Heroics of Homeopathy in Pets!

Homeopathy is not a new phenomenon in the treatment of animals. Yet its acceptance is slow! But things are changing and a lot of vets are making homeopathy a part of their treatment.

Way back in the 18th century the founder and father of homeopathy D Samuel Hahnemann had tried homeopathic remedies for animals. The first veterinarian to use homeopathy again in the same century was Wilhelm Lux and literature shows the enormous success of the science since then. Most vets dabble in homeopathy in India but the last decade has seen a scientific approach in the field with Kerala Veterinary College offering a PG Certification Course in Veterinary Homeopathy for vets. Since then, many vets have undertaken the course, understood its principles, and worked wonders with pets, farm animals, and wild animals. I too recently finished my course here and have since been practicing homeopathy.

Dr Gautam Unny

Positive perspective to homeopathy

One needs a very open mind to understand what is homeopathy all about? It works on energies and is in a crude manner something like nanotechnology. The most powerful homeopathic drug is the most dilute version! In fact, dilutions below 120C (form of dilution) have no material molecule (physical presence within the solution) of the drug.

Yet the finest qualities of the medicine are seen as it gets more dilute. It hence works on the principal that water has memory and as we continue the dilution process, it continues to have the energies of the original drug. Some feel that this is the biggest drawback homeopathy has, yet they have no problem accepting nanotechnology.

The second point of interest is that the homeopath rarely cares about germs or diseases per se. He believes that the soul or vital force or the energy in the animal gets deranged. When this happens, the patient falls ill. That means to cure the patient the vital force or energy in him must be strengthened. So, it’s not the disease that is targeted but the symptoms the animal exhibits that are then matched and treated. The first tenet of homeopathy is the concept is ‘similia similibus curantus’ or like cure like.

The father of homeopathy has envisaged that the symptoms that a drug (mineral, plant, animal, poison or even diseased animal tissues) produce in a healthy individual will cure symptoms similar in a disease. He first saw that chincona the bark of a tree produced symptoms exactly similar to malaria in a healthy individual. He then postulated that chincona could be used to treat malaria by testing it on himself. Such was his genius that he used products such as the venom of the most poisonous snakes and spiders, toxic minerals or plants, and has given some of the finest homeopathic remedies. Hence, if the symptoms of disease match the symptoms a drug can produce, we will have a perfect remedy!

Making treatment simple, one step at a time!

The best homeopath would rather die before giving two remedies together. He follows the rule of simplex that states that only one remedy can be given at one time. That is particularly true in humans who can state their symptoms well. Homeopaths rely on both mental and physical symptoms with emphasis on the former. That unfortunately is the biggest drawback for vets as we cannot know what exactly our patients are feeling.

We could at best judge the symptoms. The symptoms are either subjective when the patient tells his physician what he feels. Or they could be objective where the physician judges what patient has. The mental subjective have the highest place among symptoms for the homeopath. What the patient feels, craves for, desires, has an aversion to etc. play a vital role in selection of a remedy. When I see a good mental symptom in a pet I feel almost assured that the case will have a favorable prognosis.

Opening the world to a new science

What homeopathy did for me was to open my eyes to an entire new science. After almost two and a half decades of active allopathic practice I found something was lacking. I still believe that my science is the best for surgery but there are limitations for some cases.

Let me give you an example where I have met with great success in my practice. For epilepsy in our science, we have a one size fits all approach, just use anti-epileptics. But in homeopathy I have used at least ten varied remedies or more with success based on individual symptoms the pet exhibits. There was a dog who had his seizures every full moon and we had a very specific remedy for it. There are remedies that work when fits come only during sleep.

Others have attacks when the patient is excited or sees bright lights. Few others have seizures of a particular part or petit mal seizures. There are specific remedies for patients who have periodical seizures. In allopathic treatment all these patients would have had the same drug. But in homeopathy the symptoms have decided the drugs and the results are very good. It is to prevent misuse that I’ve not mentioned any remedy names. It cannot be said that all have been cured but the results have a lot of smiling faces and wagging tails.

Best of both allopathy and homeopathy

There are also many good results coming for distemper and parvo but again we combine the best of allopathy and homeopathy. At our clinic it’s not about what cures the patient but just that the most humane approach must be adopted for a fast, permanent cure. There are excellent remedies for liver and kidney ailments. But I’ll reiterate that it’s not magic. It all depends on the stage of the diseases and the extent of damage the organ has faced.

I personally feel that homeopathy must be explained to vets in college before they pass out. It depends then on their interest and inclination if they wish to study it further. Since a college in India is now offering post graduate certification course it’s a wonderful opportunity to upgrade one’s skill and knowledge. The future lies in minimum medication and less judicious use of antibiotics. The world is faced with an unprecedented crisis of antibiotic resistance. Homeopathy offers an escape from this problem.

(Dr Gautam Unny is a practicing vet at The Amrita Pet Care Clinic, Delhi. With PG Certification in Veterinary Homeopathy from KVASU, he treats animals in One Animal One Health Approach by combining Homeopathy and Allopathy)

Forget the Mistakes, Remember the Lessons!

We are always told to learn from our mistakes. But as pet parents we want to do the best for our furry friends which leave little scope for error. We’re here to help! Know some common mistakes of pet parenting and how you can avoid them.

Healthy outside starts from inside

Feeding healthy diet to your pets is important for their growth and healthy lifespan. An unhealthy diet is root cause of health problems. A lot of pet parents don’t have enough knowledge about the components of a healthy diet. So this is what you need to know!

• Pet parents give the same type of feed to their dogs without considering their pet’s age, body weight, activity status which leads to poor nutritional management because nutritional requirement will differ according to age, activity, body weight, etc.

• Changing your pet’s food often is not a good idea. Just because there is a new brand in the market doesn’t mean you have to try it at the earliest. Make sure you buy food based on your pet’s age, health, breed, and other nutritional needs.

• Sometimes feeding dry food becomes a challenge. Your pet might face difficulty in swallowing, and there’s also risk for bacteria and mycotoxins to be present. Storage mites can multiply rapidly in dry food, so be extra cautious. Pets can develop hypersensitivity to storage mites, resulting in itchy inflamed skin, hair loss, and ear infections.

• Don’t fall for their puppy eyes. Feeding table scraps to your pet is a big NO. Human food has salt, garlic, onions, raisins, tomatoes etc. which can have harmful effect on your pet’s health and can cause problems such as renal failure, anaemia, and hormonal imbalance.

• Over feeding treats to make your fur babies happy or to show your love might lead to obesity.

• Many pet parents only feed their pets commercial pet food. This isn’t always necessary and may cause gastro issues. Pets become prone to urolithiasis due to excessive calcium in the diet, and might also develop food allergies. It is best to give a balance of home cooked meals and commercial dog food. You can consult your vet for the best advice.

• Giving excess milk is harmful for pets. Some dogs have lactose intolerance and cannot digest milk properly which leads to diarrhoea, indigestion etc. It is better to give milk diluted with water.

Water – the elixir of life

When it comes to your pet’s nutrition, water plays an important role. It helps in maintaining electrolytes, hydrates the body to maintain circulatory volume. Your pet’s body will naturally lose water all day when they sweat through their paws, when they pant, also in urine and faeces. When lose 10 to 15 percent of water in their body it leads to dehydration and they can get very sick. It can even cause damage to organs like kidneys and liver when persisted for long time.

• Provide clean and ample amount of water.

• Don’t forget to refill the water bowl. It should be refilled at every 3-4 hours.

• Using a common water bowl for all the pets in the house can lead to spread of infection, so keep separate bowls for each pet.

• Use big water bowls for adult and large breed dogs.

Exercise and no
‘extra fries’

Both you and your pet need optimal exercise to keep your body and mind healthy. When your pet gets enough exercise – it helps your pet to control their weight, be energized throughout the day, and helps maintain a strong cardiovascular and immune system.

Since puppies are constantly growing, including several short walks or play sessions throughout the day is a good idea than going for one really long walk, as this can be too hard on your puppy’s developing body. Old dogs require less exercise. Talk to your vet to know what is the right amount of exercise that your pet needs based on their health status, age, and breed. Regular exercise will help manage behavioural issues in pets as well.

Good grooming goes a long way

Regular grooming is essential for their mental and physical health.

• Train your dog to get used to being touched all over the body like face, tail, paws etc. Introduce them to the buzzing noises so they do not feel uncomfortable with grooming equipments.

• It is a common misconception that you must only brush your pet after they bathe. That’s not true. Dry brushing will help get rid of matted hair and knots and keep their coat shiny.

• Protecting his eyes and ears during bathing is important. Not doing so can lead to infection due to moisture. Also dry him properly after bathing.

• Not using proper shampoo for your pet is a common mistake that a lot of pet parents make. Do not use human shampoo for your furry companions. It will dry their skin, cause skin allergies, and cause an imbalance in the pH level of the skin.

• Clean his eyes, ears, and paws at regular intervals.
• Using dull clippers for cutting nails may cause crushing of nails and will hurt your pet.
• Do not avoid grooming in winters.

Gentle reminder – Time for you and your pet to get vaccinated

Timely vaccination for you and your pet is crucial. For your pets there is an added aspect – deworming. It will protect them from zoonotic diseases such as rabies and other infections.

Follow the proper vaccination and deworming cycle that your vet recommends. Too early or too late vaccination of your pet will not help. Don’t forget to take your pet for booster dose of vaccination after the primary dose
Giving any anti-parasitic or antibiotic medicines orally without verifying with your vet can be fatal. Do not medicate your pet just by reading on the internet. Consult your vet for any health issues.

Dr Nilesh Gohil

Dr Nidhi Patel

Dr Munja Bharai

The best protection is early detection

Sometimes due to their busy schedule pet parents don’t notice some of the behavioural changes, signs of onset of disease such as decrease in activity, lethargy, decrease in food and water intake, gradual weight loss or weight gain. Your pet cannot speak about their illness, but will show signs. So you need to be careful and keep an eye. Early detection will help provide timely treatment and will not worsen your pet’s health.

Monitor your pet’s health keeping in mind these factors –

• Food and water intake
• Urine output, frequency of urination, colour of urine
• Frequency of defecation, consistency and colour of faeces
• Vomiting or diarrhoea
• Activity status of pet
• Check for presence of ecto-parasites, skin and hair lesions, cuts etc.
• Keep an tab on regular vaccination and deworming
Your pet’s health is in your hands. Make healthy choices for yourself and your pet to ensure you both live a healthy and happy life.

(Dr Munja Bharai, Dr Nidhi Patel and Dr Nilesh Gohil are from the Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, Anand Veterinary College, Anand, Gujarat)

DCC Animal Hospital ensures each pet gets best healthcare in India

Incorporated in April 2019 in Singapore, A’alda has been into veterinary hospital business in India and Japan. In the following year, the company launched A’alda Vet India, opened DCC Animal Hospitals in Gurugram and Greater Kailash-II in New Delhi. The pet hospital chain is on the mission of ensuring each pet gets the best healthcare in India.


Ohhum Kwan

Ohhum Kwan


As multispecialty hospitals with state-of-the-art facility, advanced equipment, skilled vets practicing global standards of veterinary driven by passion for pets, DCC Animal Hospitals are here in India to ‘Redefine Veterinary, Simplify Veterinary’. A’alda Vet India aims at pursuing the happiness of pets and their pet parents by tackling the issues of modern society with a vision.

The beginning…

Recalling the beginning, Ohhun Kwon, Director, A’alda Vet India Pvt Ltd, shares how the Founder/CEO of A’alda Pte Ltd, Masamichi Okuda, an extraordinary pet lover, started the veterinary hospital business with the opening of DCC Animal Hospitals in India and Japan. Before that he joined PECO Inc, a Japanese startup which focuses on pet business and running the largest pet media in the country. He served as the company’s CEO in an overseas subsidiary after successfully transforming its media platform and products for pets.

Ohhun continues, “Living with 10 animals, which include 4 dogs, 1 cat and others, Masamichi had a dream to make the pet industry a place for happy animals. He thus launched A’alda Pte Ltd in Singapore to create a society where people and animals can coexist harmoniously, with a vision of Pet to Partner—From Member of Family to Member of Society.” After that A’alda opened the Indian subsidiary, which is the first subsidiary in Asia, then expanded to Japan and Thailand.

Growth in India

Dr Vinod Sharma

Dr Vinod Sharma

Ohhun narrates, “Last year, Delhi recorded US$7800 GDP per capita. In China, it was US$19,000 GDP per capita five years back which brought a lot of change in the country’s pet industry. Just two years back individual vet practitioners in China increased multifold and suddenly the country witnessed 300 pet hospital chains.” Comparing the rapid growth in the Chinese pet industry, he mentions that if India receives around seven percent GDP growth, the country’s pet industry will be equivalent to China, which is the second largest pet market after the United States.

Core values

DCC Animal Hospitals maintain certain core values to preserve and nurture the human-animal bond. In this respect, Dr Vinod Sharma, Head of Veterinary Services, DCC Animal Hospital, says they treat pets with respect and care as they believe that pets are part of the society and they deserve the unconditional love they give us. He adds, “Our core values set the standard for our behaviour, our service to the pets and their parents. They enable us by reminding us of the importance of the profession we’ve chosen and the faith placed upon us. We think as one, treat as one”

The staff members at DCC Animal Hospitals treat pets and pet parents with compassion. They practice transparency, truthfulness and timely communication with their patients. Dr Vinod mentions that they are committed to their patients and also the community they serve. He adds, “Pet hospital segment in India has now started to grow. The sector was not so organised earlier, but it has gained a tremendous transformation over the last five to six years.”

Ohhun mentions, “In most of the developing countries, pet hospital chains are predominantly run by individual practitioners. But the changing scenario is that some private equity funds joined the market and acquired the hospital chains. This is how the DCC Animal Hospital chain has been developed and started operations in India and Japan, targeting to expand all over Asia in future.”

Special care

Talking about how DCC Animal Hospitals are different from others, Dr Vinod says it’s all about how they deal with the furry patients, right from their first visit to the last visit. “Our whole team is not just vets and paramedics—we are animal lovers who take care of health, nutrition, vaccination and everything including boarding.” He adds, “You just can go to a pet clinic to get your pet vaccinated and come back. This is not what we do. We first examine the pet, completely, thoroughly, to check whether the vaccination is fit for the pet or not, then which vaccines can be used. We carefully take care of all these small things.”

DCC Animal Hospital has its own proprietary mobile app through which pet parents can easily book appointments and they can also check the records of their four-legged friends while travelling or from the comfort of their home. In fact, they can also set reminders in order to not miss any vaccination dates and so on. Dr Vinod says they are not just targeting treatment, but everything related to pet education, awareness and special care. The state-of-the-art facilities, amenities and services of DCC Animal Hospitals mean little without the highly-skilled team of staff members and dedicated vets.

A final message from Dr Vinod to everyone —“DO THE RIGHT JOB! TREAT YOUR PET LIKE YOUR PARTNER. Think as one, Treat as one!”

All’s Well for Aloha Summers!

Summer is here – the season to hit the beach and enjoy picnics! The most awaited vacation season for kids with lots of travel plans and family outings. But don’t forget your pets who feel all the heat and need a lot of extra care during summers.

parents win it all because we don’t need any particular holiday to feel special, we have special dinner dates with pets, playtime, long drives, cosy bedtime…the list just goes on! Our furry companions make every second of our life worthwhile! All said and done, summer is the time when you need to take extra care of your pets because of all the heat! Just like you, your pet also feels uncomfortable and uneasy in the heat.

Dodge the dehydration

Like you feel thirsty and sweaty in the sweltering heat, the same is with pets. They start panting and drooling. Make sure your pet has access to cool and clean drinking water readily. Try and changing the water in their water bowl thrice a day. Place the water bowl in cool and dry place. Don’t leave your pet on the terrace or in the yard for a long time in the sun, as it may cause heat stroke.

No fuss for food

One can notice pets food intake is reduced in summers. Don’t panic, it is totally fine. Pets tend to drink lots of water throughout the day, so intake of solid food can go down a little. Avoid giving your pet eggs and red meat in summers as it may cause upset stomach. Include more of buttermilk or curd rice, if your pet likes it. You can also give him ice-cream after consulting your vet. Do not give ice cold water; try to give room temperature water.

Indoor or outdoor–make sure they stay cool!

It’s better to keep the pet indoor, under a fan or AC to keep him cool! In case your pet likes to be outdoors, make sure the bed is kept in a cool and dry place. You can fix an air cooler to make him comfortable and beat the heat.
Dogs sweat through their paw pads, which causes them to lick continuously. It can lead to rashes or fungal infection. Make sure to clean their paws with water and antiseptic solution at least once a day!

Heavy coat breeds tend to get scratchy and matted due to moisture in air, causing discomfort. Regular grooming will be of great help.

Hello hygiene

Make sure the place where your pets sleep is cleaned everyday with kennel detergents. This is the season when pets attract tick and fleas due to humidity. Mop the sleeping area twice a day with disinfectants.

Summer body loading….

It’s the right time to loose few kilos even for pets. Engage your pet in activity to keep them active and healthy. Walking for about 30 minutes, playing fetch, hide n’ seek, running up-down the stairs, there are many options available. The hot road and pavement can burn their paws in summers. So take them on walks during early morning and late evening when the temperature is slightly cooler.

Good grooming goes a long way!

Bathe your pet every 15-20 days. They do feel relaxed after bath just as we do. Clip the nails every 15-20 days. If you cannot do this at home, get professional grooming services. Use mild pet-friendly shampoo and conditioner. Get your pet’s hair trimmed to make summers more bearable for them! Use tick and flea collars, pipette solution on collar one, to manage ticks and fleas. Take your pet to groomers at least every alternate month for thorough clean up. Let the fur ball get a little pampered once a while.

Always vouching vet visits

Don’t forget the monthly vet visits to keep your pet’s de-worming, vaccination, and health check in place!
(Almas Shariff runs Amore Pet Spa in Bengaluru, which provides pet grooming services, customised pet products, pet training and others including pet accessories)


Celebrating Winters—One Snuggle at a Time!

Dr Pranav Kumar

Dr Maninder Singh

Dr Ayushi Sawhney

Pet parents face a wide variety of pet-related concerns duringharsh winter. Extreme cold, wetness, and chilled winds can cause discomfort to your special four-legged friend. Paying special attention to yourpet’s wellbeing, especially during winters, will ensure that you both enjoy the season to the fullest.  –by Dr Ayushi Sawhney, Dr Maninder Singh and Dr Pranav Kumar

Snuggle up season is here
Winters can be detrimental for the health of humans and their pets. It’s better to protect them from being exposed to the chill, lest they catch cold. Hypothermia i.e., decreased body temperature occurs when a dog spends too much time in the cold. In mild cases, the dog will shiver and ears and feet may grow cold. Signs of depression, lethargy, and weakness are seen as hypothermia progresses.

Severe hypothermia is life threatening. Another serious condition that occurs in areas where the temperature falls below zero degrees is frost bite.Frostbite begins when the dog’s body gets cold. The body automatically pulls blood from the extremities to the centre of the body to stay warm. The dog’s ears, paws, or tail can get so cold that ice crystals can form in the tissue and damage it. The skin may also turn hard and cold. As frostbitten areas warm, they can be extremely painful. Severely frostbitten skin will eventually turn black and slough off.

Many of us also have stray petsaround our homes who tend to snuggle and sleep under the cars. Ensure that you check before starting the car engine. Provide them soft and warm bedding.

Wrapped in layers of love and warmth
Can you imagine stepping out without a jacket or sweater? Then why let your pet do so? Wrap them in your love and of course sweater whenever your pet is stepping outside. A good coat should reach from the neck to the base of the tail and also protects the belly. But remember that coats will not prevent frostbite on the ears, feet, or tail.Pick the right size and keep them warm and cosy.

Soak up the sun
Try to walk your pet during late morning or early afternoon hours when temperatures are a little warmer and avoid early morning or late evening walks. Sunshine brings the added benefit of providing your pet with vitamin D, so spend time playing outdoors while it’s sunny.

Fun & fur for winter!
Dogs who are blessed with thick fur acts as a natural warmer. Your pet needs a clean, well-groomed coat to keep the body properly insulated. Make sure to remove his clothing daily and nicely brush through hair to keep the fur from matting.

Moreover, avoid shaving off their coat in winter. Baths tend to dry out their skin the similar way it does yours. You may want to cut back on the frequency of baths, and speak to your vet to find a dog shampoo that’s more moisturizing. Avoid taking your dog out for a walk immediately after giving him a bath. Let his coat dry out completely before taking him outdoors. You can also use dog perfumes and deodorants available in the market, if they get smelly.

Cosy bedding is a blessing
You should not let your pet sleep on the cold floor during winter. Arrange warm and cosy bedding for your pet. You can opt for dog beds as well. They come in various shapes and sizes. Make sure the bedding doesn’t come in direct contact with the cold floor. Place a carpet and then on top of it layer the bedding with soft sheets and blankets.

Good food is a complete mood
Some people over feed their pets as they think that the pet may need anextra layer of fat. Conversely, warmth comes from a coat and not from a layer of fat. Winters may even bring on laziness and the need for fewer calories. The calories should be adjusted according to the activity level of your pet. High quality whole food-based diet will help ensure a healthy coat and provide them good energy. Do not overfeed your pet. Make sure to give pet warm food and avoid foods like curd or buttermilk at night.

Time to hydrate
In winters, dogs feel thirsty just like us. But often they consume less water because the water in their drinking bowl turns ice-cold very soon and they don’t feel like drinking it. The old water should be replenished with fresh, room temperature water every 2-3 hours. You can also increase the hydration status by including soups and broths in their diets.

Hale, hearty & hottie
Dogs will often seek heat during cold winter weather by snuggling too close to heating sources.Be careful with room heaters, fire places etc.They are source of extreme heat and might hurt your pet accidently. Keep them at a safe distance and never leave them alone in the room with a heater or blower.

The hero of winters – health check-up
Cold weather will often aggravate existing medical conditions in dogs, particularly arthritis. If you have a pup, a senior pet, or your pet has a chronic health condition like arthritis, heart problem etc. be extra cautious during winters. Pets with diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, or hormonal imbalances (such as Cushing’s disease) may have a harder time regulating their body temperature, and may be more susceptible to problems from temperature extremes.The same goes for very young and very old pets. Take them for regular health check-ups.

Picture pawfect
Just as we tend to develop foot cracks in winter, dogs can also suffer from cracked paw pads. If your pet has furry feet, trim the hair that grows between his paw pads.Dog boots provide extra warmth and care. For dogs who refuse to wear booties, you can use a towel to wipe their paws after a walk. Booties provide even more coverage and can also prevent sand and stones from getting lodged between bare toes and causing irritation and cuts.

Alexa – ‘Extra dollop of moisturiser please’
Dry and cold weather can affect your pet’s skin. Prevent dry, flaky skin by adding a skin and coat supplement to their diet. If you find your pet’s paws, ears, or tail is dry or cracking, you can also apply coconut oil topically as needed. Additionally, coconut oil on the skin helps heal small cuts and lesions and eases irritation from fleabite allergies.

Just like us, your furry friends also feel cold when the temperature drops. They might experience increased discomfort with current ailments or become more susceptible to illness. But it is still possible to enjoy the best of cold season with your pets by giving them special attention and keeping them comfortable, healthy, and warm!

Say goodbye to winter woes
Keeping them inside and provide blankets
Jackets or sweaters and boots are necessary
Provide stray animals with warm clothes and share your love
Keep away from heaters, fireplace and blowers
Walk time should be when temperature is warmer
Providing warm food and water with lots of love
Regular check-ups and immediate medical help when having subnormaltemperature

(Dr Ayushi Sawhney, PhD Scholar, Division of Veterinary Surgery and Radiology; Dr Maninder Singh, MVSc Scholar, Division of Veterinary & Animal Husbandry Extension Education; Dr Pranav Kumar, Assistant Professor, Division of Veterinary & Animal Husbandry Extension Education, Faculty of Veterinary Sciences & Animal Husbandry Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences & Technology of Jammu, J&K)

Incredible in Every Detail

Dr. Umesh Karkare

Insights into Healthcare and Wellness – Royal Canin hosted a fun and informative event – Ask Your Vet with Dr Umesh Karkare. He has an experience of more than 35 years in the industry and is currently practicing in Mumbai.

In this digital age when everything is happening virtually, why should pet care take a back seat? Giving pet parents a virtual platform to learn more about their pet’s wellness and health and to ask a renowned vet their queries was a great idea!

Royal Canin has come up with an interesting and helpful campaign – Take Your Pet to the Vet! The aim of this campaign is to create awareness, burst myths on pet care, and provide a platform for pet parents to directly interact with renowned vets. The highlights of the campaign are –
• Preventative care for cats and dogs

• Pet parent education (about illness, symptoms and signs to look out for)

• Support pet parents by providing free health check coupons

The main topic of discussion of the event was – vaccination and deworming of cats/kittens and dogs/pups. The session started with basic knowledge of puppy and kitten healthcare. Dr Umesh guided pet parents that reading your pet’s body language is crucial. He also added that picking up healthy pups is really important.Pups go through transformation from a young age. Then we moved on to kitten healthcare. And some important points that Dr Umesh touched upon included –

• Kittens’ social behaviour growth starts a little later than pups.

• Learn their body language to know your pet well.

• Kittens need a lot of sleep as it is important for their growth and development. Do not disturb them while sleeping. If your pet doesn’t get proper sleep it may result in anxiety and behavioral issues.

• Physical health and mental health balance should be maintained for both dogs and cats to ensure their complete wellness.

Dr Vishal Dangle

The good thing about the session was that there were a lot of questions answered. Pet parents were asked to submit their queries and the vet answered them in detail to help pet parents. Some of the questions asked by Dr Vishal Dangle, Scientific Communication Specialist at Royal Canin and who hosted the event were –

What are the different types of worms affecting pets?
Hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms, and whipworms are the most common type of worms. In India heartworms aren’t popular. Hookworms are really difficult to find out. Check the rectum of your pet as you might find worms hanging from there. You can also find live worms in the feces, so be really careful to check it. Consult your vet at the earliest for proper diagnosis and treatment.

What is the schedule of deworming in kittens and puppies?
Dr Umesh recommended that one should start deworming their pets both cats and dogs at 3 weeks of age. And then deworming interval should be in 2-3-4 months for the first six months. The interval depends upon the animal’s overall health and place they are at (whether they are living at a breeders center with other pets, or have been adopted and stay at home).

Dr Umesh also said that pet parents should consult the vet to know which medicine is best for your pet, especially during pregnancy. Worms are transmissible to humans, so be sure to wash your hands often and maintain proper hygienic conditions.

Do we need to change the deworming medicine every time?
Stool examination is best to know what kind of worms your pet has. You can change the medicine after consulting your vet, but it doesn’t make much of difference.

What is the ideal gap between deworming and vaccination?
In young puppies 5–7 days gap is important between deworming and vaccination so that body doesn’t go through great stress and gets time to recover after deworming.

As the session progressed, Dr Umesh shared more about the deadly pathogens against whichimmunization and vaccination are recommended. The common ones in dogs are – canine distemper virus, canine parvovirus, canine adenovirus (which causes upper respiratory tract infections), leptospirosis and rabies. Rabies and leptospirosis are highly zoonotic – transmissible from animals to humans.

The most common feline infections that were discussed in the session were – feline panleukopenia, feline rhinotracheitis, feline callicivirus, feline chiamydia, feline bordetella, feline leukemia virus, and rabies.

It was an informative and interactive session that gave pet parents lots of insights into pet healthcare and wellness!

Royal Canin, a leader in health through nutrition, has an ambition to be a business that generates value not only for pets but also for people and the planet. Thus, it is evolving the way it is doing business to generate positive benefits for its entire ecosystem. For the past five years, the company has been following a management concept called the ‘Economics of Mutuality’ (EoM) with the goal of delivering a balanced, more mutual form of capitalism that creates value for its stakeholders in a holistic way.

TYPTTV is one such campaign launched to raise awareness among pet owners on the importance of taking pets to the vet and to give them the tools to calm their animal before a vet trip. Royal Canin also helps vet clinics to adapt to pet friendly clinics in order to make their visit more comfortable.

This is an example of how focusing on the trust bond between Royal Canin and Vets as well as the relationship between vets and pet owners helps us to have a stronger ecosystem and to deliver both purpose and performance.

Superior care for suave seniors!

Ragini Bhandari

It is heartbreaking to watch your once agile pup grow old and not jump around. With small steps taken at the right time you can ease out the pain and discomfort of your senior pet and give them a happy and comfortable life! –by Ragini Bhandari

Senior dogs can and should still live fulfilling lives, even though they may have difficulty moving around. When given appropriate treatment and care, a dog’s life can be enriched rather than cut short. Follow these tips for senior dog care to improve their quality of life.

Love & food make all the difference
Don’t stress on the importance of an age-appropriate diet. It is a crucial to keep your pet’s diet healthy and balanced, especially when they become senior citizens. Unhealthy food is like slow poison; can lead to inflammation and weight gain both of which can reduce your pet’s quality of life.Added weight puts pressure on joints and bones, which can cause a rapid deterioration of mobility. Maintaining a healthy body weight is equally important for your pet to move around and not be lethargic.

Vouch for vet visits
Once your pet comes in the senor category, it is good to increase vet visit from once a year to at least twice a year. Doing so will help establish baselines for your pet’s health and ensure that ‘clinically silent health abnormalities’ are caught sooner rather than later. Vets can also offer prescriptions for supplements and referrals to massage, acupuncture. or physical therapy treatments if your pet needs it.

Don’t forget dental care
Aging dogs are at an increased risk of problems like gum disease and cracked teeth, which are painful, serious conditions that require vet’s attention.

Make their mental health a priority
Mental exercise is just as crucial as physical exercise for your pet’s overall well-being. Help keep their brain active with stimulating activities like food dispensing toys, interactive or puzzle toys, hide-and-seek, decompression walks, and scavenger hunts around the house. These workouts for the mind will keep your pet mentally enriched.

Take it slow!
Explore new activities to keep them physically active, but don’t do overdo it.On one hand, you don’t want to push your pet too hard and risk injury, and on the other, regular activity is vital for their wellness throughout their lifetime. So striking a balance is the key!

Never too old for new tricks
Try and teach him new tricks and hand signals. Older dogs aren’t as easily distracted as pups and can focus for longer periods of time. This ability to concentrate helps them learn new routines more easily. Hand signals come handy when they lose some degree of their hearing as they age and are a great way to improve communication with your pet.

Time to get cosy & comfy
The importance of making small environmental changes and adjustments in their day-to-day life activities is often overlooked as a means of managing pain, providing comfort, and affording self-sufficiency to senior dogs. Inflammation, soreness, and aches and pains can all be aggravated by hard surfaces. Special foam beds and orthopaedic dog cushions provide senior dogs with a place to lounge in a pain-free manner.

Monitor their mobility
Monitor your pet’s activity levels and watch for signs of aging and discomfort. Common causes of decreased mobility are osteoarthritis, degenerative myelopathy, intervertebral disc disease, and muscle atrophy. Swimming can be very beneficial if that option is available to you; it helps older dogs maintain good muscle mass and tone while keeping weight off the hip joints and relieving dog joint pain.

When it comes to mobility in senior dogs, a little tender love and care goes a long way.
Accommodate their mobility issues and introduce supplements to manage pain. If your senior dog is slipping or sliding on tiles, wooden flooring etc. you can make a few changes –

• Add rugs– There are a variety of different options for different spatial needs, from big rugs to carpet tiles and rug runners.

• Paw grip socks– Little socks or booties with rubber soles create paw traction and can reduce slippage. They can be taken on and off easily.

• Inexpensive bath mats or yoga mats– Are a great way to provide some traction for dogs, use while training/grooming or playing.

Many elderly dogs have trouble climbing and jumping. As they age, dogs may have more difficulty getting into cars, reaching couches and beds, or getting up the stairs.

Making big leaps without the necessary strength and balance makes your pet more prone to injuries that further exasperate mobility. That’s why ramps, pet steps, or stair treads are great options for senior dogs. They offer a more gradual, safer way for dogs to reach elevated surfaces. With existence of products like these, senior dogs also don’t have to be picked up, which allows them to remain independent and active.

To avoid back or neck issues, you might want to consider getting a tray or stand to slightly elevate their food and water bowls.

For grooming sessions – less is more
Keep grooming sessions fairly short. Choose softer, gentler brushes for older dogs, check your pet’s eyes, ears, and mouth each time you groom and let him move around a bit during the grooming session. Don’t forget to examine the genital areas too.

Not only will this allow you to keep your pet looking and feeling their best, it will also provide you with an opportunity to check for ticks/fleas, skin infections, new lumps, thinning hair, bumps, or areas of irritation, if any. Be sure to trim their hair and nails to help them better navigate your home. It is better to work on your pet for 10 minutes at a time, a few days a week than to expect him to tolerate long grooming sessions under undue stress.

There’s nothing like the love of a senior dog.You might need a little extra patience, but it will all be worth it. Cherish the time you have together and give your pet lots of love!

(Ragini Bhandari is founder of Just Pawsible, a Surat-based pet corner for canine training and pet bakery)

Nama‘slay’ Nutrition—Superpower of Food for Your Pet

Manvi Gupta

Being a pawrent is such a rewarding and fulfilling experience. Dogs enter our lives and rule over our heart with cute tail wags, sloppy kisses, puppy eyes, and just pure love. Amidst all this love, don’t let nutrition take a back seat!  –by Manvi Gupta

As pet parents we want the very best for our furry friends. In this quest nutrition becomes the top priority. Food is such an integral part for our pets’ wellbeing and overall health. As a mother of a five-year-old Beagle and a dog food cook, here are my top five nutritional tips that will hopefully help you with better pet parenting.

Love at every life stage
Puppies, adults, and senior dogs have different nutritional requirements.So, make sure you feed the right food according to the life stage of your pet.

Puppy hood is the growing phase, and they need a calorie rich diet to ensure bone and muscle growth. Hence more protein, calcium, and minerals are required.Adult dogs require a balanced diet with meatto ensure weight management, muscle strength, joint health, and immunity. Just like humans, senior dogs require a lot of care and love.

Weight woes no more
Obesity in dogs is a common problem and can cause long term health problems especially in their old age. Like humans, petsalso need a fine balance of exercise and diet.

Poop gives the inside scoop!
Believe it or not, your pet’s poop can tell you a lot about what’s happening inside, and it’s important to know what to observe in his poop.

  • Consistency- Healthy dog poop should be compact, moist, and holds its shape when picked up. If the poop is runny or watery, this could be a sign of intestinal upset.Similarly, if the poop looks or feels too hard or dry, your pooch may be suffering from dehydration or constipation.
  •  Shape- Typically, your pup’s poop should be shaped like a log and should maintain its shape when picked up or moved. Look out for pebble-like or rounded poop as this could be a sign of dehydration.
  •  Quantity- The amount your pet poops depends on his size and breed. A Shih-tzu cannot poop the same amount as a Saint Bernard. Larger than normal poop may mean that your pet’s food isn’t being digested properly as it should be, and they are not getting the necessary nutrients from it.On the other hand, smaller poop may be a sign of a loss of appetite due to an illness or a blockage in the digestive process.
  •  Frequency- The number of times your pet poops each day should be consistent, whether that’sonce or four times per day. As long as it is the same every day, there’s no need to worry. Typically, most dogs will go once or twice a day.
  •  Colour- A healthy pup’s poop should be chocolate brown in color. Green stool could indicate that your dog is eating grass, perhaps to soothe an upset stomach. Black or marooncoloured poop, could be a sign of bleeding in the stomach or the small intestines. If the poop contains blood, mucous, or has worms then immediatelyconsult your vet!

Sassy seasonal changes in diet
In India, summers can get very hot and winters can get bone chilling (brrrr). Changes in the diet can help dogs cope with the weather in a better way.

• Summer diet: Make sure your pethas access to cool, clean drinking water always. Fruits and vegetables like apple, banana, cucumber, carrots make a great treat in summers. They can be frozen so that your pet can play and lick at the same time. Fresh, wet food is great for hydration.

• Winter diet: Dogs burn more calories in the winters just to keep themselves warm.Instead of increasing or decreasing their calorie intake or portion size, change the type of meat they eat during winters. You can add red meat like mutton to their diet. Make sure to ask your vet about the quantity.

Get over sick days with comfort food!
It’s heartbreaking to see when your pet is under the weather. Despite all efforts diarrohea, vomiting, and indigestion are common problems. Don’t give your pets packaged food (for humans). Stick to a basic home-cooked diet or a mixed diet with a balance of dog food and home cooked meals.If your pet is ill, simple food works as medicine. If the problem persists or your pet is inactive and is not eating properly, please visit the vet at the earliest.

Say ‘No’ to these nasties
Certain human foods are toxic to dogs. It is important to ensure we avoid the following:

• Chocolate– It can be poisonous for your pet and can cause kidney failure.

• Grapesandraisins–Can cause severe liver damage and kidney failure.

• Avocado–Can cause vomiting and diarrhea.

• Macadamia nuts–Affect your pet’s muscles and nervous system resulting in weakness, swollen limbs, and panting.

• Onions and garlic–In all forms, whether powdered, raw, cooked, or dehydrated, both of these can destroy your pet’s red blood cells.

• Caffeine– It can be fatal for a dog. It can be found in cocoa, chocolate, colas, and stimulant drinks such as Red Bull. Do not give these to your pet. It’s also present in some cold medicines and pain killers.

• Alcohol– It has a huge impact on dogs even in small doses. It can lead to sickness, diarrhea and even central nervous system damage.

Puppy eyes…hypnotise!
Once you’re a pet parent, you never eat alone. Every food you eat, every bite you take, chances are your furry friend will be watching you. Who can escape those cute puppy eyes?? While it may take all our strength, we must not give in. Not only can it lead to weight gain, it encourages unwanted begging behaviour.Along with nutrition, exercise, and good hygiene are very important to making your little one thrive happily.

Exercise (for the mind and body)–We must ensure our pets are well exercised. Take them for regular walks and give them lots of sniff time. Sniffing is likereading a book – it’s their way to explore the world and it keeps them mentally stimulated. Good personal hygiene is crucial for the overall health of your pet.

• Regular baths, cleaning of ears, clipping of nails and massages are a must.

• Make sure to wash your pet’s collar, harness and leash regularly post walks or at least once a week.

• Wash their food and water bowls regularly. Use natural pet-friendly cleaners.

And for a continuous supply of happy woofs and lovable licks keep those belly rubs coming and give them all your love!

(Manvi Gupta is founder of Nuts Over Mutts which specialises in cooking customised fresh dog food, using human grade power ingredients, without any preservative. She is passionate about dog food and nutrition, and obsessed with how her Beagle named Poppy who enjoys her meals.)

Bio PetActive— A Perfect Amalgamation of Health & Happiness

Mitu Paul

When it comes to your pets, you want the best and never want to make a compromise on quality. Bio PetActive has been providing premium quality pet products and impeccable pet services since 1998! Today the brand is synonymous with trust and quality. –by Mitu Paul

Since its foundation, Bio PetActive has handled the challenges experienced by pet parents and provided non-medical products, nutritional aids and care products for our lovely pet friends to have a healthy and quality life. The brand offers unique solution products for cats and dogs that are carefully developed at their R&D labs (Mar Kimya Labs based in Turkey).

Mar Kimya is one of the leading labs in the world. It provides its products and services to more than 81 cities across Turkey and the products are exported to more than 30 countries in the world. Mar Kimya produces its products according to European guidelines and regulations, GMP, ISO 22716:2008 and is registered with U.S. FDA which guarantees highest level in quality.

An advanced R&D department was established to closely monitor changes in the ever changing pet industry and to direct efforts to produce new products. With Bio PetActive you get the promise of quality. With an experience of more than three decades in the industry, you know your pet’s health is in safe hands!

For their health & your happiness
The innovative formula and highest standard of manufacturing ensure that the products are of top notch quality. The company’s aim is to provide high quality products to make the world a better place for your pets, naturally. It is the dedication of the entire team that the brand is driven towards success. They envision to acquire and maintain global leadership position in pet industry.

Spoilt for choice with amazing products

Bio PetActive has a range of products for both cats and dogs. Some of the most popular products include –

  • Derma Dogs – It is a supplement to support your pet’s skin health and also improves bowel movements. It is Brewer’s yeast and garlic tablet, fortified with yucca, biotin, B Group vitamins, vitamin E, folic acid, amino acids and prebiotics.
  •  Tea Tree Shampoo – It is a dog shampoo that’s enriched with the goodness of tea tree oil. It provides soft fur, moisturises the skin and prevents dryness. It is a pH balanced formula which helps to maintain the natural oil of the skin.
    (Mitu Paul is Brand Head of Dibaq Pet Care India.)

Holistic wellbeing of our precious paws

Fredun Medhora

Understanding holistic welfare, the Fredunianway! Meet Fredun Medhora, Managing Director of Fredun Pharmaceuticals Ltd as he talks about his vision for pet wellness with passion and empathy. Fredun believes that pets are family and truly deserve the best care.

Fredunian Law—a destination of wellness! That’s what the brand aims at and ensures with their premium quality products this legacy is upheld.

Keeping up their promise of quality
Fredun Pharmaceuticals Ltd, started in 1987 by Dr Daulat Medhora and Nariman Medhora, has and still has only one focus – to improve lives. Having a tradition of quality performance and successful marketing of various pharmaceutical formulations, Fredun Pharmaceuticals Ltd made its foray into the field of animal healthcare products with Fredunvet. The company specialises in manufacturing various formulations made from MCHC (Microcrystalline Hydroxyapatite Complex) which is a natural source of calcium and phosphorus for poultry, cattle, pets and big animals.

“We were one of the pioneers in MCHC (Microcrystalline Hydroxyapatite Complex). We first started manufacturing this in 1987. Over the last decade we have diversified into nutrition, trading, health care, packaging etc. As a group company we are in diagnostics, dental, design and consultancy, textiles and various other allied fields. Fredun Pharmaceuticals Ltd has an admirable reputation in India and also across Africa, South East Asia, CIS countries and Latin America,” says Fredun Medhora.

Top quality is our top priority
“As for our product portfolio in the human segment our tagline is compassionate healthcare, we have the same ethos in the pet segment. We want to focus on immaculate quality pet products coming into the market which are effective and efficient. Our products speak for themselves and are synonymous with quality. Quality is our core ideology. The pet industry is in a nascent stage and our key driving factor is to have a holistic product basket which is effective and takes care of wholesome quality and wellness of your pets.

We are aiming at delivering end-to-end product range, right from the breeder to the point of retail. Our goal is to educate breeders for passionate breeding and our products will also be available at the retail point. Committing to quality with our growth and creating value addition in every spectrum of the pet care space is what we are constantly striving for. This will also compel other companies to drive towards change and improve their quality,” adds Fredun.

Nutrition as our USP
Currently our product range is focused on supplements for old pets, lactating moms, and puppies. We are launching snacks and food, pet products for grooming, whole foods (food which have holistic nutritional value from birth to geriatric dogs). Our snacks and food range is full of nutritional value. It is branded ‘SNACKY’ but there is nothing snacky about it, Fredun adds with a smile!

Our USP is nutritional content, any type of food snack or treat will not be considered as a treat but will add nutrition to the well-being of your pets. Our focus is on core diet which is needed and required by them. The core contents and nutritional factors will be considered as a prime motive.

Pledge as a pet parent
As a pet parent, Zane’s health is my prime concern and if anything happens I will immediately take him to his vet. This isn’t a pledge just for men, ask any pet parent and our thoughts will match. With our premium quality products we want to build immunity of your pets in order to create a stronger immune system which will pass on to the future generation of the pup and improve the health of the entire lineage and that’s our goal.

Fredunian future: a destination of wellness
Our advantage is that as a pet industry we are at a nascent stage. I feel rather than focussing on one stop shop we must specialise in each and every activity relating to the wellness of our pets who are family. Right now, our focus is on the Indian market. Globally we have our distribution channels in 43 countries and are growing each day.

I would want the breeders to evolve themselves and purely focus on breeding. Breeding is a very serious activity and should be given full attention. I would want to have a training institute for breeding to help breeders understand how to breed and to make the community stronger. A good breed solves so many problems; vets then can focus on longevity, health and wellness and not on problem solving.

We are going to have our own grooming stations and are going to ensure the right kind of grooming is done by certified people. Our passion drives us to participate in various events to promote knowledge and create awareness to each professional who is part of the pet industry. We will cover different areas related to animal cruelty, genetics, nutrition etc. where professionals can interact and learn.

The core benefit of the industry must be considered rather than being consolidated in the hands of a few. We should collectively work towards a big vision to make India a role model for the rest of the world in the veterinary space and my question is – what stops us?