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Festive care tips for your pooch

It’s festive time again…lots of fun, loads of delicacies, beautiful decorations, many guests, loads of gifts…the time is to let your hair down and enjoy. Somehow, the pooches too get into the festive spirit and dance all around…only to be disrupted by noisy crackers, too many treats, too many guests…oh, we need to take care of our pets. Let’s see how.

The last months of the year are always brimming with festivities all keeping us busy and happy at the same time. While all responsible pet parents out there must have thought of all the care they need to give their pets, here’s a checklist, just in case you forgot one.

Decorations at bay: All those attractive tinsels, strings, glass ornaments, etc that liven up the room are equally appealing to our pooches. But they may like to ‘taste’ them as well. So, keep all the decorations at a height where your pooch cannot reach.

Lightings at arm’s length: Similarly, all the lightings used to liven up the room or the beautiful Christmas tree should be installed where your pooch can’t reach them. He may chew up the wire and get hurt.

Candles – of course away from them: Keep the candles and other lighted stuffs like diyas, agarbattis, etc, where you pet cannot reach and injure himself.

Chocolates – a strict ‘no’: Chocolates can be poisonous for your pooch. Even a small bite can be toxic. So, however hard your pooch may try, do not give in to his soulful pleading eyes.

Avoid table leftovers and delicacies: Do not feed your pooch the table leftovers as they may be loaded with fats and other ingredients not fit for pets. Do not feed them delicacies. Instead, give them a balanced healthy meal and give them doggy treats.

Maintain his schedule: Try to keep your pooch happy and unstressed by maintaining his schedule – take time out for his routine walks and don’t forget his mealtimes.

No pets as gifts: Do not give a pet as a gift to your near and dear ones until they really want one. In that case, let them choose a pup for themselves.

Pet-safe gifts: While buying a present for your pooch, keep in mind that it is safe for him. It can be a toy or a chew bone – something that your pooch enjoys.

Crackers-safe: Dogs get alarmed with loud noises. Keep them safe indoors when people are burning crackers outside. Request your neighbours to use noiseless crackers. Put cotton swabs in his ears. Give him a toy to play. Calm him and do not shout at him.

Guests ‘n’ pooch: Festivals are the time for guests. Too many strangers can make your pet excited. Keep him indoors in a safe place where he is away from the hustle-bustle in the house.

Love – at all times: Festive time is a busy time, but do not forget to give quality time to your pet. Pat him, take him for a walk, play with him – show him how much you love him. After all, festivals are all about spreading love and cheer!!!

My personal ordeal

One thing that I had never thought was that a small mistake would cost me so dear. It all started when one day I happened to see the main gate of my house left slightly open. I suddenly wanted to be adventurous and I ventured out for a little walk – all by myself.
I had barely strolled for a while when a burly looking man suddenly picked me up. I was rendered speechless by fear. In retrospect, I think maybe if I had screamed my lungs out, someone would have noticed.
Before I knew it, I was being taken away from the familiar locality to some strange area. He finally entered a house and I noticed to my horror, a woman coming towards me with a pair of scissors. Before I could react, she had chopped off my beautiful hair and I felt totally skinned and vulnerable. They then tried to feed me some milk but I was too frightened to eat. They then left me alone in a dark room and I slipped under the bed for some comfort. God, how I wanted to be out of there, and back in my cozy bed, in the arms of my family!!!
It went on like this for a few days. And then suddenly one day, I heard a familiar voice. “It’s papa’s voice!!!” I realized. But it seemed too good to be true. I waited for him to come up and rescue me, but nothing happened..
But the next day, I heard that same comforting voice again and my heart leapt up. I prayed to God and promised Him that I shall always be a good girl.
I think He heard my prayers because very soon, I heard that voice coming closer. Soon I was dragged out and lo and behold, it was Papa!!! He rushed forward to hug me and I was overwhelmed with joy. He took me in his arms and soon we were heading home. When I reached home, I got such a warm welcome that I couldn’t stop whimpering and whining.
For me, my rescue was nothing less than a miracle. I knew I was very lucky to have parents who left no stones unturned to find me. And now every time when I pray to God before sleeping, I thank Him for saving me and I also pray that all those dogs who are lost or have been stolen, have parents like mine, who Never Gave Up On Me!!!!

Tips for enjoying the festive season with your pet:

  • Keep the dogs indoors or where he feels secure. A room that is calm and less noisy is preferred. Give him his favourite toy, usual bed and utensils.
  • Introduce dogs gradually to sound of crackers from puppy hood in an attempt to condition them or desensitise them, starting from sound or very small crackers.
  • Make your children aware that your friendly pet is bound to suffer if they burn crackers near the house. Encourage them to buy sparkling crackers that make less noise.
  • Take precaution regarding feeding and keep water available all the time. Dogs may consume only water during noisy days. Do not keep the dog alone and locked up in a room as it may increase his anxiety.
  • Do not punish the dog for being panicky, on the contrary, pamper him with your love and attention which will soothe his nerves.