Myths and truths about dog keeping

Many people wish to keep a pet dog but are surrounded by certain myths that stop them from fulfilling their wish. Not only this, some of the dog owners go to an extent of abandoning their pet dogs because of these myths. Dr. S.K. Pandey addresses certain common myths and truths about dog keeping. In this changing world, each one of us strives for betterment and have very little time left for our family members. In such a situation, pet dog is the one who gives unconditional love and loyalty. However, many people are hesitant in keeping a dog as they believe in certain myths about them, which are infact baseless.

Here are some myths about dog keeping:

Every dog bite causes Rabies: Rabies is a dreadful viral disease that is transmitted to human beings through the bite of rabies infected dog, monkey or rodents. It is to be clearly understood that bite of a normal healthy vaccinated dog does not cause rabies. This bite is just like a normal injury that may be treated normally. The pet dog remains totally free from rabies until bitten by a rabid animal, which happens only when the pet dog is left to stray out.

Dogs cause asthma and allergies?:?Asthma and allergies are primarily genetic in nature that may be triggered by certain allergens. Amongst many other allergens, certain secretions from dogs may also trigger the problem. But, this happens only if an individual is allergic to this secretion, which is a rare possibility. Hence, it is to be clearly understood that the presence of dog in the house is not the cause of asthma and allergies. On the contrary, the incidence of these problems is less in families where dogs are kept. This happens because the presence of low-grade allergens makes the body immune.

Dogs transmit many diseases to human beings?:?A well-kept dog does not transmit any disease to the human beings. The serious and dreadful diseases of dogs like parvo virus, canine distemper, infectious canine hepatitis, canine influenza etc are not transmitted to human beings. Other problems that may be transmitted by dogs are skin problems and tape worm infestation, both of these happen only if the hygiene conditions are compromised with.

Dogs will harm the new born babies?:?It is a pity to see that many pet dogs are abandoned with the arrival of a new born baby in the family since they feel that dogs will harm them. This myth is totally baseless as it is invariably seen that a well-behaved and socialised pet dog in the house is very protective towards the infants and never harms them. There are many instances when dogs have come to the rescue of infants and children through their guarding and protective instinct. However, it is advisable to watch the attitude of the dog towards the new born baby before a close proximity is maintained.

Dog recognise only one master and may attack other family members?:?Dogs are very sensible and they easily recognise all the family members. They enjoy family life. Aggression in dogs is however due to various other reasons like provocation from some family members, lack of training and exercise. It should be ascertained that the dog is properly socialised during the initial phase of life to avoid any untoward incidence.

Infact, dogs change the outlook of a person and you can lead a fulfilling life if you have one.

Here are some of the benefits of keeping a dog at home:

Dog brings discipline and joy in your life?:?A dog in the family can change the lifestyle of the owner and suddenly you become more disciplined, happy and healthy. This is because health and joy goes with their normal temperament.

  • You need to take your dog for morning and evening walks which are good for your health as well.
  • With this furry bundle of energy, you cannot throw things around as he can chew it up. So, your house is more organised.
  • When you are feeling low, your pet dog will pull you out from it through his love, affection and mischief. Best companion : Dogs provide excellent company to old, children and other disabled people who find their life more meaningful when they spend their time with them.

Dog acts as a stress buster?:?Today, life is full of stress, which may lead to health hazards such as insomnia, anxiety, high BP, heart problems, low immunity, gastric ulcers, etc. When you spend quality time with your dog, you are able to detach yourself from the mundane problems of life. Interestingly, there are reports that people with dogs live a healthier life. They are found to have fewer incidences of heart ailments, blood pressure problem, psychological disorders and stress induced aches and pains.

(Dr. S.K. Pandey, M.V.Sc. (Medicine), apart from his specialisation in canine medicine, holds special interest in dog behaviour, nutrition and lifestyle. He can be contacted at: Doggy World & Fish Planet, B-6/147, Sector-8, Rohini, Delhi, Ph: 011-27942285, 09811299059, 09811299055.)

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