Summer delight!

Summer’s here! The kids can’t wait for the vacations to start, and parents wish they’d never. It’s all fine when the kids come back after a tiring day at school, but how do you match their energy levels when they are unbridled from the burdens of a taxing day at school. Time for Juno, the family dog, to jump in and take matters into his paws.

Juno probably isn’t allowed into that theme park your kids want to go, or that crazy place they call a mall, which makes you feel lighter (certainly in your pocket). But how about taking the musketeers and their furry accomplices out for a picnic? Or asking the toddlers to make a special treat for their favourite four legger? Here’s some pointers on how to keep both of them busy….

Make little frozen Dogciciles

One of the best things about summer is ice cream. Almost no one can resist a cold treat on a hot day. Well

complete care

Rupal and Bruno

neither can your dog (and that’s no surprise, is it?)! While you could stock up on readymade ice creams for your pet, here are some ideas for homemade frozen treats that are fun to make with your kids.

Dogs love frozen treat cubes. Add a piece of carrot, banana, strawberry or pineapple to the water in the ice-cube tray and pop it into the freezer. Use fruit juice or yogurt instead of water to make it a bit more special. You can also freeze chicken broth if the flavour of meat appeals to your little carnivore. Add a piece of cheese as a surprise centre. Make sure you buy a set of ice-cube trays just for him, in a different colour. You don’t want to end up with broth cubes in your cola.

Plan a picnic

Pack up the kids and hounds into the car and head to a pooch friendly picnic destination. Pick a spot in the shade of a tree for the blanket. Bring along a frisbee or a ball and turn the critters loose. Kids and dogs are bundles of energy. But the best part, however, is putting them together to make them cancel each other out, leaving you to relax with a drink in the cool comfort of the shade. Don’t forget to pack doggy special treats. Dry dog food works best. Pack a bowl of water too. Bear in mind to watch out for signs of heat exhaustion.

Take a hike

If you have a medium to large-sized athletic dog who is reasonably well behaved out of doors then you are blessed with an excellent hiking buddy. Build your dog’s stamina over time.

Again, pick a dog friendly destination. Start very early in the morning. Always keep your dog on a leash and out of trouble. Watch out for creepy-crawlies that might sting your dog. Make sure to keep an eye open for signs of heat stress and be prepared to turn right back around if you do. Better not scrimp on water for your dog, so always carry extra. Most importantly, pick up your dog’s poop. I know it sound cumbersome, but don’t ruin the trail for other hikers. All this said, hiking can be an excellent bonding experience for pet parent and dog, and very rewarding too.

Go to the beach

If you are lucky enough to live by a lonely stretch of the coast, take your dog along for a frolic at the beach one evening. If you live close to a pond or lake, make the most of it. Kids love water and dogs take naturally to almost any body of water and are excellent swimmers. Turn them loose and watch them go. Just make sure Rover has finished his ‘business’ before going for a swim. Not only is it unsightly if he ‘goes’ by the water, it could turn into a public health nuisance.

Turn on the sprinklers

Don’t live by the ocean, never mind. Turn on the sprinklers in your lawn. Or hand the garden hose to your kids. You can even add a kiddie pool to step-up the fun. Kids love watering the garden with hoses. And need we mention the effect it has on dogs? This will keep them all busy in the garden to work up a thirst, while you make tall glasses of lemonade in the kitchen. Hand the dog a few of those frozen treats you popped in the freezer yesterday.

A joyride for all

Going to pick up the kids from their grandparents? Take the dog along for the drive. Just roll down the windows and let the cool breeze in. Watch as your dog pops his head out, ears flying, tongue lolling- who can miss the look of joy on his face? They love taking in the scenery and watching other cars go by.

Just snuggle

Some days kids are just too lazy to get out of bed. The whole point of a summer break is to rest and rejuvenate, right? Let your kids spend the day snoozing in bed with your dog. Dogs spend half their life sleeping, that’s 12 hours a day, making them excellent snooze buddies. Or let them snuggle up against your dog while they catch up on some reading or watch a movie. A doggie movie would be lot better!

Whatever you decide to do this summer, make sure you spend a lot of quality time with your Dog Friday. For all the love (and some drool) that he “showers” on you he deserves loads of pampering.

(Kadambari Venkatraman is a vet, pursuing her postgraduate studies in Veterinary Surgery and Radiology at SVVU, Hyderabad.)

Delicious Doggy Delight

Your pooch loves to gorge on the delicacies you make. Pamper his taste buds with this healthy and delicious diet!
Liver Lip Smackers!
What do you need?
3 cups whole-wheat flour, ½ cup cornmeal, 2 tbsp wheat bran, 1 beaten egg, 3 tbsp chicken fat/vegetable oil, 1 cup cooked and coarsely pureed chicken/mutton liver and 1 cup (approx) chicken broth.
What’s cooking?
•    Preheat oven to 180ºC.
•    Sift whole-wheat flour.
•    Mix flour, cornmeal and wheat bran.
•    In separate bowl, beat the egg.
•    Add oil and ½ cup broth to the egg. Beat till well mixed.
•    Add dry ingredients to bowl a little at a time, stirring well.
•    Fold in liver puree.
•    Turn dough out on lightly floured surface and knead briefly. Add more flour if the dough is too sticky or water/broth if it is too dry. (The required quantity of flour and broth might vary slightly according to your cooking area’s temperature and humidity.)
•    Roll out 1/4” thick and cut using cookie cutters or a knife.
•    Place on greased cookie sheet.
•    Bake for 30 minutes or until firm.
•    Store in refrigerator.
Tips to follow
•    Brush cookies with beaten egg or milk before baking for a glazy look.
•    After turning off the oven, leave cookies in it overnight to allow further dehydration and thus, longer shelf life.
•    To cook liver, clean and boil it, the water after boiling can be used instead of chicken broth.

Tarot readings for you and your cuddly delight

For pooch lovers it is always a good time, but we all would love to know, what our cards have in store for us. Here D&P brings tarot cards forecast for the months of July and August.

  • Aries
    (March 21 to April 20)Pet parents: The beginning of July indicates competition and struggle. Those who are planning to settle, marry or move house and plan a family reunion, this is a favorable time.Our furry pals: The cards indicate a message to be strong and not run away from situations, you are advised to be extra careful, especially while playing or crossing the streets, be alert and stay safe.
  • Taurus
    (April 21 to May 20)Pet parents: The beginning indicates a new message for an alliance, marriage or a good job offer, perhaps a promotion and appraisal.Our furry pals: You are advised to be strong and some of you will be generating money or trophies to their parents (pet owners). There is an indication of travel for some, new homes, and new cities, so friends be prepared to get adapted to your new environments.
  • Gemini
    (May 21 to June 21)Pet parents: The beginning of the month is wonderful as you will rise above materialistic things and will be content.Our furry pals: New energy beginning, and a brilliant time to learn new tricks.A probability of shifting to new homes, new surroundings and receive goodies. Super days for pet parents and their furry pals.
  • Cancer
    (June 22 to July 22)Pet parents: The beginning calls for introspection, spirituality, following a guru and seeking a path towards deep thinking. The cards indicate triumph in assignments, alliances, new ventures and business or education.Our furry pals: There is good news for those who shall participate in games, competition, and success as appreciation is in your kitty. However, you are warned to guard your health.
  • Leo
    (July 23 to August 22)Pet parents: The beginning brings a new message linked to your heart, a proposal or a job offer, perhaps your intuition – a message from your inner consciousness. There is good news for those in love, commitment and engagement. Our furry pals: The beginning indicates a little unhappiness, not able to do the right things, however good news especially for our female pals, indicating enthusiasm, and travel.
  • Virgo
    (August 23 to September 22)Pet parents: A favorable beginning for those who are planning or awaiting motherhood, favorable time to receive positive offers, work, business , increments in salary and opportunities for better prospects.Our furry pals: Friends may have to wait a little longer for adoption, as well as mating, although you will receive gifts and will be showered with a lot of attention. Your efforts will bring you lot of quick positive results.
  • Libra
    (September 23 to October 22)Pet parents: A family member’s health should be guarded; those in professions like stocks, marketing or bankers will do exceptionally well. There is travel on the cards for those who are planning a trip.Our furry pals: A good beginning, especially the females will seek a lot of attention, a few may perhaps not make friends easily, have a hard time getting adapted to their new environment and also feel scared in their new surroundings. Be brave and be strong.
  • Scorpio
    (October 23 to November 22)Pet parents: The beginning brings contentment, basically getting what you want, material gains and interestingly spiritual gains as well. Favorable periods for those who plan to tie the knot, commitment, love and planning for future is around the corner.Our furry pals: A few sacrifices perhaps moving away from loved ones, let go of the past and look forward to a bright tomorrow. The males will be highly emotional and also feel special like a king, you all will be energetic learn new tricks and gain loads of attention.
  • Sagittarius
    (November 23 to December 21)Pet parents: The beginning indicates making sacrifices, letting go of the past, missing and trying to bond with the elderly folks especially mother daughter relationship. Health should be on guard.Our furry pals: A time to make friends, be invited to parties, get adopted into new loving homes and be a spectacular performer. A brilliant time for those who participate in events.
  • Capricorn
    (December 22 to January 20)Pet parents: The beginning indicates quick positive results in your endeavors, work, vocation or love. There could be a slight waiting period for those who seek overseas opportunities which could lead to confusion and stress.Our furry pals: The time to chill, take things easy but warning on your cards, keep your goodies and valuable litter safely. A good time to expect gifts and trophies!
  • Aquarius
    (January 21 to February 19)Pet parents: The beginning brings in new opportunities, finance, appraisals and prospective projects. Your valuables should be guarded as there is a possibility of losing or misplacing important stuff.Our furry friends: Those who seek to find new homes will be successful, the females who are expecting will be blessed with sweet, cuddly litter, strange but true you are also advised to be extra cautious.
  • Pisces
    (February 20 to March 20)Pet parents: Try to be spiritual and strong. You will be trying to take charge and control, be it on the work front or home.Our furry pals: Same as your pet parents, health is of concern, do not neglect symptoms, you will make new friends and those who hope for litter, it surely is a favorable time to bring in those sweet loving little furry pals.
– by Varsha Verma