to pollens, moulds, fungus, etc. Certain factors that can predispose to this chronic condition include bacterial, yeast or fungal infections, etc. Avoiding offending allergens is best way to avoid allergy but practically not feasible. However, many safer drugs are validated for management of allergy in pets. Please contact your vet.

Q: My Golden Retriever is three months old. He urinates more than 20-30 times a day, sometimes white in colour and sometimes yellow. He does poop four times or more and its colour is golden and black mixed especially blackish brown. How can we train him to urinate at one place?
– Aroonita Kapur, Siliguri

Dr KG Umesh: Young puppies will inevitably have ‘accidents’. It is important to ignore these, and to clean up well so that the smell does not linger, as this may encourage him to repeat the performance on the same spot. Do clean soiled inside areas with enzymatic cleaners. Here are some basic tips to stop him soiling your house. When inside, closely supervise your dog. If can’t be with him, confine him to a small area or exercise pen during house training. Continue this until he has gone at least 4-8 weeks without any accidents. Always accompany him outside to eliminate. Take him out frequently, especially after eating, sleeping and play activities. Immediately reward outdoor elimination with praise and treats. Do it as soon as he has finished. (If you wait until back inside, he will think the reward is for coming back inside). Consider keeping a jar of treats near the door as a reminder to take a few on your way outside. If you catch him eliminating inside, startle him with a loud noise and immediately take him outside to finish eliminating. Then, once again, reward your dog immediately. Don’t punish when he slips up. This is rarely effective. Instead, reward good behaviour. Seriously consider puppy and obedience classes.

Ask the expert…

Ask the expert…

Ask the Expert

Dr K G Umesh (MVSc, MSc (UK)) is a Postgraduate in Clinical Medicine. He has been a lecturer in clinical medicine at Vet College in Bangalore for 15 years, and has won the ‘best teacher’ award in the year 2000. He is a member of European Society for Vet Dermatology and is currently working for WALTHAM as Regional Associate for South Asia.

Q: My pet dogs, Dililah and Simba, are having tick infestation problem. Please help.
– Divyani Ghosh, Bhopal

Dr KG Umesh: A generalised tick cycle consists of egg, larva, nymph and adult. The different life stage of ticks may be found on dogs before they engorge with blood. Ticks lay their eggs (as many as 18,000 in some species) in sheltered areas on or near the ground. Successful control of ticks depends on eliminating these pests from the dog and the environment. The use of the tick control medications must be preceded by a thorough vacuuming; special attention should be paid to the areas under furniture, carpets, near pet bedding and along moldings. Make sure that other pets/dogs your dogs frequently contact/visit are free from fleas and ticks. Tick control should be done year-round, as different tick species are active at different times of the year although they tend to increase in number during warm weather. Tick control products for adult dogs include a variety of drugs and chemicals available as collars, shampoos, sprays, dips, powders, long-lasting topical spot on. Once-a-month or three-month tablets are becoming popular for successful control of ticks. Ask your vet.

Q: My pet Buddy, who is a Shih Tzu, has an itching problem over the abdomen area. Please advise me about treatment.
– Gaurav Sharma, Indore

Dr KG Umesh: Itching and hair loss can be result of many disorders causing inflammation, including parasites, allergies like atopy and contact allergy or dry skin. Recheck and change his bedding material which may cause itching in few cases. Skin and hair coat alone takes away approximately 30 percent of protein from the diet for his health. Hence a balanced and complete nutrition is most important for healthy skin and hair coat. Keep hair coat clean by regular grooming and bathe with moisturizing shampoo. Please contact your vet before it spreads to other areas.

Q: My dog got three attacks of gastroenteritis in the last six months. He is a three-year-old Golden Retriever. We got him the required medication through his vet. Please help me to prevent this situation.
– Zia Kulkarni, Sangli

Dr KG Umesh: Gastroenteritis may result from many disorders. Most acute cases are related to diet in vaccinated dogs and usually recover fast with symptomatic treatment. Overfeeding and eating inappropriate things are some of other common causes. We suggest to avoid milk or cereals during this time and feed highly digestible food. In contrast to acute problems, chronic or recurrent ones are rarely self-limiting and it is usually essential to establish specific diagnosis and appropriate therapy. Dietary sensitivity, inflammatory bowel diseases, chronic liver diseases and parasites are few examples. Regular vaccination and de-worming should be part of preventive health care.

Q: My Labrador called Teddy is having problem with digestion as he sneaks to garbage and other filth and eats. How do I stop him?
– Rakesh, Sagar, MP

Dr KG Umesh: Labradors have insatiable appetite. Follow disciple in feeding quantity and timings. Firstly, prevent the access to those areas as much as possible. You may consider splitting his two meals to 3-4 meals. Toys and treats in between mealtimes may help to distract the behaviour. Exercise and play with your dog regularly and provide positive interaction.

Q: Toffee, my white Pomeranian, is having eye problem as the white area turns reddish. She is squinting too. Please advice.
– Gauhar Singh, Jaipur

Dr KG Umesh: Red eye may indicate inflammation in any internal parts of eye ball. Injuries, corneal ulcers/opacity, uveitis, infections and glaucoma are few examples of red eye. The underlying cause of the problem can only be confirmed by your veterinarian when he/she examines your pet’s eyes.

Ask the Expert…

Dr K G Umesh (MVSc, MSc (UK)) is a Postgraduate in Clinical Medicine. He has been a lecturer in clinical medicine at Vet College in Bangalore for 15 years, and has won the ‘best teacher’ award in the year 2000. He is a member of European Society for Vet Dermatology and is currently working for WALTHAM as Regional Associate for South Asia.

Q: My four-month-old pet is suffering from gastroenteritis. How should I prevent this?
– Gaurav Sharma, Bhopal

Dr KG Umesh: Parvoviral gastroenteritis is a potentially severe and occasionally life-threatening viral disease of dogs and it is transmitted via fecal-oral transmission. It is important to clean any cages, blankets, food and water bowls and other objects used by the dog with diluted bleach in water that destroys this virus. Although your pet’s recovery from infection provides immunity it is important for your dog to get booster vaccinations regularly according to your vet’s recommendation.

Q: My pet Max eats stones and rubbish items. What should I do to stop this bad habit?
– Devansh Mishra, Lucknow

Dr KG Umesh: Most chewing behaviour is seen in young puppies due to their strong desire to explore. Therefore, it is necessary that acceptable outlets for this behaviour be provided. If the puppy does try to pick stones, rubbish, etc, command ‘No’ and distract his attention with a toy or sound. Act early before bad habits become established. Reward your dog with praise for chewing on appropriate items. Ignore your puppy when he behaves inappropriately, rather than giving him attention. Many of these habits can be modified quite easily if done correctly and persistently. Acceptable chew items include toys stuffed with food, rope toys and other chew toys that have been made attractive using food. To fit into the family circle, your puppy must be taught to recognise his name and such commands as ‘Come’, ‘Heel’ ‘Lie Down’ and ‘Sit’. Exercise and play with your dog regularly to alleviate excess energy and provide positive interaction.

Q: My Toy Pomeranian is 45 days pregnant. We try to prevent her from jumping. But she often jumps up and down on our bed. Is it harmful? What about climbing steps? Please tell us how do we make a DIY whelping box?
– Dinakaran, Chennai

Dr KG Umesh: Going for a walk, playing, chasing a ball or doing any exercise your dog is used to should be safe during pregnancy. Try to avoid situations for excessive jumping or physical activities. Choose a safe and secluded area that is safe and away from household traffic patterns. Provide a box or clean place approximately one and half times length of your pet to stretch and deliver her puppies. Provide railings or ledge/bumper about three inches from floor to prevent dam suffocating a puppy when caught between her and side of the box. Line the box/area with soft and warm washable clothes to give puppies good footing for nursing and crawling. Avoid hay, straw or shavings as well as large blankets that may allow puppy to crawl underneath. Introduce your dog to the box/place about one week before the expected delivery date to allow your dog to become acclimated.

Q: My dog Dash, who is one and a half years old, frequently urinates. Is this a health problem?
– MRM Nair, Trivandrum

Dr KG Umesh: Frequent urination is caused by many physiological conditions like anxiety, stress (submissive), drinking too much of water as well as diseases of urinary tract, liver or endocrine diseases. Pain, straining or frequent voiding of small volume of urine may be associated with lower urinary tract diseases including stones. You are suggested to visit your vet if you notice your dog having any urgency or discomfort while urinating.

Q: My two-year-old Lhasa gets anxious and scared with every noise in the house, even if it’s a food processor churning or a hair dryer. He barks sometimes and other times he hides. How do we control this?
– Purnima Sharma, Gurgaon

Dr KG Umesh: Early socialisation during his puppy period would have prevented such issues. Identify situations and environments that your dog will need to be comfortable. You are basically aiming at preparing your dog for all eventualities, so that whenever he encounters anyone or anything new, he will greet it with inquisitiveness rather than fear or aggression. Expose your dog to all sights and sounds gradually and allow him to explore and learn for himself—for example, switch on the food processer in another room to avoid startling him by a sudden loud noise and let him go to find it. Ensure that when he finds it, it is rewarding rather than threatening. You can simply do this by placing a piece of food next to the food processer. If your dog is quite shy and frightened, you can start off by having a snack next to the switched off food processer and then work your way towards your dog tolerating it when it is switched on. Seeking professional trainer would also help.

Ask the Expert…

Dr K G Umesh (MVSc, MSc (UK)) is a Postgraduate in Clinical Medicine. He has been a lecturer in clinical medicine at Vet College in Bangalore for 15 years, and has won the ‘best teacher’ award in the year 2000. He is a member of European Society for Vet Dermatology and is currently working for WALTHAM as Regional Associate for South Asia.

Q: My pet is a six-year-old female Dalmatian named Gracie. Recently I noticed that she has developed dust allergy which turns into spasms. She has difficulty in breathing and makes wheezing sounds. How can she be cured? Please help. 
– Deeti Chatterjee, Kolkata

Dr KG Umesh: Dogs too suffer allergic skin diseases like atopy or flea allergies. Avoiding allergens is best but not always practicable. Some allergies cannot be cured but can be managed very well with available safer medications. Other option is to try inhalation therapy using bronchodilators or steroids with nebulisers made for pets. Balanced and complete food with omega fatty acids may also help.

Q: I have a Rottweiler who had surgery on his front leg which had to be removed. Your advice on this please.
– Swapnil Shelkikar, Pune

Dr KG Umesh: There are many individuals and vets offering such services from human prosthetic manufacturers. I suggest you to contact your nearest vet.

Q: We adopted a street dog three years back, but he is still very aggressive and unfriendly, barking continuously at strangers. We pamper him but he is still very insecure. Please tell us the root cause of it?
– Jarmanjeet Kaur, Patiala

Dr KG Umesh: Non-confident canines require very gentle training and lots of patience from their pet parents. One of the most common causes of such problems is a lack of socialisation at young age. However, with the help of a qualified obedience instructor or dog behaviourist, it’s possible to correct this problem. This process will also require you and your family to make changes in the way you interact with your dog as well. Identify situations and environments that your pet will need to be comfortable with, meeting the people on road, having contact with the children/pets next door, walking along the street, to name just a few.

You are basically aiming at preparing your pet for all eventualities, so that whenever he encounters anyone or anything new, he will greet it with inquisitiveness rather than fear or aggression. Reward is, of course, the best motivation of behaviour, so it’s important to praise the dog while he’s doing the right thing, not afterwards. Exercise and play with your dog regularly. If your dog is properly trained to ‘sit’, ‘stay’ and ‘come’ he’ll be less likely to be aggressive with people because his first concern will be to obey your commands. A dog who’s under control and knows you as the leader of his ‘pack’, he will behave and won’t bite anyone.

Q: My five-year-old Beagle is suffering from atopic dermatitis. Please advise me on its cure?
– Aryaman Agarwal, Bhopal

Dr KG Umesh: Atopic dermatitis (also commonly called atopy) is an allergy to substances (allergens) from the environment and often is a diagnosis of exclusion. Atopic dermatitis cannot be cured, so efforts should be directed at managing your pet’s symptoms. Several approaches can be taken for treatment. The best option is to minimize or eliminate exposure to allergens identified (pollens, dust mite, food proteins, etc). Some vets do perform desensitisation (immunotherapy) to identify allergens by giving series of allergy shots but has success rate of 50-70 percent, that too after several months.

Your vet initially treats secondary bacterial or yeast infections before considering drugs to strengthen skin barrier function. Currently, steroids and cyclosporine are used in India for long-term management along with omega fatty acids and occasional use of antihistamines. Regular check-ups with your vet are a must to control acute flares.

Q: Please do advice on precautions and treatment of parvovirus as many pets are prone to parvovirus attack.
– G Mahesh Raju, Hyderabad

Dr KG Umesh: Parvovirus infection in dogs is preventable disease with regular vaccinations. Parvoviral enteritis is a potentially severe and occasionally life-threatening intestinal condition of dogs that is spread via fecal-oral transmission. Dogs succumbing to this virus require aggressive medications and supplements intravenously to correct fluid loss and secondary infections.

Most pets recover well with early treatment in a week’s time. Some breeds like Doberman or Rottweiler may take longer time to recover. Your vet may advise tube feeding in a very sick pets or a small amount of water and a bland, easily digestible food can be introduced when vomiting and diarrhoea stops. Newer therapy like faecal transplant are still validated but can be considered based on your vet’s advise.

Ask The Expert…

Dr K G Umesh (MVSc, MSc (UK)) is a Postgraduate in Clinical Medicine. He has been a lecturer in clinical medicine at Vet College in Bangalore for 15 years, and has won the ‘best teacher’ award in the year 2000. He is a member of European Society for Vet Dermatology and is currently working for WALTHAM as Regional Associate for South Asia.

Q: My pet keeps licking and itching between the chest and stomach area. Is there any reason behind this? Please advice. 
– Leeza Malhotra, Jalandhar

Dr KG Umesh: Licking and itching these areas could be result of allergies including dry skin, frequent bath, contact allergy or atopy, parasites or yeast infections. Itching can also be secondary to many underlying causes. I suggest you to consult your vet to find the underlying cause. Make sure that you are feeding a balanced pet food with adequate zinc, fatty acids and proteins. You may use moisturising shampoos like oat meal, etc.

Q: How often should we bathe our Dachshund?
– MRM Nair, Trivandrum

Dr KG Umesh: Generally, it is recommended to bath pets when the coat is soiled or for medical reasons. You may bathe once in two weeks using vet recommended shampoos. Consider using dry shampoos in winter or cold seasons.

Q: My Pomeranian named Pari is 13 years old. When she stands up, her hind limbs shiver. Also, she doesn’t want to walk too much and prefers to sit. What could be the reason of all these?
– Mohita Jain, New Delhi

Dr KG Umesh: Weakness in hind limbs in a senior dog could be due to age-related changes including joint problems or backbone/spine problems. Anaemia or other hidden systemic illness can also cause weakness in hind legs. Please take her to your vet for complete examination. If all is fine, your vet may suggest proven supplements to strengthen joints.

Q: My two female dogs, Helen & Rani, always fight each other seriously. Rani attacks Helen thus Helen is afraid of Rani. They both are two years old. Please advice a solution in this. – Sumitha PV, Thrissur

Dr KG Umesh: Aggression happens between two dogs despite similar age and raised together. Some causes include change in relationship when they become mature, anxiety due to change in home settings or improper communications in one of the dogs or simply may be due to fight over access to food or resting territory or family members, etc. Separation anxiety or pet parent’s attentions, treats or high arousal situations can also trigger this behaviour. Dominance or high ranking theory has been debated in social behaviour of dogs.

First step is to start separating the two dogs when they are unsupervised and apply head collars and muzzles to prevent injury. Restrain pets with leash in your presence and take care while breaking up fight. You may distract them using loud noise, water, etc. Avoid situations that initiate or trigger aggression. For example, feed them separately and gradually bring bowls closer over a period of time.You may take leadership role by controlling all interactions and access. You can train them separately to your commands like sit, stay and down. As the conflict starts declining over a period of time, allow them to walk or feed together under your supervision. I suggest you also to seek professional trainer’s help as well as vet’s suggestions for behavioural medications.

Q: How do I train my one-year-old Labrador to behave well and not to steal food from plates?
– Jarmanjeet Kaur, Patiala

Dr KG Umesh: Labradors are greedy eaters and they take every opportunity to eat or steal food if not well trained. They may do it for variety of reasons such as boredom, lack of attention or separation anxiety, to name a few. Make sure you follow discipline in feeding number of meals/treats and timings. Engage him with plenty of exercise, toys and play. Take him out for regular walks and train him using commands like ‘leave it’ that may work in some cases. Make sure that you reward immediately for his good behaviour following the command. Take all preventive measures by keeping away any food accessible to him. Some pet parents use lemon or pineapple juice to make food distasteful—give it a try!

Ask the Expert

Dr K G Umesh (MVSc, MSc (UK)) is a Postgraduate in Clinical Medicine. He has been a lecturer in clinical medicine at Vet College in Bangalore for 15 years, and has won the ‘best teacher’ award in the year 2000. He is a member of European Society for Vet Dermatology and is currently working for WALTHAM as Regional Associate for South Asia.

Q: Simba, our two-year-old Spaniel, gets excited when friends are visiting and he always urinates. How can I train him not to do so?
– Anmol Gosh, Kolkata

Dr KG Umesh: Your pet may have developed the so-called submissive urination. Some helpful tips to reduce these problems include exercising your dog before guests arrive—more relaxed or ready to take a nap. Avoid excited greetings when you come home and try to come in quietly. If the arrival of guests makes your dog excitable, give him a break in his crate/kennel or in a quiet room with a familiar doggie bed or blanket. Allow your pooch to join the guests after the initial commotion has subsided. Teach your dog to sit, even when excited. You may also try keeping your pet under your control (leash or harness) for few minutes until all your guests are settled and gradually try without leash. Find out what kind of play he likes most while interacting with your friends that hep to build his confidence and relationship. It takes time and practice. Good luck!

Q: My chocolate Labrador, who is eight-month-old, has been limping with her hind leg. Our vet diagnosed hip dysplasia. Currently she is on tablets but has not improved. Please advice. – Sonam Khanna, Chandigarh

Dr KG Umesh: The causes of hip dysplasia (HD) are complex and involve heredity and environmental factors such as overeating and rapid weight gain. Treatment for this problem is based on finding the underlying cause by physical examination, x-ray findings. Osteoarthritis (OA) can be a progressive problem in which pain and disuse lead to further deterioration of joint movement and function in dogs with HD. The conservative treatment includes enforced rest, anti-inflammatory drugs, and pain medication. Therapeutic exercise and physical modalities (cryotherapy, massage, thermotherapy, therapeutic ultrasound, electrical stimulation) may be indicated to enhance motion or reduce pain, allowing improved function. A physical therapy involves suitable exercise, avoiding obesity and, least important, medication. Low impact exercise is preferable, such as swimming or leashed walks. Many nutraceuticals and diets are promoted for management of joint problems. Please consult your vet before you make any change in the management.

Q: I have a two-year-old male Golden Retriever and want to adopt another. Is it ok that I adopt a female Golden Retriever? How should I introduce the two each other? Will it be fine to mate the two in future?  – Mandy, Goa

Dr KG Umesh: My advice depends on your objective of keeping two dogs. Many pet parents plan to keep second dog hoping to reduce behavioural problems like separation anxiety or loneliness, etc, but the truth is that another dog is not likely to change that behaviour. Whatever your reasons you decided to add another dog to the family, just be aware that bringing in a new dog is a huge change for an older dog, and unless you go about it the right way, it could create a lot of stress. With the new dog and older dog on a leash held by someone else, let the older dog sniff, lick and explore the newly adopted pet. A couple of minutes will be more than enough time for this initial introduction. Remove the new pet from the room and lavish your older dog with attention and praise.

On the second or third meeting, if all seems safe, allow the new pet onto the floor, and monitor that situation carefully for a few minutes. Remove the new pet from the room, and again, give your older dog praise and attention. Repeat this exercise at least twice daily until you’re comfortable that the two will get along. It’s not a good idea to leave your new pet alone with the old one. There should always be someone there to supervise. When you talk to each of the dogs, use a happy, friendly tone of voice. Never talk to them in a way that is threatening. Reward good behaviour with treats and/or compliments of ‘good dog!’ Monitor their body language! Give your old dog some quiet time away from your new dog every once in awhile – he’ll appreciate the break. And be sure to give him lots of individual attention so that he’ll know that he still holds a special place in your heart and hasn’t been ‘replaced’. Yes, they can be mated if both are in appropriate ages and health condition.

Q: We have three dogs—one male and two females—who are two years of age. The two females keep fighting with each other. What is the reason and how do we solve it? Please help.  – Sumitha, Thrissur

Dr KG Umesh: The relationship can change, or changes within the home can create anxiety between two dogs that may result in aggression even in dogs who are raised together. You must distinguish playful aggressive behaviours from more serious types of aggression, such as possessive aggression, conflict/dominance-related aggression, protective aggression, and predatory behaviour. You must recognise that social hierarchies help decrease the conflict associated with allocation of critical resources (food, shelter, mates, territory, etc).
Separate the dogs when they are unsupervised or left alone. Apply head collars to each dog with leashes and muzzles. Restrain them with a leash while you are present. You may take the leadership role and control both – it will be helpful when one is a dominant and doesn’t allow any other dog to have status or has impaired social skills. You control all interactions and access to food, resting places, territory, attention, and treats – stop feeding them when they are together. The dogs can also be fed at a distance (if food guarding is not a problem), but far enough apart that no aggression is shown. Also separately train each dog in the ‘sit’, ‘stay’, and ‘down’ commands to increase their control and give structure to the environment and their interactions with other dogs. It is helpful for the dogs to interact in neutral situations (like walk) where they are both happy. If you are unable to manage or train, seek help of a professional trainer.

Q: Our female Pomeranian pup is 10 months old. We feed her home-cooked food because she refuses to eat dog food. She eats very little and is a bit thin. She is shedding a lot. How should I change her eating habits and keep her in size? Aniket Chauhan, Rajkot

Dr KG Umesh: Gradually introduce the pet food over a 5-10 day period by mixing very small amounts of the balanced petfood with old diet. Remember that too quickly a change over may upset your pet’s metabolic balance and they may also lose interest in food. Please remember that it is not possible to feed your dog a consistent and adequate home-prepared diet without considerable time, effort, and expertise. It is difficult even for an experienced breeder to prepare balanced diet for dogs. There is no need to feed any supplements like calcium or home diet while he is feeding on balanced food except clean fresh water.

Ask the expert…