Pawfect homecoming!

Pet parenting is responsibility, love, care, quality time, discipline, training and much more. Read on…

There is a family living in my neighbourhood who have two dogs as pets, Betty and Ketty. The family leaves in the morning to work and the poor pooches are left on the mercy of God. It seems that they love dogs but unfortunately do not have time for their pets.



I observed the house and its pet parent‘s behaviour for sometime consistently and found that both pets were living like prisoners. The pet parents did not know basics of keeping pets. Betty and Ketty were only unleashed for some time when they had to go for nature’s call. They were not taken out for a walk, they were left on the roof top where water tanks were placed for the entire building. The stink of unclean roof made us nauseous. Ketty and Betty were fed once in the morning and then tied to the railing of their balcony for a whole day. There was no water for them to drink. The balcony was ice cold during winter because they lived on top floor. Both pets were not given any coats to wear. They shivered and squeezed into each other’s skin for warmth. Not even a piece of gunny bag on the floor to protect them from cold floor. It was a pathetic scene watching them shuddering to death. They wailed in the night.

Little bit of mercy…

I thought it was my duty to at least have a talk. But surprisingly the pet parents were not only ill-informed about pet-care, they also failed to understand the needs of their pets. He refused to listen to any of my suggestions. I felt helpless. I wished to do something for them, so did other neighbours. We suggested to him that they both be adopted by us. His ego did not accept it. He refused the offer because it was his property and we did not have a right to disturb him. I simply asked him that what was the need to keep them in their busy life? He exhibited his snob looks and replied, “I have them because my kids wanted to play with them.” I wondered that how easy for him to say that and pets life did not mean anything to him.

Treat them as our furry kids…

Pets need a good care just like children. Pets are very sensitive. With your mere touch they understand whether you love them or not.

Plan in advance…

  • First and foremost, puppy-proof your house. Put away everything which can be harmful to him beyond his reach.
  • Before you bring home your puppy, his place of living should be decided in advance. Try not to change his place frequently because he marks his domain. The place you choose should be comfortable in summers as well as in winters. Choose a quiet place for him to relax.
  • The first time he arrives home, he needs the warmth of your love and feeling of security. So, put him in your lap, pat and talk to him softly. Make him feel comfortable. It is the beginning of the relationship.
  • Don’t let too many people handle him in the beginning as it may make him feel uncomfortable.

House training…

  • As soon as the pup wakes up from sleep he will want to eliminate. Take him to his designated area.
  • Also take him to his designated area after his each meal.
  • The pup might circle which indicates he wants to eliminate.
  • Take him out at regular intervals for nature’s call. If you follow it from day one, it will soon become a habit and he will never mess inside the house.
  • Most important to remember is accidents do happen. Never punish him for the same. Just clean the area properly to remove all smell.

Feeding routines …

  • Follow his diet chart carefully. Feed him the same food which he was eating while at the breeder or the pet shop for some time. Consult your vet to put him on his breed-specific age-specific diet.
  • For pups up to three months, feed him every 3-4 hours a day. For 3-6 months old pup, feed him every 4-5 hours. 6-12 months old pup is to be fed three times a day. Adult dog needs feeding twice a day. Also, consult your vet.
  • If food is not taken in one go, and is left in the bowl for 2-3 hours, it should be discarded. Serve fresh food every time.
  • Never overfeed – overfeeding leads to obesity and other health issues.
  • Never feed him table scraps/party leftover.
  • Always keep his utensils clean to keep your pets infection-free.
  • Fresh and drinkable water should always be accessible for him.
  • He needs proper nutrition. You can choose from the various dog foods available in the market.

Parent supervision…

  • Leaving him alone in the night is not appreciable. You should be there when he needs you. Must check with his vet.
  • Choose his bed as per the season. A warm comfy bed for winters and a thin rug for summers. If it is summer time, ensure he stays cool.
  • Provide him toys which make sound; for example, balls, soft and chewable toys which will keep him busy and happy.
  • If the puppy is sleeping, let him sleep. This is important for his growth.
  • Watch your pet while he goes for excretion. Thus watching food and toilet habits are indicators of their health conditions.
  • If your dog is not eating, it is a symptom of his being unwell. If he looks lazy, sluggish, not playful, it means something is wrong. Any sudden change in his behaviour should not be overlooked. Consult your vet immediately.

Grooming schedules…

  • Groom him from the very beginning. Brush his hair every day; it will keep him tidy and shiny.
  • Grooming includes bathing, brushing, clipping, cleaning of ears, massaging, etc. Clean ears, clip nails, brush hair on regular intervals to keep them shining. If nails are not clipped, it hurts them while walking. If you hear clamor in their walk, it means the nails need clipping. Ticks can find their ways into a dog’s hair and ears. Regular brushing can resolve this problem. Ask your vet how to clean the ears.
  • Dental care also needs equal attention. It prevents bad breath and other diseases. You may need a vet’s help in this.

Vaccination, medication & deworming…

  • Consult your vet for required vaccinations to keep diseases at bay. You will be provided a booklet by the vet to keep vaccination record.
  • Never try to medicate your pooch on your own. It could be dangerous.
  • Consult your vet for the deworming schedule.

Exercise & play essential…

  • A puppy thrives on love and play. Make play with your pup a permanent part of your schedule and see this bond bloom.
  • Take your pup for a walk after his vaccinations, so as to not catch any infections.
  • Exercise according to the pup’s age and breed. Consult your vet for the same.

Quality time…

  • Observe the behaviour of your dog. Knowing him will make it easy for you to understand his uneasiness when it occurs. Take out some time for him every day because it is important for the relationship with him.
  • Spend quality time with the pup every day to build a beautiful relationship.
  • Conversing is another important part. Puppy will understand all what you say to him. And it will be easier to train him.


  • After playing with them, remember to wash your hands immediately.
  • Keep their medicines, cloths, utensils, bed separate and clean.

Dogs are beautiful and lend positive energy in our homes. They teach us language of faith. In return, they expect nothing… but we owe love and care!

kps way of choosing the pawfect name for your pooch

Bringing home a pooch keeps you on toes for the first few days. You do everything to make the lil’ one comfortable at home. Also, you want a pawfect name for your pooch…everyone in the family comes up with their brilliant idea but before you zero in on a name, here are a few tips to make it easier for you:

  • Pick an easy name – a one or two syllable name is easily recognisable by the pooch. At the same time, it is easy for you to call as well.
  • Do not choose a name which is similar to basic commands like No, Stay, Sit, Come, Down or Fetch. Similar sounding words will make them confused.
  • Similarly, do not choose a name rhyming with a family member’s name.
  • You can choose a name as per his breed characteristics – looks or personality.
  • Do not be too eager to name him right away. See his behaviour for a few days and then choose the one which suits him perfectly.
  • Name should not be age-specific. For example, ‘Puppy’ might look cute when he is young but would look totally inappropriate once he grows up.
  • Sometimes, people tend to pick the names as per popular characters on the TV, movie or a book. If you think it fits your pooch, why not?
  • Never give your dog an embarrassing name… it may sound fun in the beginning but can be awkward when you call him in public places.
  • If you have brought home a pre-homed or shelter dog, retain his old name as he might be comfortable with it.


Children and dog

Pawfect twosome!

There are many benefits to the relationship between puppies and children. Here are tips that will help make that relationship memorable and lasting.

Watchpoints: young children and puppies

Veterinarians often advise parents to wait until their children are between seven and nine before having a puppy join the family. But this is not always realistic and, with supervision, smaller children and puppies can live happily together.

Supervision is important for many reasons. Toddlers may think that puppies are toys who enjoy having their tails pulled, and puppies may mistake toddlers for littermates, and be rougher with them as a result. Children and puppies may decide it’s a good idea to try each other’s food; because of this, it’s important to keep dog food out of reach of babies and toddlers. Some types of puppy food and treats could lodge in a child’s throat, and a baby or toddler might cause a puppy to be ill by feeding him the wrong kinds of food, or too much food.

How puppies benefit children

As children become older, they can take some of the responsibility for the puppy’s care, as long as an adult supervises. Many parents bring a puppy into the family to teach their child responsibility. But it’s important to remember that children generally have short attention spans, and that the parent is responsible for the puppy’s care.

A puppy can teach a child many lessons. While learning about the importance of brushing their puppy’s teeth, for example, a child may understand why it’s important for them to brush their teeth and practice proper grooming. Puppies love unconditionally and children who are lonely, or have high demands placed on them, often find that a puppy provides a non-judgmental friend and relieves stress. And, because puppies communicate differently than humans, they teach children to be aware of body language and non-verbal communication. This helps to instill compassion and sensitivity in children.

Treats the pawfect training tool

The concept of using food to train is often considered a form of bribery. The fact is that dogs adapt to whatever works best! If you know how to use food, your dog will offer the right behaviour to get it. Else you might end up with a dog who demands a treat or an assurance of one for everything you ask him to do. Here’s the right way to use food/treats to train your dog.

Is using treats good or bad? I would say it is good if you know how to use it. The idea being that you make it another tool in your armoury of training aids. Over dependence on any one tool is not good for training in any case.
Just like us, dogs learn what is right and wrong from their experiences. Dog training involves encouraging the ‘right’ behaviour and discouraging the wrong/undesirable behaviour. This means there should be a substantial difference in what the dog experiences when he offers the right behaviour as compared to the wrong behaviour.
The positive reinforcement…
Traditional training methods involved giving strong corrections so that this difference would be clear to a dog. Using treats adds value to your praise, this makes the difference between desirable and undesirable behaviour clear to the dog without the use of excessive force. Using food to praise the dog when he does right reduces the need for strong corrections.
Of course, treats are the main tool in training with the positive reinforcement techniques. You lure and manipulate the dog to do what you want and then reward him at the right time. The key is timing; the dog needs to understand clearly exactly which behaviour you are marking (that is where a clicker is very handy). The key is that the behaviour should bring out the treat and not the other way around. Avoid luring your dog in to a command, except in the forming stage where you are teaching him the basics of what is ‘sit ‘ or a ‘down’. At other times the dog should just perform the command given, the treat should be like a bonus.
Treat vs. other tools…
One could argue that you could use a toy (ball/tug) instead of food. I agree, but for that you need an experienced trainer and a highly driven dog. For a new trainer and a distracted dog – food works best. Also with a toy, you need to first get the dog on to a toy, and then make him feel it is of such value that he will offer to do anything for it. The skills required for training with a toy are more complex too. You cannot use it to make a ‘sad’ dog ‘happy’ – you would end up rewarding ‘sad’ behaviour! Additionally, when you reward with a toy you are forced to break the behaviour the dog is offering (picture a dog running after his toy) as against food where the dog can continue offering the behaviour (dog is on stay, gets his treat and continues on stay).
So, no matter what training method you use, if your dog is keen on food – use it. It will only
make your job easier. The trick is to use it well.

Tips on how to use food in training…

  • Right timing: The dog should be hungry when you take him out. There is no sense in offering food or treats to a dog who is satiated before you get him out.
  • Love thy treat: The treat you offer should be of high worth to the dog. If your dog gets ‘biryani’ for all his meals, there is no way he’s going to be lured by ‘plain rice’. Few suggestions are – cheese, boiled egg white, premium food kibble, liver, steak, etc.
  • Treat size: When we offer treats to our dogs they should not be too big or too small. Too small will be insignificant for the dog, and the dog might not find it worth to offer behaviour for it. On the other hand, if the chunks are too big, the dog tends to spend too much time chewing on it. This stops you from keeping him on track and breaks the momentum.
  • The fun factor: When offering food, make it exciting for the dog. “What’ve I got,” “Yippee” or some other phrase that gets the dog going and then play a bit with the dog when you offer the food. Don’t just shove it into the dog’s mouth.

All the best and happy training!
(Philip A Butt is CEO of Commando Kennels – Hyderabad, India’s premier dog training kennel. He has pioneered many new dog sports and training techniques in India – Schutzhund, Flyball, Heel walk to music, Agility, French ring sports, to name a few. He is trained in “Arms explosive search dog training and Methods” at the United Kingdom Training Centre of Corporate Search Limited, Nottingham, UK. He also learnt techniques in positive reinforcement training at the Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition. UK. As Joint Secretary of the Hyderabad Canine Club, he is an astute dog show organiser)

Breed Profile

Toy Fox Terrier Pawfect Pawsome Pooch

They are true terriers who love to do everything with you; strong, sturdy with enough energy to hike with you all day and with just the right amount of toy dog in them so that they are not hyper and like to cuddle.

Don’t go by the size of the Toy Fox Terrier (TFT), they may look small but they are a terrier in a true sense. You will simply love their smartness and playfulness. He is a big dog in a small package. A TFT is also known as the American Toy Terrier or Amertoy.

Strong n’ elegant…

Eager, intelligent and full of interest – that’s how a TFT looks. His dark-coloured V-shaped eyesBreed Profile are bright and clear while his ears are pointed and set high. He is square in shape with his length approximately equal to height while the females are slightly longer. Their average height is around 10 inches and they weigh around 1.5-3 kg. They are muscular and athletic, with short glossy coat. They are found in four colours – tricolour (white body with black markings, black head with sharply defined tan markings on the cheeks, lips and eye dots), white, chocolate and tan (predominantly chocolate head & body spots are chocolate), white and tan (predominantly tan head with tan body markings) and white and black (predominantly black head and body markings).

Sweet demeanour…

Alert, friendly, intelligent, completely loyal and protective to their pet parents, that’s how a Toy Fox Terrier is! They learn new tasks easily and are eager to please their pet parents. Their special capability is their ability to adapt to almost any situation. In fact, like other terriers, TFTs are self-possessed, spirited, determined and not easily intimidated. He is a highly animated toy dog who is comical, entertaining and playful all his life. They are a very small breed, not really suited for really small children but they will get along with them, if the children are not really rough if they are raised or well socialised with children.

Life a pleasure with them…

They are great dogs to live with and will do well in an apartment. They will do everything that you want to do and then they will not hesitate to curl up in front of the TV for the evening with you.

Exercise is fun…

They will usually get all the exercise they need in the house or yard but they love their walks. They love to play throw, retrieve and tug of war. They are easy to train for obedience, rally and agility.

Groom me little…


They need very little grooming. All they need is brushing 1-2 times a week, daily tooth brushing, nail clipping and a bath 1-3 times a year. Since they are a short-haired breed, they shed but not a lot. Hence, maintaining them is an easy task.

Sturdy breed…

The breed has a few problems like thyroid and patellar luxation that should be tested before the dogs are bred. Also check the lines out for allergies or other health problems, make sure you get a health guarantee from the breeder. Make sure you buy from a reputable breeder who has done the testing and the dogs have tested clear.

On a concluding note…

They are the Terriers with the most pleasant behaviour and a lovely disposition. If you are looking for some fun in your life, bring home a TFT!

(Karl & Sharon Hager of Kilshans Kennels have been breeding and showing West Highland White Terriers for about 30 years when and then we decided to start looking into some smaller terriers who didn’t take so much grooming and Toy Fox Terrier answered everything that we wanted. We are enjoying showing and training these fun dogs in conformation, rally obedience, regular obedience and agility. They are doing very well and we have several titles in both conformation & rally. We have taught three of our TFTs to paint; we do demos occasionally with them).

Choose your pawfect breeder

Before you look for a breeder

Looking for a good breeder comes after determining the lifestyle changes in accommodating a pet in the family. After evaluating your lifestyle and knowing exactly what sort of dog you’re looking for (for example, a high energy dog to go running with, or a more sedate dog to lounge on the couch with), and you know that you need to seek out your desired characteristics and the Pup’s individual characteristics.

Ethics- top priority

Too often, unsuspecting people buy puppies from places where the pups have not been bred ethically. The result is puppies in poor health or with temperament problems that may not be discovered right away. A dog who has genetic health problems due to poor breeding practices or who develops significant behaviour problems due to the lack of early socialisation can result in grief and heartache as well. So, it’s well worth investing some time now to be sure you find a reputable breeder who breeds healthy, happy dogs and keeps them in clean and humane conditions.

Identifying a good breeder

Here’s how to find a good breeder who will want to support their dog’s best interest at heart:

  • You can find reputable breeders by asking for referrals from your veterinarian or trusted friends, by contacting local breed clubs, or visiting professional dog shows.
  • Good breeders don’t sell their puppies to the first person who shows up with cash in hand.
  • A reputable breeder will ensure that the puppy is a good match for your family and that you will provide a responsible lifelong home.
  • A good breeder takes a call and makes a waiting list for their upcoming litter.
  • He is knowledgeable about the breed.
  • A good breeder will let you personally visit the facility where your puppy was born and raised.
  • He also shows you the place where the dogs spend their time. See that it is clean and a well maintained area.
  • A good breeder also encourages you to spend time with the puppies and a little with their parents.
  • He keeps the pups healthy by feeding them right.
  • A good breeder shows you individual record of the puppy’s veterinary visits.
  • He also insists that the puppy stays with the mother for a minimum of eight weeks.
  • He will advice you about the pup’s routine and the general Do’s and Don’ts.

The single best indicator of general health, good behaviour and temperament is the overall life expectancy. Conscientious breeders will have telephone numbers readily available of previous puppy buyers and breeders of other dogs in your prospective puppy’s pedigree. If the breeder is not eager to share information regarding life expectancy and the incidence of breed-specific diseases, ‘look elsewhere’. You will eventually find a breeder who will accommodate your concerns. Before you open your heart to a young pup, you certainly want to maximise the likelihood that the two of you will be spending a long and healthy life.

If your breeder meets all the above criteria, congratulations, you have found the right one who will help you chose your friend for life!

Pawfect dietary care for mother & puppies

The arrival of a litter of puppies is always an exciting experience and to make everything go well, you can rely on your vet’s experience and ‘Birth & Growth’ programme from Royal Canin.

You need to provide the mother, and the litter she is carrying, with a range of nutrients essential for development. They must be found in her diet, otherwise your female dog’s body will draw on its own reserves. Two-thirds of the way through gestation, at around 6-7 weeks, is when foetal development really begins, because this is when they gain weight, increase in size and their skeletons harden. Both the mother and puppies’ needs increase and she can gain around 25 percent of her weight in the week before delivery.

Taking care of the mother

From the 6th week of pregnancy, the mother’s energy, protein and mineral requirements are significantly inline with her puppies’ rapid growth and in preparation for lactation. A very rich, highly digestible, easy to rehydrate and very palatable food meets the needs of the mother and her little ones perfectly right up until weaning. Starter Mini, Medium, Maxi or Giant, according to the mother’s ideal adult weight, fits the bill! Once the puppies are born, they will feed every 3 hours; lactation is an incredibly demanding time for mothers, and her energy needs multiply 3 times in order to produce her very rich milk and rebuild her bodily reserves. Let her eat as much Starter as she likes, always with a bowl of fresh water alongside. She will also need to escape from time to time to stretch her legs – this is a good opportunity to make sure she is in good form and not losing weight.

Weaning made easy

Gradually, driven by curiosity, the puppies will taste their mother’s food, and wean themselves by imitating her. Starter food is easy to hydrate with a little warm water or a special dog milk (Babydog milk) – little by little, from 3 weeks of age to around 7 or 8 weeks, this will be the ideal transition from mother’s milk. With all the nutritional qualities your puppies need, and very palatable, it is also ultra-digestible and meets this very high needs for energy, fats, proteins, vitamins, essential fatty acids, and carefully controlled amounts of minerals and starch. The size of the kibble is specially adapted to the size of the puppies’ jaws, making it easy for them to eat.

Growing up safely

Depending on the puppy’s size or breed, growth is quicker or slower and takes place in successive stages. The Junior Breed Health Nutrition provides him with everything he needs – concentrated energy and digestive security, which help him grow harmoniously and reinforce his own natural defences while taking the specificities of his breed into account.

Dog professionals have chosen Royal Canin for over 40 years. Dogs – and cats – are at the heart of every Royal Canin innovation, because new foods are made for them and them alone, taking account of their real needs, based on proven scientific facts.

6 tips to bring home the pawfect bundle of joy

For many households, bringing home a puppy is an impulse thing. Let’s get a puppy, which breed, the discussion starts and finally the hunt begins and ends in no time. But there is much more to it…

Puppy Care

Akbar & Oscar


  1. Match the puppy with your lifestyle: Each breed is different, not just in size, colour, coat etc, but in their unique traits which enable them to do a particular type of work. You have to see if those traits match your personality and lifestyle. A mismatch is always uncomfortable, more so for the dog. So don’t just go by the looks of the dog, choose the right breed keeping in mind his requirements and yours.
  2. Choose a responsible breeder: If you are going for a pedigree puppy, choose a reputed breeder who has time to talk to you regarding the breed, his needs, the parents and of course the puppy and his care. A responsible breeder will and should also be interested in the person buying the puppy and how he or she plans to keep him and if it will be a good match. The breeder should not just be interested in selling the pup.
  3. Do not just pick up the puppy on impulse: Most people see a litter of adorable pups and choose the one who looks sweet, without even realizing if that puppy is suitable for them or not. In fact, you can determine the personality of a puppy by seeing how he behaves in the litter. For example, an over-confident pup may be a handful for some to handle.
  4. Get him home at the right age: Age does play a vital role in the pup’s/dog’s personality to be developed in the coming months and year. I have been noticing that when pups are taken away at about six or less weeks of age they mostly tend to have some behavioural problems. The right age to get a puppy is at least eight weeks. The reason for this is that the mother and the siblings teach the pup a lot during this time and it is very important for them to be together.
  5. Weaned off: Pick up a pup only when he is weaned off mother’s milk.
  6. Be ready to pay the right price: Another important observation is that generally breeders tend to try and sell their pups as soon as possible. This is because as the pups grow, they need a lot of care and the cost of feeding them can go up quite a bit, especially in giant breeds. At times, this is also heightened by the prospective puppy owners as they want a cheap puppy, so if you cut out the rearing part of the puppy which should be done by the breeder, you can get a cheaper puppy as the cost is then transferred to the new owner. But that is not right. Quality does come for a price and prospective owners should be ready to pay for it as the puppy they buy will generally live for the next 10 plus years with them and hence they should get a mentally sound, pure bred and genetically healthy puppy rather than an unhealthy one who may have problems later on in life, whether medical or behavioural.

Happy hunting!!

(Dinkar Singh has kept Rottweilers for about 20 odd years with occasionally showing and breeding. He has recently introduced the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel for the first time in India. Dogs are his passion and hobby, not his business.)


Pawfect nutrient mix for your pooch

Everyone desires of a well built, healthy and good looking dog. The primary requirement to achieve this is good nutrition. Often the nutritional demands of dogs are explained in a very complicated way, making things difficult to understand. Through this article an attempt is being made to simplify the subject of dog nutrition so that pet parents can make a right regimen of food to keep their dogs healthy and happy.

Let us understand what are the nutritional requirements to keep a dog healthy.

Important nutrients in dog’s diet

Nutrient Function
Protein Protein has many functions in the body, but is best known for supplying amino acids to build hair, skin, nails, muscles, tendons, ligaments and cartilage
Carbohydrates Carbohydrate is the source of energy required for various functions of the body
Fats Fats also provide energy. Fats are important for maintaining skin and coat condition, supports healthy brain cells, helps absorption of fat soluble vitamins
Minerals Calcium and Phosphorus are required for bone development. Minerals are required for various metabolic and physiological functions
Vitamins Vitamins are required for metabolic functions, skin and coat health, enzymatic functions and oxidative processes.
Water Water forms liquid medium required for all the body functions. Water functions as a solvent that facilitates cellular reactions and as a transport medium for nutrients. Water maintains body temperature.


Nutrient sources

Protein: Various non-vegetarian and vegetarian sources are available and can be chosen as per convenience.


Angel and Chubby

Boiled meat, boiled egg, milk, curd, cottage cheese, cereals and grains can make a good choice.

Carbohydrates: Rice, wheat, oat, barley and sorghum in any form can make a good choice. A provision should be made to add fiber in diet that is important for intestinal health. Wheat flour, vegetables, beetroot are also good fiber sources.

Fats: Chicken fat, Fish, egg yolk and vegetable fats (flax seed, borage seed, evening primerose) are sources of good fats. A spoon of refined oil (sunflower, mustard) or ghee can also help.

Minerals: All the sources of protein and carbohydrates described above will also provide varied minerals. Fruits and vegetables are also good source of minerals. Milk and meat are good sources of Calcium & Phosphorous that is required by growing dogs in high amounts.

Vitamins: Vitamins can be derived from vegetables and non-vegetarian sources described above along with fruits.

Water: Fresh clean water available all the time can fulfil the water requirement

Additional supplementation of minerals, vitamins and fats, however, are recommended as per the life stage and life style. Do contact your veterinarians for the same.

Maintaining the right balance

The question often posed is how to provide a balance of all the above nutrients. However, certain general rules are to be followed for growth and maintenance phase.

Growth phase: The maximum requirement is of protein followed by the other nutrients. Carbohydrates and fats will fulfil the energy requirement. Minerals and vitamins will be required in a greater quantity during this phase. The entire requirement will be met if the listed ingredients are included in diet in a right proportion.

Maintenance phase: All the above ingredients are required in a smaller quantity since the demand of the growth is reduced.

Pet parents should focus on providing a good mix of all the nutrients.

Gap in the nutrients fed and utilized by the body

This is a common problem encountered in pet animals. Inspite of providing a good nutrition, the dog does not take shape, or suffer from various disorders like poor skin and coat condition, bony weakness, digestive disturbances etc. The nutrients fed to the dog are digested in the digestive tract by the help of several enzymes (Protease, Lipase, Amylase, etc). Due to some intrinsic factors the enzymes may not be secreted in the right concentration. This leads to improper digestion of nutrients. Not only this, at times the dog suffers from malabsorption syndrome. Even after proper digestion, the nutrients are not absorbed by the intestine because its absorptive surface is not in a healthy state. Improper digestion and absorption will lead to less bioavailability of various nutrients and the dog will lose health inspite of best nutrition. It is hence needed to assess if the dietary nutrients are being properly digested and absorbed in the body. In case of any gap in digestion and absorption, advice of a vet is a must who may recommend a change in diet, addition of extrinsic enzymes etc.

Practical tips to formulate a dog’s diet

  • Puppy diet should contain highly digestible food like cerelac, curd, porridge. Especially formulated puppy diets should be preferred during this critical stage.
  • Milk should not be given in case of lactose intolerance (such dogs suffers from diarrhoea after milk intake).
  • Not all listed ingredients are to be given in same meal but need to be divided in different meals as per the requirement of the dog.
  • The quantity of the diet will vary according to the age, body weight and activity level.
  • The food should be offered at fixed time and in a fixed place.
  • The frequency of food should be maintained as follows: Small pups – at a gap of 4-5 hours, Growing pups – 3-4 times and Adult – 1-2 times.
  • Dogshould finish the food in one go and it should not be left for long if the dog does not take it. Fresh food should be offered next time.
  • Fresh water should be made available all the times.
  • Vitamin and mineral supplements should be given as per the vet’s advice.

(Dr S K Pandey of Vamso Pet Health, India is a post graduate in Veterinary Medicine with an experience of over 20 years in pet health, nutrition and behaviour.)

Royal Canin’s pawfect diet for a truly noble-the German Shepherd

Powerful, liverly, intelligent, loyal..the German Shepherd has many impressive qualities. An excellent guard dog, he is also a perfect rescue dog due to his exceptionally refined sense of smell. He is appreciated not just for his physical aptitude and flexible character, but also for the beauty of his black and tan coat… a perfect blend of looks and character!

Caring for a dog who gives his all:
Blessed with outstanding physical abilities, He is a remarkably robust dog. Marrying power and watchfulness, he sets himself no limits, an element which needs to be considered to keep him in ideal shape throughout his life. The diet which he takes need to address the following:

Ensuring digestive safety:

The German Shepherd has a sensitive digestive system due to a proportionally smaller digestive tract, major intestinal permeability, and increased risk of gastric fermentation.

A sensitive immune system:

His natural immune defences are not always very effective in protecting the skin and mucosa, hence it is essential to reinforce his immune system to help him fi ght oxidative stress, which is responsible for ageing.

Watching over an alkaline skin:

Increased cutaneous pH levels predispose him to bacterial infections.

The joints of an athlete:

From growth onwards, his food needs to protect the cartilages to help fi ght against the development of arthritis.

Growth…a key phase in puppy’s life
Growth is a key phase for the puppy, because it sets the pattern for his future health. Over the period of a few months, the German Shepherd puppy goes through some major upheavals: weaning and transition to solid food, very rapid physical development, lifestyle changes, separation from his mother.

From weaning to 5 months – Intense and rapid development:

The skeleton requires considerable protein and mineral amounts, with exactly the right amount of calcium – neither too little nor too much. Also, the transition to solid food demands great care, because the puppy is incapable of assimilating large quantities of food or digesting starch. Weight gain needs to continue, but must be controlled so that the puppy does not gain too much too young, which will weaken a still fragile bone structure. During the fi rst weeks of life, the puppy benefi ts from maternally transmitted antibodies, but this protection is lost between the 4th and 12th weeks. With his own immune system still immature, he is then exposed to risk of infection, particularly as he has not yet been vaccinated. Only a specially developed food can help him through this immunity gap in total safety.

From 5 months to the end of growth – Consolidating his assets:

During this period, weight gain slows down while the bone structure achieves to consolidate itself. The food must be less rich, although the puppy still needs 50% as many calories as an adult dog. From 5 months onwards, the puppy can digest larger amounts of food, but it is important to watch his weight gain carefully as being overweight at this stage can lead to joint problems in later age. The milk teeth, which came through at around 3 weeks, are replaced by the adult dentition at around 7 months old. From now on, it is important to encourage the puppy to crunch his food before swallowing, not only to slow down his speed of ingestion but also to encourage good oral-hygiene.
A pawfect diet for juniors < 15 months… Royal Canin’s German Shepherd 30
The diet ensures maximum digestive security which meets the needs of the German Shepherd’s puppy’s sensitive digestion, thanks to a selection of highly digestible proteins (L.I.P.), an energy concentration and Acti-Flora complex (probiotics and Psyllium) adapted to avoid overloading the stomach. Besides, its osteoarticular reinforcement ensures harmonious growth of the skeleton and of its mineralization, which helps to support the joints. It also supports the skin’s “barrier” role (pH>7) and maintains the natural beauty of the puppy’s coat. The diet also helps support the young puppy’s natural defences.

A pawfect diet for adults > 15 months … Royal Canin’s German Shepherd 24

It ensures maximum digestive well-being, aimed at the German Shepherd’s digestive sensitivity, thanks to highly digestible L.I.P. proteins, with copra oil and rice as the sole source of carbohydrates. A selection of fi bres specifi cally limits intestinal fermentation while maintaining intestinal fl ora. Besides supporting the skin’s barrier role and his natural defences, it helps maintain vitality in the older dog. Not only this, they support joints of active dogs.