Ask the experts..Sep-Oct 2004

Dr. R T Sharma (BVSc & AH) is the President of Pet Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), President (North India) of Bharath Kennel Club (BKC) and President of Small Animal Veterinary Association (SAVA). He is running his own pet hospital and boarding shelter in Delhi. Mr. Suresh Sherawat is founder/master trainer of the Canine Village Dog Training & Research Center having a strong desire to bring professionalism and quality to the canine world. He has spent years in researching the different aspects of training for homes, military, police, industrial houses etc.

Q : My 1.5 year old Labrador refuses to get into the car, whenever we want to take him to the vet. What is the possible reason for this and what should we do to handle the situation?
Vinod Maitre, New Delhi

Mr. Sherawat : Mr. Maitre, it seems that you take the dog in a car only when you visit the vet. Just as you don’t like going to the dentist, the dog does not find going to the vet a pleasant experience. Overcome it by taking your dog for short joy rides in your car.

Q : I am planning to buy a female Alsatian puppy. Please advise how to choose the right one.
S Dave, Mumbai

Dr. Sharma : A female Alsatian (GSD) is more affectionate than a male. Before buying, you must see the parents and check their vaccination status. If you and your vet are satisfied with the health and pedigree of the pup, please go ahead. Best of luck!

Q : My 1year 5 month old 30 kg Labrador Scooby refuses to drink water. This might lead to some health problem. Please suggest a healthy diet for Scooby. For your reference, I give him rice/roti with chicken everyday for lunch and dinner. I give papaya, biscuits and chana for breakfast on alternate days while I feed him a bowl of milk in the evenings. Please help.
Julie Dhariwal, Kolkata

Dr. Sharma : Though you haven’t mentioned what other liquid diet you are giving to your pet, still less water intake indicates less exercise. Please take him out for a run or a long walk and add other liquids in his diet such as diluted milk or soup. On an average, 60-80 ml/kg body weight water is required to maintain the normal fluid level. If Scooby is healthy and active, don’t bother, just enjoy his company!

At 30 kgs, Scooby is slightly overweight. He needs more exercise and less fat in his diet. Try to add more fibres in his diet and add a supplement of multi-vitamins at least once a day. Another option is to put him on a balanced commercial food available in the market. May Scooby live a long life and share many happy moments with you.

Q : I live in a big farm house. Due to lot of robbery in our area, I want to keep a guard dog for my family protection and to patrol the farm house. What kind of breed should I go for?
Lavleen Gupta, Saharanpur, UP

Mr. Sherawat : Lavleen, since you are living in a big farm house and want to keep a dog for protection , I shall advise you to go for German Shepherd, Doberman or Rottweiler. These breeds are known for their guarding instincts. Take any of these breed from a reputed breeder. Check for breeders in dog magazines. Engage an experienced trainer to train them as guard dogs. I hope these breeds will prove to be perfect protection/guard dogs.

Q : What precautions should I take for preventing ticks. My dog Gucci suffers with “Tick Fever” from time to time, how can I prevent this ?
Sheetal Desai, Mumbai

Dr. Sharma : “Tick Fever” is a serious disease and lot of care should be taken if the dog gets it. “Tick Fever” leads to various other problems like anemia, kidney failure & even paralysis. The fact that Gucci suffers from “Tick Fever” again and again should be consulted by your vet. The best way to prevent “Tick Fever” is management of ticks by manually removing the ticks or by use of products like tick collars, shampoos, sprays which are available with your vet. So take good care of Gucci.

Q : I have a 4 year old Spitz. From the past few days, he has stopped taking his regular diet. Is this because he is lonely and needs a companion? Is mating safe for him?

Aditi Shende

Dr. Sharma : Dear Aditi, you already know the problem. Your Spitz is love-sick and needs a companion. This is absolutely normal at his age and in this season. He needs a companion, get him one and you will find a difference in his behaviour. Mating is a natural need and it is very safe with a domesticated female. Please go ahead and let him enjoy his life.