Be safe when the sun shines bright

From keeping their pets indoors to providing water all the time to grooming and short haircuts – it is definitely a pleasure to see our pet parents well informed on Do’s and Don’ts in summer time. Here’s what our pet parents from Jaipur share…

Ananya Solanki “During summer, temperature variance causes hair fall and dermatological problems, so it isn’t a good idea to give dogs frequent baths.However, regular grooming is necessary which helps in removing ticks from the body. Frequent sponge bath and paw cleaning is advisable. We also try to keep Alice, our Cocker Spaniel, indoor as much as we can; this also prevents her from getting dirty.”
– Ananya Solanki

 

 

anupama 1“I keep fresh water for my Tuk Tuk, a Cocker Spaniel all the time. I keep him indoor in a cool place. I take my pet to grooming salon or neem shampooing to cool my Tuk Tuk in the summer heat.”
– Anupama, Indrajit, Sahgun and Shashwat

 

 

 

 

Anvita“Laila (Cocker) and Diana (Golden Retriever) are our two pets. In summers, we give them lots of water and ice and they have a little play pool where they play in daily! We avoid noon walk to keep them safe. We also take them to grooming salon for hygiene.”
– Anvita

 

 

 

Dipti Pugalia“I am blessed with two Pugs (Bruno and Toffee) and one  Labrador (Lindor).  I take them for professional grooming and the groomers really take good care of my pets… I simply follow their instructions and send my pets to them for their regular grooming, brushing, hygiene, etc… During summer, we try and keep all our dogs indoor and give them food and liquids that would keep them cool and relaxed.”
– Dipti Pugalia (lol)!

 

 

 

Niti Soorma“Since summer can be harsh for pets, especially dogs, I give light food to my English Cocker Spaniel Zara Soorma. I try to keep her cool and hydrated… and give her things like chaach, cucumbers (she loves them)… and yes take her out for regular walks so that her metabolism remains good.”
– Niti Soorma

 

 

 

 

Rahul and Nipun Singhi“We have two pets – Shadow, a Labrador, and Rugby, a Beagle. To keep our pets safe in summer, we limit their exercising to early morning and evening hours. We always carry water with us to keep our dogs from dehydrating and provide ample shade to protect them from heat during day time, in case they are outdoors. We make sure that our dogs’ fur and nails are regularly trimmed during the summer months and ensure they are free from fleas and ticks using recommended shampoos, drops and brushes. We also avoid crowded summer dog events to keep our pets away from stress and infections.”
– Rahul and Nipun Singhi

 

 

Shaily Dhiman“Summer can get really hard for our pets. I take care that there’s water available to Zoey, my Labrador, all the time in order to avoid dehydration.  Moreover, I ensure to take her for a walk early in the morning and late in the evening . This way she’s happy as her feet don’t burn. Also, we take her to groomer for short hair cuts to cool in summer.”
– Shaily Dhiman

 

 

 

 

“I have four dogs – Mike (Labrador) and three stray dogs. During summers, I keep them  mostly indoor. They get curd at least once a day. Shreshth BiyaniMike goes to his groomer every fortnight and I powder and brush my strays once every week. I also give them one ice cube everyday made of Glucon D mixed in water. Sometimes I also offer them Vanilla ice-cream. All in all, we try to keep our dogs well hydrated during summer.”
–Shreshth Biyani

 

 

Shruti Gursahaney“Scooby, my Cocker Spaniel, is always kept indoor during the day. I give him a regular trim with a bath  to keep him cool. Dogs like cold water in summer so I always make sure he has fresh water in the bowl.”
–Shruti Gursahaney

 

 

 

 

“Minnie is an eight-year-old Pomeranian and Shih Tzu mix dog. We always keep her cool in summer by keeping her fur very short. We make Sonu and Vijay Nawanisure that she drinks lots of water and we try walking her only when the sun is not so hot. As a precaution, we always carry a bottle of water to keep her safe from dehydration.”
–Sonu and Vijay Nawani

 

 

 

 

Vivaan Kapoor“My pet Troy, a Beagle, is kept indoor. To prevent my dog from heatstroke, I take him for walks during cooler times of the day like early morning and evening hours. I make sure that he drinks lots of cold water and give him more liquid intakes.  His fur and nails are regularly trimmed during the summer months. I avoid taking him out for events in summers.”
–Vivaan Kapoor

 

 

 

 

 

(Inputs from Nipun Biyani, a professional groomer in Jaipur)

Learn how to keep your pet safe this summer

Brejesh

Dr. Brejesh Singh

Animals do not have efficient cooling systems (like humans who sweat) and get overheated easily, which can result in heatstroke that can be fatal. Here’s why and how to protect your pooch in summer.

Heatstroke occurs when normal body mechanisms cannot keep the body temperature in a safe range. A dog with moderate heatstroke (body temperature from 104º to 106ºF) can recover within an hour if given prompt first aid and veterinary care (normal body temperature is 100-102.5°F). Severe heatstroke (body temperature over 106ºF) can be deadly and immediate veterinary assistance is needed.

Signs of heatstroke

  • Rapid panting
  • Bright red tongue
  • Red or pale gums
  • Thick, sticky saliva
  • Depression
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting – sometimes with blood
  • Diarrhoea
  • Shock
  • Coma

 

Tips for pet parents

  • Remove the dog from the hot area immediately.
  • Prior to taking him to your veterinarian, lower his temperature by wetting him thoroughly with cool water (for very small dogs, use lukewarm water), then increase air movement around him with a fan.
  • Using very cold water can actually be counterproductive. Cooling too quickly and especially allowing his body temperature to become too low can cause other life-threatening medical conditions.
  • The rectal temperature should be checked every five minutes. Once the body temperature is 103ºF, the cooling measures should be stopped and the dog should be dried thoroughly and covered so that he does not continue to lose heat.
  • Even if the dog appears to be recovering, take him to your veterinarian as soon as possible. He should still be examined since he may be dehydrated or have other complications.
  • Allow free access to water or a children’s rehydrating solution if the dog can drink on his own.
  • Do not try to force-feed cold water; the dog may inhale it or choke.

Vet care…
Your veterinarian will lower your dog’s body temperature to a safe range (if you have not already) and continually monitor his temperature. Your dog will be given fluids, and possibly oxygen. He will be monitored for shock, respiratory distress, kidney failure, heart abnormalities, and other complications, and treated accordingly. Blood samples may be taken before and during the treatment. The clotting time of the blood will be monitored, since clotting problems are a common complication.
Aftercare…
Dogs with moderate heatstroke often recover without complicating health problems. Severe heatstroke can cause organ damage that might need ongoing care such as a special diet prescribed by your veterinarian. Dogs who suffer from heatstroke once increase their risk for getting it again and steps must be taken to prevent it on hot, humid days.
Preventing heatstroke…
Any pet, who cannot cool himself off, is at risk for heatstroke. Following these guidelines can help prevent serious problems.

  • Keep pets with predisposing conditions like heart disease, obesity, older age or breathing problems cool and in the shade. Even normal activity for these pets can be harmful.
  • Provide access to water at all times.
  • Do not leave your pet in a hot parked car even if you’re in the shade or will only be gone a short time. The temperature inside a parked car can quickly go up to 140ºF.
  • Make sure dogs have access to shade outside.
  • On a hot day, restrict exercise and don’t take your dog to jogging with you. Too much exercise when the weather is very hot can be dangerous.
  • Do not muzzle your dog.
  • Avoid places like the beach and especially concrete or asphalt areas where heat is reflected and there is no access to shade.
  • Wetting down your dog with cool water or allowing him to swim can help maintain a normal body temperature.
  • Move your dog to a cool area of the house. Air conditioning is one of the best ways to keep a dog cool, but is not always dependable. To provide a cooler environment, freeze water in soda bottles, or place ice and a small amount of water in several resealable food storage bags and then wrap them in a towel or tube sock. Place them on the floor for the dog to lie on.

(Dr Brejesh Singh is Assistant Professor at Department of Veterinary Medicine, College of Veterinary Science & AH, Rewa,
Madhya Pradesh).

Why is water important for your pet?

Water is the most important of all the vital nutrients needed for a pet. It constitutes nearly 84 percent of a newborn puppy and 60 percent of an adult dog. It is the basis for all metabolic processes of the body. Let’s find out more about the importance of water.

According to Dr CS Arun, “Though very essential, the importance of water is completely overlooked and ‘water negligence’ is a common problem encountered in the practice. Inadequate supply of water can damage the organs like kidneys, liver, etc. It can even lead to death.”

Dr. CS Arun

Dr. CS Arun

How much water is enough for my pooch?
Dr Arun explains that it is imperative to provide water to pet always and ad libitum. Basically, a dog needs 60 ml water per kg body weight per day. So, a 20 kg normal dog needs 1.2 litres of water per day. In another thumb rule, a dog should drink 2.5 times the quantity of food it consumes. If the dog eats 300 gm dry food, he should drink at least 750 ml water. But the water requirement considerably increases in hot climate, after exercise and during lactation. It may go upto 2-3 times more than normal. It has to be remembered that dogs on dry food need more water.

Pawfect water balance
Dr Indranil Samanta says like us, our dogs also cannot survive without water which is the most important regulator of all the cellular functions. “Water is continuously supplied and lost from the body. So, the machinery to maintain the balance should be efficiently functional. The machinery is regulated by several factors such as hormones (anti-diuretic hormone or vasopressin and oxytocin),hypothalamus of the brain, effective kidney, lung and skin function. The positive water balance is noted in puppies, pregnant dogs and with the diet rich in carbohydrate. Whereas, the negative water balance is observed in excess loss of water than intake due to environmental stress or exercises, and high fat content in the diet. Thumb rule for water intake may vary with the breeds of the dogs who are fed the canned foods (moisture content 60-87 percent) and can collect their required water from the food items. They may intake less amount of liquid water which is a normal phenomenon and there is nothing to
worry about it.” he adds.

Why water deficiency occurs?
As per Dr Arun, primary cause of water deficiency is managemental error.

  • Pet parents may tend to forget filling up water bowls.
  • Never keep your dogs chained in certain cases. Chained pets may not be able to reach water troughs.
  • Occasionally, a pet may knock out the water bowl.
  • Pets on travel may not be provided with adequate quantity of water.
  • Excessive panting and salivation causes water deprivation.
  • Fever and severe vomiting and diarrhoea also lead to severe dehydration.

He further explained that a loss of 10 percent of body water may cause serious disorders.  A dehydrated pet will look dull and depressed with dry, pale and sticky gums and sunken eyes. Skin loses its turgidity. When a flap of skin is pulled away from the body, it won’t snap back quickly.

Dr. Indranil Samanta

Dr. Indranil Samanta

Dehydration – a serious issue!
“The overall activities of dogs are reduced during dehydration. The dogs taking sufficient water are able to burn the glucose more efficiently. So, if your dog is reluctant to walk, play with you or children, you may doubt about its sufficiency of water intake. Other signs depending upon the degree of dehydration include panting, dry oral mucus membrane, tachycardia, decreased pulse rate and hypovolemic shock in fatal cases. However, the proper detection of this syndrome can be done by a qualified veterinarian only,” tells Dr Indranil.
According to Dr Indranil, there is a ‘rectal pinch test’ which can be performed by any pet parent to detect whether their dog is taking sufficient water. Lifting the skin on a dog’s back and watching how quickly it returns to its normal position is known as rectal pinch test. A healthy dog’s skin returns immediately, a dehydrated (lack of water) one goes back slowly. If you find the dehydration in
rectal pinch test, you should consult your veterinarian immediately.
“Further, when your dog is sick, he is reluctant to take water. However, during sickness, especially fever, more amount of water is needed. Together these factors may contribute to massive dehydration which needs immediate attention of your vet. Dehydration can be fatal if hypovolemic shock occurs. Further, insufficient water intake in dogs may cause constipation and renal failure,” adds Dr Indranil.

Combating dehydrationSeasonal Care
Dr Arun points out some guidelines to combat dehydration.

  • Vaccinate your dog regularly.
  • Do not give his access to garbage bin or stale food.
  • To treat dehydration, start infusing fluids i/v, s/c or oral as early as possible.
  • If there is no vomiting, the pet may be forcefully fed water frequently.
  • To increase the palatability of water, you may add some chicken or beef flavour.
  • Let your pooch drink water before exercise.
  • Water bowls can be placed at 2-3 places.
  • Ice cubes can be given as treats in summer.
  • A treat can be put at the bottom of the water bowl to encourage your pooch to drink.
  • In summer, provide cool water and in winter, provide water at room temperature.
  • To prevent water deficiency, always make sure that the pet has access to clean water always.
  • Change the water in bowl at least twice a day.
  • When on travel, carry enough water for the pet.

Overhydration – also a concern
Dr Indranil explains that intake of excess amount of water is termed as overhydration. It is also fatal for the dogs which are clinically evident from the symptoms such as poyuria (frequent urination), acidosis, cyanosis (bluish discolouration of mucous membrane), muscle twitching, hyperirritability, vomition and convulsion. Pulmonary edema is the life-threatening event of overhydration.
“For mild overhydration, restriction of water intake can check the condition. For severe cases, diuretics along with fluid therapy to restore the salt balance are recommended. To detect the internal organ damage caused by the excess of water, an expert advice is needed,” he adds.

Quality of water… important too!
“Quality of water fed to the pet is very important. Usually water we use contains various solid particles in the forms of chemicals, contaminants or dirts which we cannot see through our naked eyes. If the water is containing more than 5000 parts per million of such total dissolved solids is not acceptable for consumption. High nitrates, magnesium or iron pose long term health hazards. Untreated water may be a source of pathogenic microbes like Giardia,” says Dr Arun.

Take care of the bowls as well!
Dr Arun mentions, “At the same time, cleanest water may not help if placed in a dirty container. So, water bowls should be washed daily and disinfected periodically. Take special care to clean the ‘bio film’ formed
in the water.”
Clean drinking water is the right of every pet and responsibility of every pet parent.

“Water carries and helps the body to absorb important nutrients; aids in digestion of food and helps to maintain normal body temperature. It makes movement easier by lubricating and cushioning the joints. Urination and bowel movements help in removing waste from the body. Always give filtered drinking water to your pet.”
– Dr CS Arun

 

“The stainless steel bowl is preferable because it develops fewer amounts of scratches. The scratches can harbour pathogenic bacteria.”
– Dr Indranil Samanta

 

 

“The World Health Organisation (WHO) data on faecal coliform bacteria (contaminants that pollute water) group them into the following risk categories: 0 cfu (colony-forming unit)/ 100ml (conformity); 1–10 cfu/100 ml (low risk); 10–100 cfu/100 ml (intermediate risk); 100–1000 cfu/ 100ml (high risk) and 41000 cfu/100 ml (very high risk).”
– Dr Indranil Samanta

 

(With inputs from Dr CS Arun, MVSc, PGDMM, My Pet Clinic & Pet Fancies, Mysore. He is author of the book ‘Frequently Asked Questions About Dogs & Cats’.
Dr Indranil Samanta, (MVSc, PhD), Assistant Professor in Veterinary Microbiology at West Bengal University of Animal & Fishery Sciences, Kolkata. He is actively engaged in microbiological disease investigation and allied research. He is the author of the book ‘Veterinary Bacteriology’ (NIPA, New Delhi)).  

Waltham S.H.A.P.E Guide for Dogs

Pedigree

Home alone!

Separation anxiety is one of the common problems faced by pet parents but each pet is unique and so is how they are handled. Here, our Hyderabad friends share their experiences on dealing with separation anxiety.

Anjaly with Gavin and Dollar

Anjaly with Gavin and Dollar

Giving him a comfort zone: “Dollar, my five-month-old Lab, has no issues with separation anxiety. It’s Gavin, my four- year-old Dachshund,who does. He is very devoted to my mom and starts howling in her absence. Whenever she starts packing for an overnight trip, he gets very nervous. But he has never been destructive. When we all go for a vacation, we make sure we leave him at our cousin’s place. He is initially a little nervous, but settles down by thenext day.”

Love is the way: “Whisky is a desi stray I adopted. She has always been a true desi – fiercely independent. She has never really been anxious about being separated from me. Stepie, my Retriever cross, is the exact opposite. He is high strung and has serious abandonment issues. He was also a rescued dog.  I
try to reassure Stepie the best I can and he is rarely left alone at home.”

Training is the key: “Donny is my two-month-old Lab. He is visually handicapped and cannot see clearly

Shruti with Stepie

Shruti with Stepie

beyond three feet ahead of him. He is extremely obedient and well behaved. But he suffers from separatio

n anxiety. He does not howl much, but when I come back from my night shift, my house is in a mess. Wires are chewed up, papers and books are strewn on the floor, slippers and carpets are shredded. We are now working with his trainer to find a solution.”

Love and comfort do the trick: “We all love Caesar at home. He is the apple of my eye. We have a large family and he is rarely left alone. But he does miss me when I go to work. My mom tells me he keeps staring at the door and gets startled at every noise and expects to see me coming home. He always gives me a huge welcome every evening. The problem usually is when I leave for overnight trips. He gets cranky at night and howls a little. When mom and I are both away, he takes comfort in other family members and needs a lot of attention from them. Of course, we get a good scolding from him when we return.”

 

Shashi with Caesar

Shashi with Caesar

Wants to be in his comfort zone: “Bruno is just eight-week-old, but misses me terribly when I am at work. He startsgetting nervous when I am getting ready for work. He looks me with his large eyes, as if pleading not to be left at home. My family tells me that when I am away, he haunts my room and curls up in my clothes. There has been no destructive behaviour so far, so we are grateful.”

Dog-sit when alone: “Jason can be a handful when left alone. He is equally attached to all the members of the family and is alright if any one person remains home with him. So, we find someone to dog-sit for us if we are expecting to leave longer than a few hours.”

 

Chandrashekar with Csar

Chandrashekar with Csar

Training dealt with separation anxiety problems: “Being a professional dog trainer, I made sure neither of my pets – Peach nor Csar suffered from separation anxiety. As puppies, of course they did. But they were properly trained. Basic training at Progressive Kennels includes training to deal with separation anxiety. There are many ways of dealing with this. You can increase separation time in small increments until the puppy/dog is used to being away from you for about four hours – not longer. You can leave treats and toys hidden in the house so that the dog remains entertained in your absence. The last method is to burn all their energy before you leave, by giving them a long run or a high energy play session. This makes them sleepy when they get back home, when you are leaving. A combination of these techniques works best for most dogs, including my own.”

(Inputs from Dr Kadambari of Olive’s Pet Clinic, Hyderabad)

Be Cautious with Collars: Learn to make an informed choice!

The collar plays a very important role in your pet’s life. It is important to choose the correct collar for your pet according to his size and use because a wrong collar will not solve the purpose and will make the pet feel very uncomfortable and can even injure him.

There are many styles of collars and harnesses available at pet stores. Choosing the right collar/ harness is one of the most important decisions you could make for your dog and would depend on your dog’s size and disposition, the training or medical condition, says Dr Natasha Couto. Be cautious Common Collars According to Dr Natasha, collars should be snug with enough room to fit two fingers between your dog’s neck and his collar. It should not be loose enough to slip over the pet’s head which could result in accidents. They should not be fit too tight either to restrict breathing or cause coughing. Collar can be a great tool since it allows to keep your dog safely by your side. Collars are good for easy going happy go lucky disciplined dogs without obedience problems. Amrut S Hiranya says, “Flat collar is considered to be the most common collar designed with a plastic clip or a buckle. Such design is convenient to slip on and off. However, despite the fact that this type of collar retains size, it can become hazard to the pooch since pooches always play rough in mouthy manner and it may eventually result in their mouths catching in the collars of other doggy playmates which will cause panic among them.” Buckle Collars: Poorvi Anthony mentions that buckle collars are very common and have a buckle to lock. These collars are made of nylon, cotton or leather and are round or flat in shape. Buckle Collars can be adjusted according to the neck size of the pet. Quick Release Collars: “These are collars with a plastic closure. They simply snap on and off the dog quickly. In case your pooch gets stuck somewhere, he can easily break loose. These collars are also adjustable and also do not tighten when fastened,” adds Poorvi.  Martingale Collar “Martingale Collars are Loop Collars which are generally half collars and half chain. They are also known as half Choke Chains. These types of collars are like Flat Collars but they tighten when the dog pulls. A Martingale Collar has two loops; the smaller is the ‘control loop’ that tightens the larger loop when pulled to prevent dogs from slipping out of the collar,” tells Poorvi. Harness Dr Natasha explains that Harnesses are those which go around the neck and around the shoulders and behind the front legs and especially recommended for dogs who have upper respiratory diseases or diseases of the trachea such as collapsed trachea and also recommended in case of brachiocephalic breeds like Pugs, Bulldogs, Boxers, Pekingese since they choke easily on collars and collapse. Harness can be a good choice for small dogs on whom collars don’t fit properly. “Harnesses are also very popular among pet parents as the force is on the body instead of the neck. They are generally made of nylon or leather. Harnesses are more popular as they keep a strong grip on the dog and there are no chances of choking the dog,” says Poorvi. She adds that there are various types of harnesses available, for example, the Standard Harness in which the harness slips in from the head Harmful Effects of Using a wrong collar! and it is locked around his body. The leash can be attached on  top of the harness. Step in harness which is very easy to make him wear. The strap comes in between the front two legs and it is locked on the back and leash can be attached on top. The built in harness has inbuilt leaCollar Caresh to keep strong hold on the dog while he pulls. Preeti Agrawal tells, “If your furry baby loves to pull it is a must to make him wear a harness. Harness helps you to take full control of their body while you walk with them. So, it is ideal for over-enthusiastic dogs who love tugging on their leash.” Gentle Leader Invented by RK Anderson, a veterinarian and behaviourist, Gentle Leader is a device that fits around a dog’s muzzle and neck. It enables the person walking his dog to ‘gently lead’ the pet, while avoiding incessant pulling and choking. “A Gentle Leader has two straps or loops. The nose strap is slid over the dog’s nose and accommodated over the base of the muzzle. The neck strap on the other hand goes around the dog’s neck. These straps are appropriately adjusted to create a snug fit of the neck strap high on the neck, at the base of the skull. The center ring (that is common to both straps) is supposed to be placed just above the dog’s Adam’s apple. It is important that the neck strap fits snuggly and doesn’t allow more than a finger’s gap between the strap and the dog’s neck. The dog’s leash attaches to the control ring,” says Dr Rohil Chopra.    The Perfect fit! According to Amrut S Hiranya, Gentle Leader is not a training device. It is a walking device.  He adds, “The dog is in control as long as he is being walked on the Gentle Leader and is likely to go back to his old ways when a regular collar or harness is used. One may end up with a ‘collar-smart’ dog who needs to be walked with a gentle leader each time. It is meant to be used for short period of time and is not advisable that it be left on the entire day. Many pet parents report that their dogs experience difficulty in chewing and barking when on the gentle lead.  Experience of dog behaviourists and trainers suggests that it’s not as effective in large breed dogs vis-a-vis the small and medium breeds.” Choke Chain According to Dr Natasha, “Some people insist on Choke Chain which is unethical and often misused. Properly fitted Choke Chains should sit up right behind a dog’s ears high on his neck. When pulled too hard the chain squeezes at neck momentarily constricting breathing which is obviously uncomfortable and cruel. Choke Chains should never be used on puppies or brachiocephalic breeds.” Poorvi adds “Chain Slip Collars or Choke Chains are chains with rings at both the ends. It forms a loop around the dog’s neck. It works in two ways – the live ring and the dead ring. When the leash is attached to the live ring and the dog pulls the chain, it becomes tighter and it loosens when tension is released. When the leash is attached to the dead ring, the collar does not tighten.” Amrut says that Choke Chain is traditionally used to give a sharp jerk which is strong enough to stop the dog from  what he is doing. Pet parents should keep in mind that yanking on neck a chain can result in health issues. Pinch Collar As per Amrut, Pinch Collars give less pressure on the neck of the dog when we compared it to the Choke Chain. Pinch Collar has greater surface area but pet parents should be equally careful because it has the same issues of Choke Chain. While choosing a collar, always ensure your dog’s health and happiness. It is advisable NOT to use any collar which harms your dog. Training should always be positive. A dog who’s healthy and happy is a partner for a life time.   (Inputs from Natasha Couto, Cuddle Pet Shop & Clinic, Mumbai; Poorvi Anthony, JUST DOGS, Ahmedabad; Dr Suranjan Sarkar, Complete Dog Care, Ranchi; Dr Rohil Chopra, a practicing vet, Bengaluru; Amrut S Hiranya, Dog Guru, Bengaluru; Preeti Agrawal, Petville, Pune; Chenthu Mohan, Jedidiah Kennels, Chennai; and Matthew C Ivey, HABER•DOG•DASHER, Chicago).

Warm and happy in Winter wonderland!

Winter is a wonderland – our four-legged friends too need that extra care to keep them warm, hygienic and safe during this time.

Many fellow beings live with a misconception that their pets have a coat of fur so that they are able to withstand the cold better than humans. This is not the case. Like us, these fur-coated creatures too are accustomed to the warmth of indoor shelter and cold weather can be as hard on them as it is on us – humans. Puppies or senior dogs with arthritis or those who are sick with compromised immunity or renal conditions require close attention. Here are few tips to keep your furry being healthy and happy in this winter wonderland.
Outdoor fun activities when the sun shines: Keep her indoors, for the daily doses of Untitled-32parkland walks, you could resort to walking them out in late mornings or early evenings rather than going out in early wee hours or late nights. You may also enjoy fun games when sun is out; this partial sun bath shall energise both you and your pet with much needed vitamin D. Play fetch with toys, not sticks as they can cause choking and severe injuries. So, if your dog likes to chew and chase, pack a Frisbee, tennis ball or other toy and play together in the sun. When outdoors with your pet, watch for theses signs of exposure: Whining, Shivering, Appearing Anxious, Slowing Down, Stopping Movement and Looking for Places to Burrow.
If you notice any of these signs, return your pet indoors immediately.
Bundle up dressing: Long-haired breeds like Huskies do better in cold weather than short-haired breeds like Dachshunds.  Bundle up your dog. Dress your dog in a warm coat or sweater with a high collar or turtleneck; it should cover her back from the base of her tail and also protect her belly. Provide extra beddings such as rugs/blankets and ensure that they don’t sleep on uncarpeted areas or floors.
No overfeeding please: Because it takes more energy to stay warm when it’s cold. Your dog may be eyeing your food, understand those signs and feed him with small meals at regular intervals. However, make sure that diet is non-fatty and non-sugary. Likewise, water is vital for maintaining your pet’s health. Dogs can dehydrate even in winters as they do in summers.
Care for feet and grooming a must: Frosting is a serious problem during winter, especially for paws, tips of tails and ears. Just as we tend to develop foot cracks in winters, dogs tend to get cracks in their pads.
Trim your dog’s paws regularly in this season. If your dog has furry feet, trim the hair that grows between your dog’s toes and under his feet during the winter to prevent ice buildup between the paw pads. Thickened fur coat and brushing hairs regularly helps insulation.
Don’t leave them unattended! You should also not let your dog wander too far during his walks. Never leave him unattended.
Watch for the signs of frostbite and hypothermia: The risk of these conditions is especially high when the temperature dips. Frostbite typically affects poorly insulated body parts such as the tips of the ears and is evidenced by skin that is pale or red, swollen and painful or numb. Signs of hypothermia include slow pulse, shallow breathing, disorientation, collapse and unconsciousness. If you think your dog has either, call your vet immediately!
What to do for hypothermia:

  • Get your pet indoors and warm.
  • Wrap your pet in blankets and take him to the veterinarian.
  • Your veterinarian will, if necessary, monitor your pet’s heart rate and blood pressure and give warm fluids through an IV.

It’s known that dogs have innate art of survival; however your loyal friend needs that extra care. After all, who doesn’t want our buddy wagging his tail and leaping up to us in cold weather to give that priceless cuddling experience!
(Mayuresh Abhyankar is from Medical Services at SAVA Healthcare Limited).

KPS Valentine Pooch!

Love has no boundaries… love is eternal and unconditional…  and so our pooches are pawfect Valentines. Let’s see why.

  • Our pooches are always happy to see us, no matter what, even if we are late from work or elsewhere, they greet us happily at the door.
  • Our smile means the world to them.
  • They are the best listeners and we can talk to them for hours and not once they will show signs of boredom.
  • They can gauge our moods – they know when we are happy and know when we are sad.
  • They are loyal and will be with us in all our ups and downs, illness and wellness….
  • They will remember and recognise us throughout their life.
  • Their love is unconditional – they love us irrespective of anything in return.
  • They never crib and complain – happy-go-lucky chaps – they are truly our lucky charms!

2014 New Year Resolutions

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Perfect match: Choose the right Leashes & Bowls

As pet parents, we get bowled over by the variety of leashes and food bowls available for our pooches. But your pooch is special and he needs the right accessories, suitable to his age, breed and size. Here’s a guide to select the right leash and food bowl for your precious pooch.

Preeti Agarwal

Preeti Agarwal

Selecting the right leash…
It’s best to walk with your dog by your side as it’s good for the bonding between you and the furry baby. For pups to senior dogs, there is a leash for every dog for every walk. Make sure you choose the right one for a fuss free walk. If you have just got a pup home, make sure you consult your veterinary doctor before you take your furry baby out for his first walk. Before visiting a pet store to buy a leash, it’s important to take the following points into consideration.
If your dog loves to pull: It is advisable to go for a harness set that comprises a leash and a harness. It helps you to take control of the walk and doesn’t let your dog pull much. Harness is comfortable for dogs as it exerts no pressure on their neck.
If the dog is a chewer: Chain leashes are the best if your dog is chewing off all the leashes that you have bought in the past. Chain dog leashes come in different gauges from smaller chain links to larger/heavier chain. Chains with leather or padded handle is also available.
Rope leash for the large breeds: Walking and training large to giant breed dogs can be quite a task, you would often end up breaking your leash if they are thin or with a small hook. Rope leashes are designed especially for large sturdy dogs.
Leads or short leashes: Such types of leashes are used for walking through crowded public places.
Simple leash: Any plain leash, made of nylon or cotton, can be good for your well-trained dog.
Retractable leash: It gives the freedom to your dog to explore the surroundings during the walk while the control button on the handle helps you in restricting the cord.

Selecting the right bowl…
Dog food served in a clean bowl makes our little tailwaggers drool for more. I remember once a customer told me that her pet doesn’t eat food until and unless the bowl is cleaned properly. Various feeding bowls for various sizes of dogs are available and if you are confused about the size and material of the bowl, here are some tips that will help you understand more about the right bowl.
Size of the bowl: Your small little pup won’t be comfortable eating in a bowl as big as him. Small skid-free bowl would be the best option for them. Different sizes of dog bowls are available in the market. Make sure you choose the right bowl for your furry friend, taking the breed and the size into consideration before finalising the bowl.
Material of the bowl: Various bowls made of ceramic, plastic and steel are readily available. Plastic bowls are inexpensive and some of them come with good grip that makes them skid free. Ceramic bowls come in attractive colours and fun designs and ceramic being a heavy material makes them skid free. It lasts long if handled with care. While, stainless steel ones are more durable and these bowls are sometimes made with a non-skid rim on the bottom to prevent spilling. Whatever material you choose for your pet, you need to take the hygiene into consideration. Feeding bowl should be washed after every meal.
Elevated dog bowl: Elevated dog bowls are nothing but feeding bowl with a stand. The bowl can be of any material – plastic/ceramic or steel. Eating from the elevated bowl is not only quite comfortable for the dogs but it also helps in preventing gastrointestinal problem. You might find the prices of such bowls towards the higher side; however, it’s worth the price.
Automatic dog bowls: They are usually attached to a reservoir. It keeps the bowl full as long as there is food and water in the reservoir. It would be better if one uses such type of bowls for water rather than food. Dogs should not eat more than the required amount of dog food and if the reservoir is full of dog food, it will become difficult for you to track the amount of dog food your pooch has consumed.
Traveling bowls: Every now and then, we travel with our pets, to carry a bowl other than the traveling bowl can consume space in the car and it will also make it messy. Travel bowls are usually made up of polyester or similar fabric and it can easily be folded.
(Preeti Agarwal is proprietor at Petville, Pune which not only guides pet parents to do the right things for their pets but also promotes pet adoption).