There is a family living in my neighbourhood who have two dogs as pets, Betty and Ketty. The family leaves in the morning to work and the poor pooches are left on the mercy of God. It seems that they love dogs but unfortunately do not have time for their pets.
I observed the house and its pet parent‘s behaviour for sometime consistently and found that both pets were living like prisoners. The pet parents did not know basics of keeping pets. Betty and Ketty were only unleashed for some time when they had to go for nature’s call. They were not taken out for a walk, they were left on the roof top where water tanks were placed for the entire building. The stink of unclean roof made us nauseous. Ketty and Betty were fed once in the morning and then tied to the railing of their balcony for a whole day. There was no water for them to drink. The balcony was ice cold during winter because they lived on top floor. Both pets were not given any coats to wear. They shivered and squeezed into each other’s skin for warmth. Not even a piece of gunny bag on the floor to protect them from cold floor. It was a pathetic scene watching them shuddering to death. They wailed in the night.
Little bit of mercy…
I thought it was my duty to at least have a talk. But surprisingly the pet parents were not only ill-informed about pet-care, they also failed to understand the needs of their pets. He refused to listen to any of my suggestions. I felt helpless. I wished to do something for them, so did other neighbours. We suggested to him that they both be adopted by us. His ego did not accept it. He refused the offer because it was his property and we did not have a right to disturb him. I simply asked him that what was the need to keep them in their busy life? He exhibited his snob looks and replied, “I have them because my kids wanted to play with them.” I wondered that how easy for him to say that and pets life did not mean anything to him.
Treat them as our furry kids…
Pets need a good care just like children. Pets are very sensitive. With your mere touch they understand whether you love them or not.
Plan in advance…
- First and foremost, puppy-proof your house. Put away everything which can be harmful to him beyond his reach.
- Before you bring home your puppy, his place of living should be decided in advance. Try not to change his place frequently because he marks his domain. The place you choose should be comfortable in summers as well as in winters. Choose a quiet place for him to relax.
- The first time he arrives home, he needs the warmth of your love and feeling of security. So, put him in your lap, pat and talk to him softly. Make him feel comfortable. It is the beginning of the relationship.
- Don’t let too many people handle him in the beginning as it may make him feel uncomfortable.
- As soon as the pup wakes up from sleep he will want to eliminate. Take him to his designated area.
- Also take him to his designated area after his each meal.
- The pup might circle which indicates he wants to eliminate.
- Take him out at regular intervals for nature’s call. If you follow it from day one, it will soon become a habit and he will never mess inside the house.
- Most important to remember is accidents do happen. Never punish him for the same. Just clean the area properly to remove all smell.
Feeding routines …
- Follow his diet chart carefully. Feed him the same food which he was eating while at the breeder or the pet shop for some time. Consult your vet to put him on his breed-specific age-specific diet.
- For pups up to three months, feed him every 3-4 hours a day. For 3-6 months old pup, feed him every 4-5 hours. 6-12 months old pup is to be fed three times a day. Adult dog needs feeding twice a day. Also, consult your vet.
- If food is not taken in one go, and is left in the bowl for 2-3 hours, it should be discarded. Serve fresh food every time.
- Never overfeed – overfeeding leads to obesity and other health issues.
- Never feed him table scraps/party leftover.
- Always keep his utensils clean to keep your pets infection-free.
- Fresh and drinkable water should always be accessible for him.
- He needs proper nutrition. You can choose from the various dog foods available in the market.
- Leaving him alone in the night is not appreciable. You should be there when he needs you. Must check with his vet.
- Choose his bed as per the season. A warm comfy bed for winters and a thin rug for summers. If it is summer time, ensure he stays cool.
- Provide him toys which make sound; for example, balls, soft and chewable toys which will keep him busy and happy.
- If the puppy is sleeping, let him sleep. This is important for his growth.
- Watch your pet while he goes for excretion. Thus watching food and toilet habits are indicators of their health conditions.
- If your dog is not eating, it is a symptom of his being unwell. If he looks lazy, sluggish, not playful, it means something is wrong. Any sudden change in his behaviour should not be overlooked. Consult your vet immediately.
- Groom him from the very beginning. Brush his hair every day; it will keep him tidy and shiny.
- Grooming includes bathing, brushing, clipping, cleaning of ears, massaging, etc. Clean ears, clip nails, brush hair on regular intervals to keep them shining. If nails are not clipped, it hurts them while walking. If you hear clamor in their walk, it means the nails need clipping. Ticks can find their ways into a dog’s hair and ears. Regular brushing can resolve this problem. Ask your vet how to clean the ears.
- Dental care also needs equal attention. It prevents bad breath and other diseases. You may need a vet’s help in this.
Vaccination, medication & deworming…
- Consult your vet for required vaccinations to keep diseases at bay. You will be provided a booklet by the vet to keep vaccination record.
- Never try to medicate your pooch on your own. It could be dangerous.
- Consult your vet for the deworming schedule.
Exercise & play essential…
- A puppy thrives on love and play. Make play with your pup a permanent part of your schedule and see this bond bloom.
- Take your pup for a walk after his vaccinations, so as to not catch any infections.
- Exercise according to the pup’s age and breed. Consult your vet for the same.
- Observe the behaviour of your dog. Knowing him will make it easy for you to understand his uneasiness when it occurs. Take out some time for him every day because it is important for the relationship with him.
- Spend quality time with the pup every day to build a beautiful relationship.
- Conversing is another important part. Puppy will understand all what you say to him. And it will be easier to train him.
- After playing with them, remember to wash your hands immediately.
- Keep their medicines, cloths, utensils, bed separate and clean.
Dogs are beautiful and lend positive energy in our homes. They teach us language of faith. In return, they expect nothing… but we owe love and care!