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From India to EU… making pet travel easy

Here are the prerequisites for transport of dogs from India to the EU (Germany, Austria).

5-6 months before departure

Veterinarian: Identify an authorised veterinarian in India who has experience with dogs travelling overseas. He should have microchips and a blood-serum-centrifuge at the clinic as well as a connection to EU-laboratories and a reliable courier company.

4 months before departure

Microchip + blood test: Minimum three months before the departure and minimum 30 days afterComplete Care vaccination, blood sample of the dog needs to be taken for a serological test. “This serological test for rabies has to be carried out as follows: a neutralising antibody titration at least equal to 0.5 IU/ml carried out on a sample taken by an authorised veterinarian at least 30 days after vaccination and three months before being moved. The titration has to be carried out in an EU-approved laboratory.” (Web source: Government of Austria: Entry and re-entry of dogs, cats, ferrets and other pets into Austria when travelling from third countries)

The blood-serum must be sent via courier (recommended: FedEx; if necessary special permissions for import of blood-samples into the EU for laboratory-tests are done by the courier company). The serum should be packed in ice immediately by the veterinarian, who then informs the courier company right away. During the transport of the serum from the Indian vet-clinic to the EU-laboratory the cold chain needs to be stable. Once at the EU-approved laboratory in the EU, the rules and regulations are the same for Austria and Germany as well as for many other EU-countries. However, check for exceptions like Finland, Malta, Ireland, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Each animal has to be identified by a clearly readable microchip. The microchip number has to be identical with the number used on all forms.

2-3 months before departure

Airlines: Check the updated rules and regulations for pet travel on the website of the airlines.

  • Call before your booking to check if space is available on the plane in the cargo hold. Upto eight kg (container size up to 55x40x23 cm) the pet can travel in the cabin.
  • Book your flight tickets to the EU. Your pets must be on the same plane.
  • Register your dog(s) via phone with the airline using your booking code.
  • Purchase a flight-transport-container for your dog(s). The dog must be able to comfortably lie down and stand up in the container. Some airlines also provide a transport container. However, if you have your own, the dog can get used to it before travel. Transport containers are available at pet shops.

14 days before departure

EU-forms: The authorised veterinarian needs to examine the dog(s) maximum 14 days before departure and fill in the necessary forms: “Veterinary certificate for domestic dogs, cats and ferrets entering the European community for non-commercial movements (Regulation (EC)No 998/2003)”

48 hours before departure

Indian quarantine certificate: The last certificate needs to be obtained maximum 48 hours before departure from the Indian Animal Quarantine and Certification Service Station.

Approximate expenses: costs (costs can vary)

  • Microchip + Blood sample + Service charge at the vet: 4,500 INR
  • Courier (FedEx) transport of serum from India to EU: 2,000 INR
  • EU-Laboratory Fee for Test + Certificate to be paid directly to the Lab;
    35 Euro – 75 Euro depending on the Lab (2,300) 5,000 INR
  • Flight transport: depending on the Airline; New regulations from 1st June 2011 at Austrian Airlines: Price per transport container (not weight of dog as before: 30 Euro/kg), depending on the size of container; e.g. container: 80x55x55cm (Medium size) = 150 Euro or 9,800 INR
  • Transport Container (M size) (5,500) 6,500 INR
    Sum of all costs per dog approximately is (425 Euro) 27,800 INRImportant forms, regulations and addresses: links + contacts
  • Government of Austria: “Entry and re-entry of dogs, cats, ferrets and other pets into
    Austria when travelling from third countries”
    http://www.bmg.gv.at/cms/home/attachments/3/9/2/CH1116/CMS1291991395990/rei
    severkehr_tiere_juli_2010_en_bmg_c.pdf)
  • List of important documents (Movement of Pets) Information and specimen certificate: http://ec.europa.eu/food/animal/liveanimals/pets/nocomm_third_en.htm
  • Recommended EU approved Laboratories:
    AUSTRIA: AGES Institut für veterinärmedizinische Untersuchungen, Robert Koch Gasse 17,
    A2340 Mödling, Austria, Fr. Dr. Wodak, ph: 0043(0)50555-38230, eveline.wodak@ages.at; www.ages.at/ages/ueber-uns/veterinaermedizin/formulare/tollwut-formulare/, Test done every month; Results available after 1-2 weeks;
    Costs: 57 to 70 Euro GERMANY: Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen/ Diagnostic Laboratory
    Institute of Virology Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Frankfurter Str. 107, D-35392 Giessen, Germany, Fr. Dr. Schichowski, ph: 0049(0)6419938351-63, diagnostik@vetmed.unigiessen.de, web: www.vetmed.uni-giessen.de/viro/en/diagnostik.php; Tests done 3x per week. Results available after 3 days. Costs: 35 to 45 Euro
  • List of EU-approved laboratories for serological rabies tests:
    http://ec.europa.eu/food/animal/liveanimals/pets/approval_en.htm
  • Recommended Vet: Dr Chaggars Dog & Cats Clinic, D-150 Saket, New Delhi-110017,
    Ph: 011-26963525, 011-26515990, 011-26564087, 011-26962774, 09810089089, Email: drchaggars@gmail.com
  • Animal Quarantine and Certification Service Station:
    Dr Vijay Kumar, Quarantine Officer (SR), Animal Quarantine and Certification Service Station, Kapashera,
    New Delhi – 110 037, Tel: 011-2506 3272, Fax: 011-2506 0647
  • Recommended Airlines: Lufthansa: www.lufthansa.com (Transport of Animals), Ph:+49-1 80-5747100 Austrian Airlines: www.austrian.com (Transport of Animals), Ph: +43 (0)5 1766 1001

(All information has been carefully collected by the author through interviews with various veterinaries in New Delhi, pet-parents who travelled overseas from India and through research on the internet. Some of the regulations might change very fast. Therefore please check all sources relevant for your pet and country of destination before departure).

Dog training

Making barks a pleasure, not a pain

Dogs being dogs express themselves by barking, just as we do by talking. As pet parents we need to understand this need and encourage it at times. However, it becomes a problem when the barking is ceaseless (or that’s how it may seem at times!). This is where we need to step in as pet parents and take responsibility to nip the problem in the bud.

Each dog has his own reasons to bark and invariably the solutions are also equally varied. This makes generalising them into categories difficult. Here, we are talking about incessant/ continuous bark, which we want to resolve and not the occasional bark which, in my opinion, we should encourage. There are two things we need to know – why does my dog bark? And what steps can I take?

Why do dogs bark?

A dog barks continuously for the following reasons:

Anger: As a guard dog, when he sees an intruder. This sort of barking can further be classified as suspicion and aggression. While the former is easier to cure, the latter is often more difficult to resolve.

Excitement: Most young dogs are very excitable by nature, as when your dog would bark at food time or as you prepare to take him out.

Anxiety: This is a state of nervous tension due to actual or imagined threat. In dogs, anxiety is manifested in many forms – like separation anxiety, noise anxiety, etc.

 

Rules of rearing

If prevention is the best cure – then the following rules of rearing would be the best thing you can do for your

Philip A Butt

Philip A Butt

dog:

Socialising: In broad terms, it means exposing the dog to various situations and reinforcing desired behaviour. Expose your pup to different people, places, objects, sounds – the works. When he shows undesired behaviour – just ignore it. Do not try to pet him or cajole him, this would reinforce the behaviour. When he is calm – go to him and praise him.

Crate training: It means getting your dog used to staying in an in-house kennel or crate when he is just a pup. I recommend it from the first day you get him. It is a very useful tool to control separation anxiety. A crate-trained dog will not whine and bark when he knows you are going out.

Win your puppy’s love and respect: Easier said than done- it needs a right balance of play, praise, love, correction, firm handling and discipline for your dog to love and respect you as his boss. Pet parents who want to live with their dog on ‘equal’ terms usually end up with demanding and spoilt pets.

Balanced diet: Ensure that our dog is well fed and has sufficient drinking water available at all times. It is amazing how a good diet can itself be a stress buster for many dogs.

Training: Training and its importance in the development of a dog can never be overemphasised. Training teaches your dog that you are the leader of the pack. It helps your dog to focus and be attentive. Most of all, it gives the dog and pet parent a platform to interact – a level playing field from where a pet parent can fairly expect his dog to respond to his reasonable commands.

Coping with the barking problem

In spite of everything, people do end up with dogs that have a barking problem. It could be triggered by shifting to a new place, change of pet parent, new people, and change in activities in the area (like construction) or something we cannot even fathom. Here is what we can do to try and alleviate the problem:

  • Try and identify the cause. It would be smart to try and remove that cause. If your dog starts barking at the sound of your scooter starting, push a distance and start it there. If he barks at other dog, put a screen in front of his kennel/your gate.
  • Give your dog sufficient exercise. Especially if you have a dog who barks away when you are not around – tiring him before you leave is a good option. Not to mention the health benefits he will derive from the rigorous exercise. Needless to say, you will have to gradually build up the exercise schedule. If running with the dog is not your cup of tea, teach him to retrieve on command, few long distance retrieves are enough to wear out a hyper dog.
  • Gradual acclimatization to new people or situations would help. If your dog barks at strangers and you don’t desire it, let them come closer in your presence. Reassure the dog that they are harmless and as soon as your dog is quiet, treat him and praise him. Build up over time till they can actually come close and pet him. Use different people. This might not be easy especially with a dog who has aggressive intent. Basic obedience training would make a world of difference in giving you the opportunity to communicate to your dog and expect a desired response.
  • Speaking of training, it is never too late to teach your dog the ‘speak’ command. Once you identify the trigger that makes your dog, give him the command “Murphy speak” just as he is about to bark. Immediately praise him and offer a treat. If he barks incessantly, just ignore it. Again after some time, tell him to ‘speak’ and reward him for obeying. The trick is that while you’re still rewarding him for barking, he has to keep silent in between barks to get the treat. Once he has mastered the ‘speak,’ use the same technique in reverse to teach him the ‘quiet’ command. With patience you will soon have a dog who keeps quiet on command.
  • If your dog is the type who barks in your absence, you will have to use the ‘creep and peep’ technique. After you leave the premises and go out of sight from your dog, creep back from another route and look out till he stops barking. As soon as he stops barking, run up to him and praise and treat him. Another variation of the ‘creep and peep’ technique is to correct the dog by scolding him, if you find him barking on your return. Either way, it is important that the dog is surprised by your return.
  • Finally, it will be important to remind that training will help you get through this problem, but you have to be persistent. These habits get ingrained with time. The more you delay the training programme, the longer it will take. The best time to start is NOW.

So, if your dog barks continuously, you can train him to become a well-behaved pooch, one you will love all the more!

(Philip A Butt is trained in arms explosive search dog training and methods at Corporate Search Limited, Nottingham, UK. He has pioneered many new dog sports and training techniques in India).

Dog Training

Making your puppy feel ‘at home’

This is when life really gets exciting… the day you bring home your new baby puppy. Here is how to make the transition away from his mother, keeping his feeling and grief in mind.

 

Preparation for the D-Day

To make this separation little easier for your puppy, try to arrange with your breeder to allow you to visitTraining your puppy a couple of times before you fi nally collect him. A few days before you bring your puppy home, give your breeder a small cloth or towel, which can be placed with the mother and other siblings. You can take it home with the puppy as it will contain their smell for a number of days.

If your puppy
makes a mistake

  • Never shout at or tell your puppy off. Your puppy cannot do anything wrong, at least not deliberately. There is no need to shout ‘No’ to your puppy as he will not understand this, it may only get him stressed. If he is stressed he is not likely to learn and is likely to make more mistakes.
  • Take him gently out of the situation.
  • Never grab or shake your puppy by the scruff. Wild or domestic dogs only grab their prey by the scruff in an attempt to harm by shaking and breaking his neck. A mother will not do this to her puppies. If you do grab your puppy by the scruff it may be sending the message that you mean him harm. This could have a devastating effect on your relationship with your puppy.
  • Stoke him gently and slowly. If you find it difficult to stroke gently and slowly, using the back of your hand may help. Your puppy is just beginning his life with you. Keeping things slow and calm; respecting one another; communicating and understanding your dog’s body language; meeting your puppy’s needs; and allowing him to make choices, explore and use his senses are the keys to having a happy puppy and an enjoyable relationship together.

Allow the puppy to have this cloth as much as he likes and to sleep with it. It may be dirty and smelly but to your puppy it will be a comfort and you can throw it away or wash it after a few days when he is more settled.

When you collect your puppy, try to have another person with you who can sit in the back of your car with the puppy, especially if you have a long distance to cover, and stop a few times in safe places to allow the puppy to relieve himself and drink some water if he needs.

Your puppy may be a little worried and cry or bark, especially if this is his fi rst time in a car or away from his mother and siblings. He may or may not settle on the journey, so try to be patient with him; after all, this will be a very traumatic time for your puppy.

Exploring his new home

Once you get your puppy home, take him out into your garden area immediately so he can relieve himself. Allow him to walk around and explore the area – he will need to check things out. Open the door into your house and allow him to go in when he is ready and check that out too.

Speak softly to him and walk very slowly with him so you do not frighten him with quick movements and keep everything calm. Show your puppy where his bed is and where his water and toys are.

Try not to leave your puppy alone during the fi rst week, give him adjustment time and time to bond with you. If you need to go out for any length of time, take the puppy with you if it is safe to do so, or have someone else stay with your puppy for the time you are away.

Activities in the first few days

Allow your puppy to become involved in your daily routine so long as he is calm. Keep all activities calm. Fast, excited high activity may only cause your puppy’s adrenalin to rise. This adrenalin may take up to six days to come back down to normal, providing nothing else happens in the puppy’s life during that time. This means your puppy will be unable to relax and enjoy the rest and sleep needed. Your puppy should be resting or sleeping at least 18–20 hours per day. If your puppy is unable to do this, perhaps look at calming things down a little in his life and be careful not to overdo the exercise.

Symptoms of a puppy that has too much activity in his life may be destructive behaviour, biting ankles, chasing anything that moves, inability to settle, barking, training diffi culties and many more.

Give comfy bedding

Bedding should be warm, dry and comfortable for your puppy. There are many suitable and comfortable dog beds in the market, you will need to fi nd one that suits your puppy. Be aware that puppies will chew, so using bedding that can be chewed without too much damage to the bedding may be most suitable. A good stock of old blankets from charity shops can be used, chewed and thrown away or replaced when fi nished with.

You may want to have two beds for your puppy. One in the living area where he can settle during the day and one for night time, next to your own bed so the puppy knows you are around and you can be there if he needs you or needs to be taken out in the night to relieve himself. You can also reassure him if he is feeling upset or lonely in the night. With a bit of time, patience and understanding your puppy should settle within a few days.

It may also help your puppy to settle at night if you place a few of his toys with him and also a quality chew or a kong stuffed with nice soft foods he likes. Kongs are very calming for a puppy. It may help him settle more easily. Make sure he also has fresh water near his bed.

(Nicole Mackie has over 14 years of experience in handling, exhibiting, training, observing, studying, and sharing her life with dogs, gaining many qualifi cations over the years such as canine behaviour, canine psychology, general animal science and experience veterinary nursing. She is a regular radio speaker and writer for magazines, works with behavioural problems in dogs and runs socialising groups for dogs with social problems.)

Making your home a safe haven for your pooch

Pooches are curious and love to taste everything. Hence, it is very important to stash away some of the common household items, which may contain toxic substances and harm your dog.

You are responsible for your dog’s safety and to do this, just crouch on the fl oor and see the potential threats for him. To make it easier for you, here’s a list of potential hazards:Heavy objects: Do not store heavy objects like large television sets on furniture that is very light. Keep solid furniture near wall sockets which are not in use and keep all your electric equipment out of the reach of your dog.Electrical chords: Always keep away electrical cords behind furniture or secure them behind a baseboard so that your curious dog doesn’t accidentally start playing with them. See that there are no electric wires trailing on the floor, teach your dog not to touch or chew them.

Sharp objects: Always remember to keep knives and other sharp objects inside the drawer or a kitchen cabinet.

Pesticides/cleaning products: The daily household items that we use like pesticides and cleaning products, should be stored in an area that the dog never enters. A locking cabinet is a good place.

Small objects: Remove from your dogs reach coins, safety pins and needles because a dog can swallow them and choke himself.

Other small objects: Keep all poisons locked; besides you should lock in the cupboard washing soda, shoe polish, ink, match sticks etc as they contain highly toxic substances which can harm the health of your dog.

Household plants: Many household plants are highly dangerous for dogs; special mention should be made of ferns, aloe vera and ivy plants.

Mouthwash: Mouth wash contains boric acid, which is dangerous for a dog, keep it closed in your bathroom cabinet.

Mothballs: Mothballs are also highly dangerous for dogs.

Batteries: Batteries of all types are a potential danger to your pet. Keep them under lock and key, when not in use.

Bleach: Keep all bleaching products, nicely and securely in your kitchen cabinet as they are very toxic if ingested by a dog.

Fertilizers: Fertilizers are also harmful to your dog. Be careful and do not allow your dog to lick any fertilizer, which is spilled. If ingested, it can cause poisoning.

Chocolates: Chocolates and cocoa contain a substance called bromine, which is very harmful to dog’s health.

Dustbins: Keep your dustbin in a safe place, many things you throw in the dustbin can otherwise be common household items but these can prove dangerous to your dog, if he eats or chews them.

When to call the vet? If you notice that your pet has ingested any items above, immediately take the harmful substance away from your pet and call your veterinarian. Give all information correctly about the nature and quantity of the ingested product. If there’s a need, immediately rush your precious one to the vet. As they say, prevention is always better than cure, so do puppy-proof your home.

Making your pet Pretty ‘n’ healthy

Groom your pooch, make him shine with health and beauty. Here are a few tips to make grooming sessions enjoyable for you both:

  • Establish and adhere to a regular schedule of grooming sessions.
  • Schedule these at a convenient time for both; a good time to do this is after the dog has been walked, while he is relieved and calm.
  • Select a time when you will not be interrupted and have ample time to do a proper grooming; longhaired dogs should be groomed daily, while shorthaired breeds may require grooming only twice a week.
  • For puppies, set a time when the puppy is less energetic and begin with short grooming sessions, say for five minutes.
  • Constantly talk to the puppy in a gentle, reassuring tone while grooming to make him feel comfortable.
  • Put the hair aside and examine the skin closely for signs of fleas, ticks or skin irritations.
  • Look for any unusual problems with his coat, viz matts, tangles, dandruff, etc.
  • Let the dog sniff the brush and comb before you begin grooming, and then talk to the pet in a reassuring tone while grooming; if the grooming procedure is made comfortable for the dog, he will begin to look forward to regular grooming sessions.
  • Do regular combing and brushing, which will keep his coat clean and healthy and stimulate skin.
  • Comb in the direction of hair growth, combing small sections at a time, until the coat is tangle free.
  • Use anti-tangle comb for troublesome knots and tangles; and if the coat has a particularly stubborn knot or tangle, trim it off with scissors.
  • Use a dematting comb, slicker or rake to remove matts.
  • Begin with the widely spaced teeth and follow with the finer teeth, using a combination comb.
  • Start brushing at the head, working towards the tail and down the legs.
  • Pay particular attention to the legs and flanks, and areas that easily matt.
  • Use a pin brush to fluff the coat.
  • Check areas for hair loss, inflammation, unusual tenderness or lumps under the skin; constant scratching in a particular area may also be an indication of a problem.
  • Consult your vet in case you find any unusual roblems.
  • Learn where the pet likes to be combed and brushed and where he doesn’t because all dogs have sensitive areas that need to be groomed a little more gently and carefully than others; by doing so, one will help the pet to make him more comfortable.
  • Be sure to check the puppy’s ears, paws, teeth, and underside during the grooming procedure for making him accustomed to being handled and examined.
  • Trim his nails regularly.
  • Never use ordinary scissors to trim the dog’s nails. Use trimmers that are specially designed for dogs.
  • During nail trimming, hold the dog’s paw firmly, and cut off the tip of the nail with a single stroke; also be very careful to stop short of the quick, the blood vessel inside the nail.
  • Use conditioned shampoo (properly balanced pH) specially made for dog’s bath.
  • After proper rinsing, ensure adequate drying of coat, especially for longhaired breeds, so that no excess moisture under hair coat is retained.
  • In case of ectoparasitic infestation, adhere strictly to the advice of vet, regarding dilution of drug, technique of application and follow up.
  • Be more careful about puppies; until and unless heavy dirt or any medical requirement, generally puppies are not given bath up to three months of age.

Making Festival Pawfect

Everybody looks forward to festivals… lot of delicacies, decorations at house, spending time with loved ones, and fireworks… time seems perfect. But, it can be the most dreaded time for our pets – loud noises, crackers, too much sweets… it’s simply not a dog’s life. Here’s how to make festival a fun time for our tailwagger as well.

My darling pooch Jimmy and I always look forward to festivals, as this is the time for a family reunion and

Sonakshi, Archana and Jimmy

Sonakshi, Archana and Jimmy

loads of goodies. Jimmy’s joys know no bounds and he simply jumps up and down the house, pausing for a pat on his back from one and all. Things that he dislikes at this time are the crackers and loud noises. But, the frenzy gets over by some loving petting and cajoling from the family. He’s a part of us and we don’t let him suffer alone…we are there to hold his paw and give him a loving nudge every time he feels afraid. And undoubtedly, our bonding becomes stronger year after year, festival after festival.

This time, while I was making my list for do’s and don’ts this Diwali, I thought it worthwhile to ask Jimmy for his wishlist and here’s what he has to say :

Jimmy’s wishlist :

  • I wish people to celebrate festivals without loud noises and crackers. 
  • I wish my parents shut down that idiot box (TV) and spend that time with me playing. During festivals, they just forget to watch it and I really like them this way. 
  • I wish I also had a wardrobe full of pretty dresses, one for each occasion. I also wish to sport the couture look! 
  • I wish I could meet my friends who keep calling me with a soulful look at our gate. 
  • I wish all my stray friends also get a loving happy home like me. They are wonderful pooches and they simply deserve the best. 
  • I wish people do not hurt or frighten my pariah friends. 
  • I wish there were more places where I could go with my parents. 
  • I wish there were loads of holiday destinations where we could go together and have a pawfect time. 
  • I wish there were more parks where I and my friends were allowed. 
  • And not to forget, I wish I got more of my favourite dishes and treats.

As a pet parent, here’s my wishlist for this festive season :

  • I wish Jimmy takes care of what he is sniffing around. I don’t understand how he finds the things which I least want him to sniff. 
  • I wish I could understand his ‘woof woof’ and actually talk to him for hours on end. After all, he is my best buddy! 
  • I wish I could spend more quality time with him – groom him, walk with him, play with him – all that is good for him. 
  • I wish all pooches are blessed with a loving home and there are no homeless strays. 
  • Last but not the least, I wish Jimmy has a long and healthy life, celebrating festivals together, year after year. Now, that our wishlists are complete, let’s all make this Diwali a memorable time for our cutie-pies.

Here are a few do’s and don’ts at festival time :

  • Do not give puppies as gifts as festival is not the right time to bring a new member in the family who can become nervous on seeing lots of activities. 
  • If you have guests at home, make a quiet place for your pet where he can retire at his own will. 
  • Do not feed sweets and chocolates as treats to your canine friend as it can upset his stomach. 
  • Do not leave any burning candles and diyas unattended, as your pooch might get hurt. 
  • Keep all electrical wires away from his paws’ reach. 
  • Use decorations, which are safe both for you and your dog. For example, use fresh flowers for rangoli instead of colours. 
  • Do not let your pooch sniff or eat crackers. 
  • Pets are afraid of fireworks, so keep them indoors. 
  • Noisy crackers can make your pooch hysteric, so put him in a quiet place and turn on the TV or radio to distract him. 
  • Do not leave him unattended if he is frightened. 
  • Make sure that he does not run away from fear. As a precautionary measure, put an identification tag on his collar. 
  • Amidst all activities, take time out for your loving pooch. Don’t miss his daily walks and playtime. 
  • Give lots of love and comfort to your tailwagger to help him overcome his fear and anxiety.

– by Varsha Verma

 


Do as mamma does!

Just imagine the solace one can feel, if our pretty pooches accompany us to our yoga classes. Well! Japanese people already know about it and “Dog Yoga” lessons are being organised by Japan Dog Yoga Association at Nippon Ayurveda School in Tokyo. Aimed at improving health and bonding between owner and dog through yoga, it has become the much soughtafter activity. Just try to make your canine a part of your yoga activity and see both of you gaining good health, besides spending quality time with each other.

Making summers comfortable for your dog

With summers setting in, the need to care for your beloved canines has become all the more important. Dr. Nehru gives tips for summer care.

We’ve all heard the warning, “Never leave a dog alone in a parked car in warm weather,” but every summer, dogs suffer and die in vehicles that become ovens in a matter of minutes. Many people don’t realise how quickly the temperature can rise inside a car in warm weather. Temperatures do not need to be extremely high outside to reach dangerous levels inside.

Short-nosed breeds such as Pugs and Bulldogs, who can’t pant as efficiently as other dogs, young puppies, senior dogs, over-weight dogs, and dogs with respiratory, cardiovascular or other health problems are even more susceptible to heat-related stress than other dogs. Take extra precautions to prevent over-exertion and keep them cool and comfortable.

Heatstroke:

Dogs become less efficient at cooling themselves as the humidity rises. Just like people, dogs are cooled by evaporation. The problem with high humidity is that it decreases evaporation and slows down the cooling process. There are some factors that hinder canines’ ability to cool themselves. They only have sweat glands on the pads of their feet and on their nose, which are inadequate for cooling during hot and humid days. Panting helps dogs cool themselves but they still aren’t as efficient at cooling themselves as people are. Some of the most common signs of heatstroke include: heavy panting, rapid heartbeat, profuse salivation, vomiting or collapse. It should be treated immediately to avoid fatal consequences. If your dog does become overheated, you must take measures to cool and lower her body temperature immediately. Move the dog to a cool place, out of the sun and give her water. Pour cool water on her and place ice packs on her head and neck. A fan, placed in front of the dog, will aid in evaporation. Consult a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Rodenticides:

Ingestion of mouse and rat poison is another common danger. These poisons come in cardboard containers filled with poisonous pellets. Since dogs can obviously chew through the cardboard to get the tempting bait, their owners carefully place them in spots their dogs can’t reach. When things are moved for cleaning, the dog is right there to grab the poisonous traps. Rodent poisons may not cause vomiting or other typical symptoms of poisoning. They contain a compound that causes a life-threatening bleeding disorder.

Stinging insects:

When a dog gets stung, it’s usually around the mouth, on the nose or on the front paw. Signs of a sting are – scratching her head, rubbing her head on the ground, bumps or a swelling around the head, face, mouth, tongue, or paws, excessive salivation, or finding a stinger. If you can see the stinger, carefully remove it with a tweezers, and then apply a cold compress to the site. If possible, apply a paste made from a mixture of baking soda and water. Some dogs, like some humans, can be allergic to stings. If your dog has a severe reaction, get veterinary treatment immediately.

Fleas and ticks:

When outdoor temperatures reach 40 degrees, ticks become active and feed. They thrive in warm weather. Apply topical, spot-on products once a month, or as recommended by your vet, for protection from fleas and disease spreading ticks. Use flea and tick protection year round in warm climates. Never use multiple types of flea and tick repellents on a dog at the same time. A mixture of different chemicals can make a dog very sick. Now that the summers have set in, take care of your canine friend. And I bet, you can have an enjoyable time indoors.

(Dr. Sanjeev Nehru, B.V.Sc. & A.H. is canine dental surgeon from GB Pant University of Agriculture & Technology. He has been practicing veterinary science since last 10 years and dentistry since last 2 years. He can be contacted at Nehru Bhawan, Indrapuri, Dayalbagh, Agra–282005, Tel.: 0562-2854000, 9897161000, 9837022777 or e-mail at drsanjeev_vet_agra@yahoo.co.in)