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My Life (My Pug Richi)…

What would I do without you,
My precious, furry friend?
Part mischief, but all blessing,
And faithful to the end!

You look at me with eyes of love,
You never hold a grudge.
You think I’m far too wonderful,
To criticise or judge.

It seems your greatest joy in life,
Is being close to me.
I think God knew how comforting,
Your warm, soft fur would be.

I know you think you are human,
But I’m glad it isn’t true….
The world would be a nicer place,
If folks were more like you!

A few short years is all we have,
One day we’ll have to part.
But you, my baby Richi,
You will always have a place within my heart!

 

Friend for life

“A dog doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor, big or small, young or old. He doesn’t care ifEditorialby, Shweta Khurana you’re not smart, not popular, not a good joke-teller, not the best athlete, nor the best-looking person. To your dog, you are the greatest, the smartest, the nicest human being who was ever born. You are his friend and protector.”
– Louis Sabin

We all know how true it is…we are the world for our pooches…we are their life…their love…and so are they. Life becomes beautiful when we share our life with a furry friend…they listen when we talk…they wag their tails when we are happy…they are sad when we are sad…and most importantly, they are happy when they see us…day in and day out.

For all these little but wonderful things they do for us…they ask for nothing more than our love and concern. Their life depends on us – we provide them food, shelter and care. Like children, we need to nurture them for their life. Any neglect on our end may become critical for our pooch.

A young reader of Dogs & Pups, Kanupriya Agarwal, has beautifully summed up what it means to have a dog:

“Enough time for his healthy upbringing
Enough space for him to move around in the house
Enough people in the household to look after him
Enough money for his wholesome rearing
Enough energy to keep up with his demands
Enough patience to deal with his pranks
Enough compassion to look after him when he is sick
Enough perseverance to train him properly.”

Yes… that’s what makes a responsible pet parent! And we are proud that our younger generation is compassionate enough to feel so much for their pets. It is a scientifically proven fact that children who grow up with pets are more compassionate towards living beings. If you have a child at home, gift him a friend for life – a pooch. Just make sure your pooch is well-cared for and is suited to your home and family.

We with Sparkle wish you a great festive season ahead and a very Happy New Year!

 

Happy pet parenting!
Shweta
shweta@dogsandpups.net

 

Wheaten Terrier make life beautiful!

Always in good mood, Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is as sweet as honey. They are loyal companions with whom you would love to share your life… today and all tomorrows.

Journey down the lane…breed profile

The history of the Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, also called as Wheaten, has been somewhat obscured by its closeness to the other Irish Terrier breeds. The Wheaten is probably the oldest of the four breeds. Their existence for at least 200 years can be inferred from textual references to soft-coated dogs. The relation of the modern Irish Terrier to the Wheaten, though less well documented, appears to have been the result of deliberate breeding experiments. So the humble Wheaten probably has a fairly mixed ancestry. Despite the long history of the Wheaten, it wasn’t until 1937 that the soft coated Wheaten was officially recognised by the Irish Kennel Club. The breed has grown steadily in popularity since and is now well-known worldwide. Wheaten Terriers were used by small farmers to kill vermin or help with the work about the farm. They were used for a long time in the difficult job of hunting badgers and otters.

The looks…

A Wheaten is a hardy and active who is well-built and gives the idea of strength. He is neither too leggy nor too low to the ground. His head is powerful, without being coarse and is in proportion to the body. His eyes are dark hazel coloured, not too large, not prominent and well placed. His ears range from small to medium, carried in front and are at a level with skull. His tail is well set, not too thick and carried gaily but never over the back. His coat can range from shades of light wheaten to a golden reddish hue. Single-coated, the texture is soft and silky to feel and not harsh. The coat at its longest is almost five inches (12.7 cm). It is soft, wavy or loosely curled with the sheen of silk. The puppies are seldom born with the correct colour or texture of the coat. They go through several changes of colour and texture before developing the mature adult coat, which usually occurs between 18 months and two and a half years.

The height of males is 18-19 inch (46 – 48 cm) while that of females is somewhat less and they weigh around 18 – 20.5 kg.

Excellent temperament…

Spirited and gameful, Wheatens are good tempered. They are most affectionate and loyal to their pet parents. They are intelligent and can be a trustworthy, faithful friend. They are defensive but without aggression. They have a special talent to make you consider them just as family members.

Living with them…

There are not enough words to describe how much joy and affection a Wheaten Terrier can bring to your home. They are always in good mood and happy and don’t hesitate to display their affection. They take interest in whatever you do and they are extremely close to their pet parents.

They love children. They are the best companions ever. Their playful and affectionate temperament matches very well with what children are looking for in a dog company. Although they are not watch dogs, they will instinctively keep an eye on the children of the family and protect the family from strangers if a danger was to occur.

Daily exercise – a must…

They need to be exercised daily. Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers can live in a flat, apartment only if they daily have the opportunity to be walked in a park for a minimum of one and a half hour where they can run freely unleashed. They are very quiet inside the house, rarely bark but they need outdoor activities.

No shedding…

They do not have undercoat so they do not shed at all. They are considered as hypoallergenic dogs and highly recommended for people having allergies to pet hair.

Training at an early age…

Wheaten Terriers typically welcome family and friends in a very demonstrative way. They usually start this behaviour when they are still little puppies. So you will need to train them not to do it but never yell at them or hit them! Wheatens are very sensitive dogs. Love is the main thing of the Wheatens’ training.

Games they love…

They love to play ball and to retrieve sticks, even in the water if they were trained since a young age. Some people practice agility with them and they are doing very well. They are Terriers so they were at a time hunting dogs. Long walks in the countryside, where they can smell on tracks, is one of their favourite activities. They do not run away like other hunting dogs so you can unleash them in the fields or on trails. They will follow you and won’t go too far away from you, you will always have them in close sight.

The healthy breed…

Pure Irish Soft Coated Wheaten lines don’t have a disease specific to their breed. Some breeders mixed Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers with Poodles and Kerry Blues, to get a fluffy frizzy coat easy to sculpt and more spectacular in shows. These unconsidered matings have brought some diseases like kidney dysplasia. All the hereditary problems that you could read about Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers belong to dogs from mixed lines.

Once you have shared life with a Wheaten, you might have another one and for sure, you would never live without one!

(Katia Gobbi is a breeder of Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier and is representative of the Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier breed by the French Terrier Breeds Club (CFAT-DT)).

breed profile

Newfoundlands: The life saviours

Dogs are man’s best friends and Newfoundlands live to this adage. They are life saviours – rescuing shipwrecked and drowning victims. Here’s more on this amazing breed.

Newfoundlands were earlier used for hauling in nets, carrying boat lines to the shores, retrieving things which breed profilefell overboard and most importantly rescuing shipwrecked and drowning victims. They are still used as outstanding water rescue dogs. S.I.C.S., the school for rescue-at-sea and air-rescue in the marine environment in Italy, trains dogs, especially the Newfoundlands for this amazing feat.

The strong persona…

Strong and massive, Newfoundlands are bear-like dogs. Their head is broad and heavy and so is their muzzle. Their nose is black and eyes are deep-set and brown, spaced wide apart. Their ears are small and triangular shaped. And they have webbed feet – which make them excellent swimmers. Their tail is strong and broad.

They have a double coat, which is flat and water-resistant. They are found in different colours like black, black with blue highlights, black with white markings, brown, grey and white with black markings.

Males weigh around 59-68 kg while females weigh around 45-54 kg and their height varies from 69-74 cm and 63-69 cm respectively.

The beautiful temperament…

Intelligent, sweet, courageous, generous, calm, patient, loyal, trustworthy, sociable, gentle…these are just a few of the qualities of Newfoundlands. They are very obedient dogs who are devoted to their pet parents. Though they rarely bark, they are brave dogs and are protective whenever there is a need. They can distinguish between who is a threat to the pack and who is not. When they are properly socialised, they get along with other dogs and animals. They are patient with children and love to play with them. They enjoy outdoors but love to be with their family.

The little problems with the rescuer…

They drink a lot of water and create a mess while drinking. They also drool after a drink. Besides, they are little difficult to train – you need to be calm but firm while training them.

Living with them…

Sufficiently exercised, they can live in an apartment. A small yard would be good for their exercises. They prefer colder climate and cannot do well in warmer regions.

Daily walks…

This giant breed loves to laze around but they do need their daily dose of walk. And they would simply love to swim!

The grooming regime…

Your Newfoundland needs to be groomed regularly. His thick, coarse double-coat needs to be brushed daily, or at least weekly. They shed their undercoat twice in a year and they need special grooming during that time.

Famous Newfoundlands

  • Boatswain: Pet of English poet Lord Byron and the subject of his poem ‘Epitaph to a Dog’.
  • Bilbo: Lifeguard at Sennon cove beach in Cornwall.
  • Brumus: Robert F Kennedy’s dog.
  • Brutus: First dog to complete the Appalachian Mountain Club’s ‘Winter 48’, climbing all 48 peaks in one calendar winter.
  • Carlo: Emily Dickinson’s dog.
  • Hairy Man: The dog who helped Ann Harvey and her father and brother rescue 163 people from a shipwreck.

The life stages of dogs

In the cradle…

Right after a puppy is born, he can’t walk, hear or see; however, his sense of smell is already fully developed. He instinctively finds his mother’s teats and will firmly suck on them. In the first three weeks, his mother’s milk will provide him with all the nutrition he needs.

The first weeks…

Beginning in the third week, a puppy’s senses begin to awaken. His eyes and auditory canals open, so he can communicate with his brothers and sisters for the first time. At around the 21st day, he’ll make his first attempts at walking and barking. By the fourth week, the senses of the puppy are fully developed so that he is able to carefully observe his environment. He will examine and sniff everything. At this stage of life, his ability to learn is as great as it will ever be. So this is the stage where you should spend a lot of time with your puppy to help him grow up to be a sociable dog. However, an intense relationship with his brothers and sisters is just as important. He can begin to eat solid food from the fourth week on, like the Pedigree Puppy Food.

The first months…

Between 8 and 12 weeks, the puppy is in the socialization stage, and can move to a “human pack”. The best time for the separation from mother and brothers and sisters is at 10 weeks of age. The first months if you adopt a puppy at about the 10th week, take him to the vet immediately. He/she will check his health status and will advice you on the right timing for vaccinations and worming. Your puppy now needs a lot of loving attention to be able to cope with the new environment and the loss of his brothers and sisters. You should praise him often and say his name at the same time. Also, you should set his boundaries with a stern “no” and begin with house training. The puppy’s development until the 16th week is called the “phase of hierarchy” by dog researchers. Now your dog will need a “leader of the pack”. This is also true for his diet. It is your decision what and when your dog is fed and what he is not to eat. So make sure your puppy’s special requirements for nutrients are met in this phase of quick growth. Give him a variety of experiences such as riding in a car, riding in a bus or on an elevator, visits to restaurants, gatherings of people, and contact with children, other dogs, and other animals. This way he’ll be an agreeable, strong-minded companion as an adult dog.

Puberty…

The phase of puberty is usually rather short and will last from between one month and six weeks. It starts around the sixth month, and can manifest itself in many different ways: often your dog will behave badly and won’t want to learn anything new. Sometimes he may forget what he has learned so far, or at least pretend to. In this phase, you should be persistent and keep on with his education program.

The adult dog…

A male has finished puberty when he starts to lift his leg to urinate. A female will be out of puberty when she goes into heat for the first time, this may happen between the seventh and eighth month, but may take up to one year. You should not have your female dog mated or bred when she is in heat for the first time because her organs are not yet fully developed. After her first heat, her diet should be changed to that of an adult dog. You can feed her Pedigree in many different types and flavors.

The senior dog…

Different breeds of dog are considered senior at different ages. It may also depend on the individual dog. Your dog will become less active, his metabolism will slow down, and he might put on weight. At this time, it’s important to change his diet and give him smaller portions two to three times daily. This will relieve his digestive system and ensure an even intake of nutrients. Your dog might need a special diet, which you can get from your veterinarian. In general, the first signs of old age will appear between the eighth and tenth year. The head and muzzle might become grey, and he may experience a deterioration of sight and hearing. His sense of smell is normally not affected too much by aging. Your senior dog will still love to play – even if his fitness level has declined somewhat. And if he has some little house training “accidents,” he’ll be quite embarrassed. So it’s best not to scold him.

Children and Dog

Your child & your pet: friends for life

For all those you are skeptical to keep your child and pet together, here comes the respite. You can nurture a beautiful bond between the two, which you all can cherish for life.

Children and Dog

 

 

 

 

 

 

A widespread concern amongst countless pet loving parents is the safety of their little children around the canine companions of the family. In fact, living with pets can account for some of the most valuable learning experiences in the growing up years of children. What it takes is only a little understanding of your pet’s and your child’s mind frame, along with a little effort to guide these mentalities towards the positive areas. And when these efforts begin to pay off, you would get to witness one of the purest and closest relationships to have flourished in your home.

How children benefit from pets?

 

  • Affectionate relationships with pets help in bringing down levels of stress and depression, which are much on the increase among children from all age groups and social backgrounds. A dog becomes a source of best confidante.
  • Positive feelings towards dogs and animals in general are also, in addition, known to be instrumental in developing positive self-esteem in children, along with other social virtues such as compassion, patience, nurturing and empathy. Pets play a significant role in the personality development process of a child.
  • Responsibility is perhaps the most important lesson that your child is likely to learn at a very young age by living with a pet dog.
  • Adopting a dog is no lesser than caring for a small baby. They both depend on us for food, shelter, love and care. The truth however is that once the attachment develops between the kid and the dog, feeding, walking, bathing, and grooming will no longer seem like work but a lot of funs. Encourage your child in helping you take care of the dog and praise him or her for the good work.
  • Further, the activities that your child would participate in while caring for the dog would help instil a sense of discipline and patience; luckily for you, at a fairly young age.
  • Pets have their own specific time slots fixed for walking, feeding and sleeping and tend to follow the set schedule consistently. Your child then, having been explained this by you, would have to be particular about following the schedule.In addition, by being occupied by these activities, your child is also likely to spend lesser time watching television or playing video games. Isn’t that something to cheer about!?
  • A pet around the house also helps the couple who are expecting their second. Small children tend to feel insecure and depressed at the arrival of a new baby brother or sister in the family. However, having learnt how to spend loving and fun time with the house pet, such life transitions can become easier for your child. It would also teach your child a very important lesson of sharing.
  • For those who fear your child’s health merely due to the existence of a pet in the house, it is interesting to know findings of research, which report that, children who have pets at home have a stronger immune system than those living without pets. The reason stated is children run less risk of being sensitive to allergens.
  • Games/training sessions teach the child about goals/objectives and achieving success in it helps improve their confidence and makes them focussed too.
  • According to a new Swedish study, children can improve their reading skills by practicing reading aloud to their dogs.
  • Since dogs communicate by their body language a child can thus learn to understand and read non-verbal communication.
  • Needless to say a dog helps a child remain fit and active.
  • Children also learn to cope with emotional issues and life’s upheavals better.
  • A child learns to trust, be a good listener, learns to focus not only on self but also on people around. Most importantly, a child gets a sense of security with a friend who is truly his.
  • A child can also learn beautiful aspects from a dog’s personality: be enthusiastic, express your feelings, have perseverance (specially when he wants a treat!), enjoy small moments of life, look for opportunities and be a friend, live in harmony with nature, Live & Let Live!

There is no denying that the busy schedules of parents these days leave them little time to spend with their children. Why not make that available time quality-time? And what better than to have some fun with your kid while walking, training, feeding, bathing, playing and planning for your canine friend—all of you together as one healthy happy family!

Establishing the fact that adopting pets can be more beneficial than harmful for your child, we imply again that kids and pets can get along famously.

Fostering a beautiful bond between a child and a pet

You, as parents, can help in building a safe and loving relationship between your dog and your child. To achieve this, it will be useful to follow certain basic guidelines or rules, the application of which will ensure a great start for both your child and pet, while they love and enjoy each other’s company:

Basic obedience – a must: Make sure that your dog is well trained and well socialized. Basic obedience skills should be well established in your pet, by which, commands such as ‘sit,’ ‘stand,’ ‘stay’ and ‘no’ are obeyed consistently. This will enable a better relationship with your pet.

Your child– his little pet parent: Try to transfer responsibility of the pet over to your child but under your supervision always. This can be accomplished by letting your child actively participate in all the activities associated with your pet, including walking him, feeding, playing ‘catch the ball,’ etc. He would realize that the child means to take good care of him and will reciprocate in kind gestures. Also divide duties according to the age of your child.

Your pet needs to be respected: Teach your child that pets are not toys, but living beings who have feelings and experience pain. Some children resort to cruel ways of playing, which is totally unacceptable. Teach them to be kind and gentle.

Touching the right way: Teach your child how to stroke a pet gently and lovingly. Show him or her how to touch which body part appropriately and make clear which parts the pet would not like to be touched at. In this way, you would help in making interactions between your pet and your child, loving, fun and pleasurable.

Don’t let your dog chase your child: Your child must be made to learn that he or she must never run in front of a dog or try to run away from a dog. The reason being that dogs are instinctive hunters and tend to instinctively start chasing anything that runs in front of them, owing to the creation of a predator/prey instinct.

Giving space: Give your pet his own exclusive space in the house. If your dog does not have a corner or a bed for himself, it is advisable to create one. It is important, in addition, that your child respects the space given to the dog and does not disturb him while he is enjoying that space. Animals, like all humans, also need their own personal space and time. If they are deprived of it, they are likely to compete for it. Children, being the smallest in size in the family, tend to be looked at as the easiest competition for your pet. Also ensure when your child’s friends are over, your dog is not disturbed and is at ease.

Respecting possessive nature: If there are certain things that your pet is extra-possessive about and tends to protect from others, it is wise to keep your child away from those things. These might include some toys, food, his bed, etc. Your pet is likely to become aggressive at the time he feels insecure regarding his prized possession, perhaps thinking that it might be snatched away. Teach children not to trouble a dog while eating/sleeping and never to snatch a toy away from him.

Encouraging good hygiene: Encourage good hygiene in your child, especially when it comes to interacting with your pets. Ensure that your child washes his or her hands regularly, especially before eating anything, since a lot of his or her activities in the house will involve touching the pet or something that belongs to him.

Behavioural training – a must: If your pet displays certain behavioral problems, such as becoming aggressive at situations, resisting obedience training, being excessively disobedient, throwing tantrums, showing excessive fear of some situations or people etc., deal with them at the earliest. It is advisable to consult a veterinary doctor or a behaviour therapist to diagnose the cause behind the problems and further find solutions to them.

Your guidance and supervision – very important: You must take the initiative in caring for your pet and encourage your child to actively participate in doing so too, of course under your supervision and guidance.Under your guidance enjoy this beautiful bond!

Dog Training

‘Faith’ the elixir of life

Canines are our best friends – they teach us love, companionship, loyalty, courage… the list continues. One such outstanding tale of hope, conviction, grit, liveliness…and FAITH is ‘Faith’ herself who walks upright with two legs…it’s not a trick, it is her destiny as Faith is handicapped but even this could not deter her passion to live life to the fullest.

Miracles happen where you have Faith

Miracles happen where you have Faith

Teething in small dogs

If we believe in ourselves, we can easily overcome any hindrance and hardship in our lives, like Faith, who never let her physical handicap take a toll on her fun loving spirits and never-say-die attitude. She chases geese, moves around, rolls in the grass, and wags with elation…with just two legs…she is one sweet, loving and caring pooch.

Miracles happen

Faith entered our life on December 22, 2002. My son’s (Reuben) friend had a dog who gave birth to puppies. The mother dog was a guard dog and had several puppies who were unfortunately unhealthy.

Reuben was asked to help them bury the dead puppies, and put the healthy ones back with the mother. He found Faith and since she was alive, tried to put her back but the mother dog did not accept the puppy. Since Reuben wanted to help the poor little puppy, he brought her home. Since then, Faith has become part of our family.

Soon, we realized that Faith could not use her forelegs and she had to drag herself on her chest to move around. The doctors told me that she would rub a hole in her chest area if she continues to move like this.

We just couldn’t leave our child like this. So, we started training Faith to hop around on her two hind legs. We coaxed her to hop on two legs by using a spoonful of butter over her head. And the fi rst time Faith hopped, we treated her with peanut butter and lots of love and hugs. Call it a miracle or God’s wish, Faith slowly learnt to walk upright, just like humans. And today she is the ONLY dog in the world to do this full time!

 

In the name

We named her “Faith” because she started walking on her own. Before that, we called her “Yellow Dog” and “Mutt” – she still answers me when I call her Mutt – and she doesn’t mind it because she loves me and I love her. I also call her Faithy from time to time.

Her handicap was never a hindrance in her happy-golucky attitude. She was a cute ‘n’ cuddly pup, with a desire to live. She was very strong and energetic. She was always spoiled and we slept with her and trained her to be a normal dog in every way. And soon my tender kiddo grew up a a strong lassie, who stood the test of time and of course has emerged as a proud winner.

Faith is a complete member of our family. We love her dearly. I admire her determination to do whatever, which is quite is natural. She steals food off the table if we leave it unaware.

She hides all our dirty socks under the bed in a pile and sleeps on them. She plays and is just so natural. She loves to be petted and knows when we are going somewhere. She loves fl ying besides m e e t i n g people.

Courageous companion

When Faith is with other dogs she is just a real dog and a regular pet. But when she goes out to the public, she is a miracle worker. Faith has been a regular visitor to military bases and is an epitome of courage and faith for soldiers who have been injured in war.

She helps them come out of depression and dark feelings. She also goes to airports and sees the soldiers who are coming home and going out to war. She gives them confi dence and will power to live.

Guiding light

Even the word impossible says ‘I am possible’ and Faith is a living example to it. Her will power to live each moment of life and her determination to convert her shortcomings into her strength gives a lot of courage and confidence to people with a physical deformity.

Faith indeed is a true example of courage and empowerment. She struggled hard to achieve it and her courage has helped millions of people realise they are not alone. Kudos to our wonder woofkid!

Let’s Color our Canine’s Life

Holi is just round the corner and we all look forward to this colourful festival. Well, Holi is undoubtedly the festival of colour but it is not a good idea001 to celebrate Holi with our darling pooches as they can harm their coat. But yes, it seems to be a good time to add colour to their lives. Just like Babu does!

Well, Babu is a 35-year-old who earns a living by looking after the belongings of devotees at Shri Shaneshwar temple at Dongri. He also cleans cars and combined together, earns around Rs 5000 per month. He loves dogs and with his meager earnings, feeds around a dozen stray dogs in his area, besides taking care of their nutrition needs. He buys them milk, eggs, biscuits, and sometimes even meat for them. He may go without food at times, but he always feeds the dogs, such is his canine love!

Another incident that calls for an applause is how Nani, a 3-monthold kitten, who had fallen into a 30-ft deep dry well, was rescued by animal lovers in Kalyan. She was trapped in the well and was kept alive by people who used to send her food in a bucket, which was lowered in the well.

For centuries together, pariahs have been our unpaid protectors. A friendly pat on their back, little food and clean drinking water is all that makes their tails wag. It was really jolting to know that 13 puppies were stuffed into a gunny bag and thrown away, what an inhumane act by humans! But, bravo for the Prajakta Dudhmande, a housewife in Mumbai, went to locate these puppies and managed to save them.

Such inspirational people definitely add colour to life. This Holi, let’s all come forward and bring a difference to the life of at least one stray in our locality. So, here’s wishing you a very Happy and colourful Holi from the team of D&P and yes, of course, our dear Sparkle sends a big woof to all of you.

dog grooming

GROOMING: A smart way to a healthy life

Grooming is the time to care and bond with your pooch. Most important, it is the first step towards a healthy canine.

For most of us, grooming refers to external beauty care of pets. But, as we say ‘beauty is only skin deep’ and gr1while grooming, we actually check out for health problems in our pets. A wellgroomed dog will remain free from some of the most commonly encountered problems viz., skin affections, ear and dental problems. Grooming also improves bonding between pet and owner since it gives a closer feel of each other.

Start early

Pet owners often complain that their pet resists grooming sessions. This mostly happens if they are not accustomed to grooming. So, start grooming your pet from an early age (for e.g. a month’s age) and make it a regular practice. This would make grooming a pleasant experience for you as well as your pet.

7 Steps to healthy grooming

  1. Brushing and combing  
    • Choose a suitable brush or comb as per the fur of your pet (long coat – pin brush, medium coat – steel comb and short coat – hard brush).  
    • Brush and comb daily or at least on alternate days.  
    • Ensure that hair coat throughout the body is combed and brushed properly.  
    • In long hair dogs, carefully remove the matts from hair.  
    • Brushing removes dirt and debris from the hair coat, making it cleaner and healthier.  
  2. Massage  
    • Dogs should be properly massaged at least twice a week to keep their skin and fur in good shape.  
    • Massage can be done with fingertips or massage gloves.  
    • Massage should be done with enough pressure over the skin.  
    • Dry massage is preferred in dogs except for any specific skin condition wherein oil massage is to be given.  
    • A proper massage will increase the blood circulation to provide vitality to the skin.  
    • Massage will also open all the pores of the skin to assist the secretion of natural oil from the glands situated beneath the skin.  
    • The oil secreted keeps the skin lustrous and fights infection due to antimicrobial property.  
  3. Bathing  
    • Dogs should not be frequently bathed. An alternative to bathing is massage and brushing.  
    • Preferably a month’s gap should be given between baths.  
    • Selection of soap and shampoo is very important for each bath as it will depend on the condition of the skin and hair at that point of time. As a general rule, mild dog soaps and shampoos (without any chemical agents) should be used if the skin is free from any infection. In case of infection or ectoparasite infestation, specific soaps and shampoos can be used as per the vet’s advice.  
    • Never use human soaps and shampoos since they may cause irritation to dog’s skin as they differ in pH and may have certain chemical agents not suitable to dogs’ skin.  
    • Excess quantity of soap and shampoo should not be used since it will be difficult to rinse. Shampoo should always be used after mixing in water.  
    • Rinse your dog properly with water after application of soap and shampoo so as to remove the froth completely since the left over soap and shampoo will create irritation, itching and dryness.  
    • Following bath, the dog’s fur and skin should be dried with a towel or drier. Avoid excessive heat while using drier. Drying is very important as the presence of moisture trapped in fur is a very good medium for growth of infectious agents.  
  4. Trimming and cutting 
    • This is required to remove hair matting, lighten the pet’s coat mainly during summer or to give a smart look to your pooch.  
    • Never cut the hair too short since it may increase the chance of skin affections as the hair coat serves as the barrier to infectious agents, dirt and debris.  
    • A competent groomer can give specialized cutting suitable as per the breed’s requirement.  
    • In long hair breed, hair around the eyes should be regularly trimmed to avoid irritation and injury to the eyes.  
  5. Ear cleaning  
    • Clean your dog’s ears every 15 days to one month.  
    • Also clean the ears after every bath to remove moisture, soap or shampoo.  
    • Use plain cotton for ear cleaning.  
    • Wax dissolving agents can be used to remove excess wax.  
    • For any ear problem, consult your vet.  
  6. Dental cleaning  
    • Dental cleaning is done for cleaning of teeth, removal of plaque or tartar.  
    • It is required to prevent dental problems like bad smell, pyorrhoea and dental decay.  
    • Consult your vet for proper dental cleaning.  
  7. Nail cutting  
    • Nail cutting is essential to facilitate proper walking since due to overgrown nails, the dog’s gait may become faulty and undue pressure may be applied on his legs.  
    • Long nails can entangle with any object that may cause injury. Sometimes the overgrown nails take round shape and get engorged in the skin, causing injury.  
    • Nail cutting is a very specialized procedure and should be done only by a pet practitioner.  
    • Only the dead part of the nail should be cut. Any injury to the live part of nail will lead to severe bleeding.  
    • Most of the dogs resist to nail cutting hence it is important to get them accustomed to this procedure since early age.  
    • Give your pooch a soft pad massage to improve circulation and cure cracked pads.  
    • Remove soiled hair around the soft pads as your dog may lick it, which can cause injury and infection.  

A well-groomed dog is a smart, happy and healthy dog. So, what are you waiting for…pick up your dog’s grooming kit and transform your pooch into a beautiful companion. (Dr. Aradhana Pandey is a vet and owner of Doggy World, an exclusive set up for dogs catering to all needs, including specialized grooming. She can be contacted at 09811299059.)

Health check

Regular grooming can help avoid following health problems :

  • Tick, lice and flea infestation : These problems can be timely identified and solved.  
  • Bacterial, fungal and non-specific dermatitis : Proper grooming leads to secretion of sebum that has an antimicrobial property. By regular grooming, the lesions are timely identified and treated. 
  • Fall of hair : Grooming removes the dead hair and vitalize the hair.  
  • Dull and coarse hair coat : Grooming will secrete the natural hair oil.  
  • Ear infections : Regular ear cleaning will remove excess wax that is a good medium for infectious agent growth. Besides, the oils used for aural hygiene have wax dissolving and antimicrobial property.  
  • Dental problems : Regular dental cleaning will remove the plaque.