So, you are planning to bring home a new puppy? Whether your new furry family member is coming from a breeder or a pet shop or a street corner, the first night can be a big challenge. Here are some useful tips to handle your young four-legged kid on his first night at your home.
Your puppy has spent his initial days with his mother and siblings, staying warm and comfortable in their company. Moving to a new home requires major adjustment and separation anxiety will be common for a while, especially on the first night when everybody is sleeping and he is left alone, or at least, in silence.
Puppy-proof your house
Before the night comes, make sure that your house is dog-proof. This aspect should be planned in advance. Potted plants, food items, electric cables, and anything else in your house shouldn’t be able to access by the puppy—all must be kept on higher levels from the floor. Hazardous items that he can chew should not be on the floor. During the first night, it is also advisable to close off rooms. This way, your puppy cannot wander in and chew objects or perform his toilet in an incorrect location. Also, keep your shoes and clothes away because puppies tend to chew anything and that can lead to health complications for him.
Keep him busy
Prior to bed time, let your puppy explore his new home. Do not leave him alone yet. Instead, follow him while occasionally petting and speaking to him. These gestures help make the puppy feel at ease and get used to your company. In fact, activity before bed time is preferable to let your young dog take a nap because the chances are that a worn out puppy will sleep better than the one who has been lethargic all day. A new puppy may certainly cry during the first night in his new home, but being tired can decrease the chances of uninterrupted sleep for both the dog and his pet parent.
Feed him early
Another way to prepare your puppy for a good first night is to stop his food intake an hour before bedtime. Going to bed with a full stomach and bladder can mean more than one nocturnal trip to the designated area. But remember that your new family member is like a human baby in many ways and will need some time to know when and where it is right to relieve. Therefore, be prepared for at least one trip during the first night.
Sooth his nerves
Just as human beings experience anxiety in a new place, your puppy will be anxious on his first night. Sue Raimond, pioneer of harp enrichment therapy for pets, says that music can sooth a nervous animal with high stress levels, leading to relaxation or even sleep. So, why not play some soft music for your puppy? Another way to make your puppy feel more comfortable is by putting a hot water bottle wrapped with a towel in his bed. The warmth can cause ease. Some pups relax if they have a ticking clock in their crate or basket. This should be wrapped in a towel. If your pet had any bedding before he joined you, a piece of that cloth can be reassuring as well.
Choose the area wisely
Once your pet and you are ready for bed, check the area where you’ve placed his basket or crate. Ideally, your puppy should sleep in your room the first night and a few more nights too. Consider the foot of the bed or a side. Ensure that the area is warm and free of draughts. Do not let your dog share your bed with you on the first night if you do not plan to let him sleep there in the long term. Allowing certain behaviours and then forbidding it later on can be detrimental to the puppy’s future in the form of behavioural problems.
Don’t lose your cool
A bit of petting and some reassuring words later, your puppy is ready to sleep. Unfortunately, whining or crying is very likely to occur. The appropriate approach is patience and calmness. You should put him on his leash and take him out to for relief. Once the job is over, return your puppy to his sleeping spot. Do not play with him as this will make him think it is normal to play during the night. Another mistake that pet parents often make is to move a crying puppy far from their own sleeping area. Placing your dog in a cage is another bad option that many resort to in order to stop him from scratching doors or running around. These negative responses increase the new resident’s insecurity and lead to louder and more desperate whining. Adapting the opposite kind of approach can have damaging effects as well. When your puppy is whining in the middle of the night, do not react like an overprotective caregiver who ends up making a mountain out of a mole hill. In other words, do not sit there coaxing your puppy and speaking in a soothing tone, repeating, “Poor doggie, it’ll be alright.” Remember, you need to give your pet the feeling that nothing is wrong. He needs to know that he is worrying about nothing at all.
Think about the first night with an eye on research that has always pointed to dogs as pack animals. A puppy is separated from his pack and brought into a new pack. Just like humans pass on feelings, emotions, and moods to each other, the leader of the pack (you) needs to be careful about what you pass on. So, be confident and positive and never lose your cool. Once you get through the first night, you’ll have years of unforgettable companionship.
While choosing a dog breed, many of us simply just refuse to consider any of our very own Indian breeds as many a time Pedigree dogs are seen as a status symbol. What we should carefully consider before getting a dog, is whether or not, he’ll be at ease with the oppressively warm Indian weather.
The sun shines relentlessly over the Indian subcontinent in summer. Breeds hailing from cold countries find this temperature a torture. Dr Sachin Nagare, a vet in Vasai, says, “During the summer season, in every vet’s clinic, many dogs are treated for heat related diseases. Some even suffer strokes because of the heat.”
Breeds unsuitable for warm climate…
Dr Vijay M Patil, another vet from Vasai, from his professional experience has found that the Afghan Hound, St Bernard and Tibetan Mastiff are most unsuited to Indian climate. He explains, “These breeds if kept in India, cannot enjoy life both quantitatively and qualitatively because of climatic conditions. Dogs who would have lived for 12 to 13 years if they were in their native cold countries, develop metabolic and tropical diseases in India, besides finding the heat extremely uncomfortable.” Even if you think that keeping the air conditioner on will make the temperature for your pet favourable, you may be wrong. Dr Vijay reasons, citing an example, “A St Bernard is at ease between 0oC to 8oC. It is tough to be in the same room with the dog in such a low temperature. Also, when the dog will go for walks, he will be unable to be in air conditioned ambience.” A dog may also lose appetite as he finds the heat bothersome. He may opt to sleep on his belly, spreading out his hind legs instead because of the heat, because of which arthritis may develop because of the unnatural posture. Apart from the dog breeds mentioned by Dr Vijay, other canine species unsuited to Indian climate include: Malamute, Tibetan Terrier, Siberian Husky, Shih Tzu, Lhasa Apso, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Bulldog, Irish Setter, Rottweiler and Mastiff. Dogs who are enormous in size, like a Tibetan Mastiff and St Bernard, may find it tough to exercise in the heat, which may give rise to behavioural and health problems. These dogs need proper nutrition. Another theory is that dog breeds with faces which are pushed in like the Pug, Bulldog and Boxer find it tough to breathe in oppressively hot conditions. Dogs with a thick coat of fur may also find the Indian heat sweltering. The American Eskimo Dog is absolutely not meant for India.
Pawfect breeds for India…
The breeds best suited to Indian climate are obviously the dogs who have been bred on Indian soil since time immemorial. Dr Vijay explains, “Indian dog breeds have genetically altered their makeup over the decades to get acclimatised to the Indian climate.” The Indian street dog is the fittest of all breeds to bear with Indian weather conditions. Gautam Hegde, script writer from Mumbai and a pet parent to a stray Indian dog named Zoey, says, “My dog seems to possess powerful immunity and a strong digestive system. Strays at times may be given the food which humans eat. Also, they don’t get affected much by the weather, unlike foreign breeds.” Surely strays are very friendly and vigilant canines. They seldom suffer from genetic illnesses like hip dysplasia as their breed has survived the litmus test of the survival of the fittest. Strays can live up to 15 years. Unfortunately, they roam about in the streets, eating from garbage. We could give them a loving home instead of breeds who suffer miserably because of the Indian weather.” India is a gigantic nation with varied climatic conditions. A dog who has lived and thrived in the cold Himalayas may find it tough to cope with the temperature of the humid South Indian plains. So, it’s best to allow dog breeds to be raised at their native places.
More Indian Pedigree dogs to choose from
The following dog breeds have flourished for years in India:
• Bawa Bakharwal Dog who is native of Jammu & Kashmir.
• Bully Kutta Guard Dog who is originated from Punjab and Sindh.
• Chippiparai who is mainly found around the Periyar Lake.
• Combai or Bear Hound found in South India.
• Gaddi Kutta found in the Western Himalayas.
• Indian Spitz introduced by the British and have developed the strength to endure the country’s sultry weather.
• Kaikadi, who gets his name from a nomadic tribe in Maharashtra with the same name.
• Kanni found in Tamil Nadu.
• Kumaon Mastiff who is originated from Uttarakhand.
• Mahratta Greyhound, endemic to Maharashtra.
• Mudhol Hound, commonly found in the Deccan plateau.
• Rajapalayam of South India.
• Rampur Greyhound who has originated from Rampur in North India.
• Sinhala Hound from Sri Lanka who is also found in South India.
• Vanjari Hound who is native to Maharashtra.
As pet parents, we want our pooches to be a part of our celebrations. But, Diwali is one festival that our dogs dread. Every Diwali, there are numerous cases of dogs either hurt or burnt. Let’s make Diwali safe for our pooches.
–by Varsha Verma
Diwali is a celebration of good over evil, light over darkness. It is a pleasure to see beautiful lighting adorning the buildings and houses within. The environment is euphoric – various delicacies, lovely clothes, exchange of gifts and sweets- and of course everything done to welcome Goddess Lakshmi to our homes. We all look forward to this occasion. One thing that spoils the festival is noisy crackers. They are not just a nuisance to us but more for our canine friends, who have an acute sense of hearing.
How crackers affect our furry friends?
Animals are terrified of fireworks. They become stressed on hearing loud noises. They tremble, drool, bark, howl and try to hide or get out of the house. They refuse to eat and may even lose bladder or bowel control. Sometimes, while trying to escape from home, they may accidentally get hurt as well. Incidents of dog abuse are still prevalent; just out of mere fun, some children and sadists tie crackers to the strays. This burns them severely and results in various behavioural issues in these poor animals.
How to make Diwali safe for dogs?
Create awareness: Prevention is always better than cure. Ask your neighbours and friends not to use loud crackers as they are harmful to both humans and dogs.
Desensitise the dog: Start preparing your dog for Diwali. Expose him to low levels of noise and then gradually increase the intensity. Make sure not to expose him to very high levels, as this may harm his hearing ability.
Exercise him before crackers time: Take your dog out for his daily exercise an hour before the fireworks, so that he is tired and less anxious.
Feed him early: A hungry dog will be more anxious. So, feed him well before the fireworks start.
Do not take him out when crackers are on: Keep your dog inside the home, with the doors and windows properly closed so that he cannot run out. Leave a TV or radio on.
Make him comfortable: Give him things he like – treats, toys, his bed, etc.
Do not disturb him: If your pooch hides under the bed or any of his hiding places, let him be there.
Do not cajole him: Do not soothe or comfort your dog, it will only increase the problem. Be in control and be cheerful.
Consult your vet: If you have a senior dog or a nervous dog, talk to your vet before Diwali, who can recommend a light sedative for him.
Put a name tag on his collar: Do not forget to put a name tag on his collar, so that in case he runs out, you can still find him.
Give shelter to strays: If possible, give shelter to strays in your neighbourhood, who would also be very stressed due to loud noises. Give them food and water and in case you see any of them injured, call for an ambulance.
Last but not the least: Be with your pet. Your presence is a great assurance that they are safe.
Did you know?
In Nepal, Diwali is also celebrated with great fervour. But, what makes this festival unique is the fact that the second day of this festivity is celebrated as Karuk Thira, the worship of dogs. It is believed that dogs guard the gates of heaven. So, as a special recognition, all dogs are honoured this day, be it pet dogs or strays. People apply tika on their forehead and drape garlands of fresh flowers around their neck. Then, they are treated to excellent food. It actually a dog’s day!!!
Among the thousands of dogs roaming around the street, how many do we actually turn to look at? And how many do we give a second thought? Meet Rohan Rawat, who serves the strays and rescues them in Delhi, Noida andGurgaon (NCR) and Bengaluru.
Rohan rescues them from abusive homes, from the streets where they are abandoned, or simply the stray ones who get hurt by random vehicles. But, Rohan Rawat wasn’t like this before!
The trigger…Rohan lost his beloved Labrador Tuffy in August 2007, to tick fever, a seemingly natural death.. On his way to bury Tuffy, he saw an injured dog and he rushed the poor creature to the hospital. Torn by grief over his loss, he took this as a sign from Tuffy, that this was his karma, this was why he was here. He was here to save those who can never speak. And as Bangaloreans call him, to be the ‘Voice of the Voiceless’. With this, he started his journey and started ‘Karma for Tuffy,’ giving life to hundreds of animals, resurrecting them from the jaws of death.
Karma for Tuffy…
What unites everyone at Karma for Tuffy is their deep faith in the idea that service to every being is the finest act of goodwill, and brings the highest ‘Karma’. With this in mind, Rohan and every volunteer at Karma for Tuffy strive to protect animals and provide them care, giving their lives to these beautiful creations of God.
Rescuing, resuscitating and fostering…
From pet lover to animal activist, Rohan has rescued countless number of street dogs, bulls, stray cats, birds, and a lot of other animals in the past eight years. He has saved abandoned dogs, dogs who are left on the streets by those who thought they could not continue to take care of such a huge responsibility. He has taken these dogs, injured, scared and hungry, and put them in shelters first, resuscitating their health and then putting them in foster care.
Working with other NGOs, he organises fund raisers for vaccination drives and protests against animal abuse. And his work is not limited to dogs, although it revolves around these playful, loyal creatures. His ultimate goal is complete sterilisation, because he feels that one dog neutered now, saves the abuse of 65,000 strays in the next five years. Rohan says, “I want the escalation of birth control, because that is the only way to prevent cruelty. The lesser there are, the more people will value them and love them.” Moreover, Rohan believes in striving to give the less fortunate animals, equally comfortable homes, and organises adoption drives, encouraging people to take home a stray or an abandoned dog.
With a vision of setting up a 24×7 hospital for animals, he works towards goodwill, because animals can have emergencies, as much as humans do.
The love for dogs is etched forever…
Life is a long journey between ‘Human being’ and ‘Being human’…Let’s all take at least a step daily to cover the distance….” Rohan roams around with a rescue kit in his car, apart from all the regular dog foods. Although, one call of his can get at least ten volunteers helping the dog, he believes in doing the work himself. He feels he needs to do this, for Tuffy and for himself. ‘It’s my karma, I want to touch them, love them, feel their pain, and touch their soul. I am on a mission…a mission to make this cruel world better for animals, a little more livable, a little more lovable,’ concludes Rohan.
When the temperature is too high or when rain pours or when it is too cold, playing indoors with your pet is the best option. Here’s how to have fun indoors.
A lot of pet parents think that play sessions are only limited for outdoors. But, there are a lot of games and activities that you and your pet can engage in and spend quality time indoors.
Fun at the stairs: If you have a flight of stairs in the house, it can be turned into an all season play area. Just ensure that the surface is not slippery and the area is well protected so that your dog doesn’t run away. You can run up and down a few times with your pet and it’ll double up as a game and exercise. You could also sit at the top of the staircase and play fetch with your pet.
Hide n Seek: If you haven’t played hide n seek with your pet, you don’t know what you are missing in life. Hide n seek is an amazing way to exercise your pet’s mind and body. Hide somewhere and let the other family members ask your pet to find you. Keep some treats handy for rewards, cuddles should be complimentary!
Tug of war: Sometimes playing tug of war with your pet is the best therapy. A lazy hot weekend or a bad day at work, tug of war has the superpower to make everyone happy, and to make your pet happier. Just make sure your pet does not gets aggressive while playing. If he shows signs of aggression, leave the game right away.
Go Wild and Freeze: Go Wild and Freeze is a very popular dog training game. You need to jump around, dance and basically, go wild until your pet gets excited. All of a sudden stop moving and ask your pet to sit or stay or perform any other behavior he knows best. The moment he does it, start dancing and hopping around again. Don’t forget to reward good behavior and do not to be too strict if something goes wrong.
Fruity Games: In warm weather, your dog’s appetite might somewhat reduce. Feeding them fresh fruits and veggies is a great option to keep them nourished and hydrated. What if we told you that you can incorporate feeding fruits and vegetables during your pet’s play time? Cut small pieces of their favorite fruit and hide them at various spots in the house. Let them sniff and find out before relishing the treats. You can also play aim and catch with small bites. Just make sure that your pet doesn’t choke. Mix fruit or vegetable puree with some water and freeze it in ice trays. Give your pet these treats and let them have a great time licking, playing, nibbling….
Kibble Hunt: Put the nosy babies at work and let the kibble magic take over. Hide small pieces of kibble at various places in the house. Make sure these places are easily accessible by your pet. Let your pet sniff and find out the kibble. Initially choose easy to find places till they get a knack of it. Also if they find the kibble, it’ll be a great encouragement to keep going.
Bath time fun: What can be better than splashing in water in this heat? If your pooch is a water baby, you can get a tub for him to splash water and play around. If this isn’t possible, go the desi way with a pipe or a hand held shower. Bathing your dog is a great way to spend time and strengthen the bond. Just be careful that he shouldn’t hurt himself during the playing and splashing.
Playing with toys: To keep your pet engaged indoors you can get a variety of dog toys. Food dispensing toys, a squeaky ball or a soft toy, you will be the best judge to know your pet’s preferences.
Turn grooming sessions fun: You can also turn grooming session into a fun activity. Massage your pet, play around with treats, comb and brush, there are so many things that can be included in the indoor fun time with pets. The good thing is that the indoor play session will not only protect them from the severe heat or cold, but will also be a great learning. Playing is beneficial for your pets. It keeps them physically active and mentally alert.
Tails have been wagging across Mumbai at the launch of Pawsomestay.com, an unique alternative to kennels and pet hostels, which connects dog sitters with pet parents to provide a safe and happy temporary home for dogs while their pet parents are away.
Saagar Kambli, founder and top dog of Pawsomestay.com, talks to Dogs & Pups shedding some light on how this service could benefit our community. “The basic idea is if you need to get away on a last minute work trip or if you’re traveling Pawsomestay.com can provide a list of registered dog sitters in your neighbourhood that will offer their home for your dog to stay,” Saagar says, adding that Pawsomestay.com is super convenient and folks in Mumbai have already started using this service.
Happy pet parents
Neel, a resident of Mumbai, thinks
Pawsomestay.com is like a dream come true, “My pet dog Browny was cared of like a dear family member; and we felt that he was safe and secure at Pawsomestay.com. The sitter at Pawsomestay.com also sent us pictures and daily updates, which was extremely comforting. I thank my friend who recommended me such facility in the city.” Another Pawsomestay.com user, Unnati says, “I really like the service at Pawsomestay.com It’s quick and easy to sign up, find a sitter that fits your needs in your area. We’ve been very happy with the sitters. They’re really perfect dog sitters because they’re already dog lovers.”
Brand new launch
When asked about what instilled him to take up such start-up business on comfortable stay for pet dogs, Saagar replies that Pawsomestay.com is not just a business but a responsibility to provide comfort and wellbeing for pets. “Also, the thing is that I always hated leaving my dogs in a hostel or kennel when I traveled. My dogs always came back home a little scared and traumatised after every stay. So, I thought if I feel there is need for something better then I’m sure other pet parents feel the same way,” he narrates.
When the idea of opening a comfortable stay for pet dogs hit Saagar, he decided why not make a match site for sitters and dogs. “I felt there was an urgent need to address this issue as dogs are literally like family and Pawsomestay.com is more an attempt to make sure that these beautiful creatures get a comfortable stay even while their pet parents travel,” he explains, adding, “And at the same time the pet parents are not worried or feel guilty about leaving their dog behind for a few days. It is almost like your dog gets to go on an awesome vacation.”
Pawfect pet sitters
Pawsomestay.com is a place to find an appropriate sitter. “That’s exactly why it is most important to us that our dog sitters are dog lovers first and trained sitters later; having said that I must add that every sitter at Pawsomestay.com is thoroughly screened and interviewed before he/she can become a registered sitter,” asserts Saagar. In addition, pet parents have the option of rating the sitters according to their personal experience. It is the commitment of Pawsomestay.com to make sure that their customers find what they are looking for and that’s the peace of mind they get while they are travelling.
To be wagged more
Mumbai is a very dog friendly city with full of dog lovers. Sensing this fact, Pawsomestay.com shares the same values and the value proposition of providing a real home for a dog will resonate in any caring and responsible pet parents. “We had close to 700 followers on social media within two weeks of our website launch. It told us that we are on the right track and dogs all across Mumbai city would be waging their tails soon enough,” concludes Saagar, with a smile. Pawsomestay.com assures pet parents vet assistance as well, if the dog falls sick while his parents are away. Moreover, for convenience of pet parents and faster connectivity, Pawsomestay.com is launching an app soon. (For further information, write in at:email@example.com or call on: 8108002222).
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