Yes! Your pooch enjoys Pampering, Perks & Privileges

You must have heard people complaining that they work like dogs or they are living a dog’s life, but have you ever realised the fun that is involved in being a dog and all the perks they enjoy.

The setting –  it’s about to be 8:30 am, you have to leave for work and are rushing in order to be on time. Grabbing the breakfast to stuff in on the way, you look around to check if you have taken everything. That’s when you find your pet dreaming and snoring. Now that’s when you realise the benefit of being a dog.

Here’s a list of all that pooches enjoy in their day-to-day life

  • Be it summer, winter or the rains your pet does not have to worry about getting up and going to work every day. Of course, he also gets up
    Kritika Manchanda

    Kritika Manchanda

    early in the morning and in some cases the pets get up way before the pet parent but that tension of getting late to school/work, the board meeting worries and most importantly, the stress of traffic jams is only a part of your life and not your pet’s life.

  • You party late at night and the next day you have to go to work or school, but your pet can laze around the entire day.
  • In summers, the fun of splashing water and getting that power nap in the cool breeze of air conditioner and in winters, the fun of being snuggled up in the quilt or lazing around in the afternoon sun, these are some privileges that only your pet is entitled to.
  • And then when they get up, they have the entire family at their service. Be it the walk or food, they are the centre of attention in most pet households. Being pampered by daddy or being cuddled up by mom, all day resting and then playing with the kids the pets certainly enjoy to the fullest.
  • For you, after every Sunday comes a manic Monday, but for your pet every day is Sunday.
  • For them there is no dress code, no suits and bows and no frills and pinks, for them the world is their bathroom and they certainly have no worries about the Rados and the Pradas.
  • No uniform for schools and no tension of completing home works, they can be as lazy as they want and nobody would bother them. Each day is like summer vacation/winter vacation minus the worry of making projects or presentations.
  • The best thing is that they can be mischievous and naughty and then with a puppy look on their face they can melt your heart.
  • The joys of a car ride in the evening and the fun in receiving you at the door with a wagging tail, ask your pet about that happy feeling.
  • The fun in getting all the attention and being the centre of every conversation is best experienced by our pets.
  • No worry of inflation or the percentage increase in the GDP, no concern about the soaring rate of gold or the depreciating value of the Indian Rupee, all they are concerned about are innumerable amount of hugs and they certainly
  • come free of cost.
  • If you forget your best friend’s birthday or your anniversary then I am sure it would cost you huge, but your pet does not have to maintain the calendar with the birthdays and anniversaries marked. All they have to remember is to lick you all the way.
  • Getting a pat or a random kiss to cheer them up and most importantly getting new toys to play with once they are bored of the old ones. Munching on dog biscuits and chewy bones, these are some tastes that only they can experience.
  • The best part is that they don’t need to worry about being in a relationship or handling break ups, for them the biggest heart break is when you ignore them.
  • They will emotionally blackmail you to get their way done and in most cases you would succumb to the look they give and those oh! so innocent eyes.
  • And now think of the time when your pet is unwell, the entire discussion is about them. The visit to the doctor, pampering them a degree greater and making their favourite dishes, these are some of the things that we do to make them feel special. They don’t need red roses with a ‘get well soon’ tag or chocolates, all they demand is that extra love and affection from you.

Only you
But when they get all these advantages including your unconditional love, there are some side effects also that they have to go through. You have your work, your friends, your entertainment, but they have only you, so you need to pay extra attention to them. Spending quality time with your pets is beneficial for both of you; for you it proves to be a stress buster and a sort of therapy and for them it is like emotional bonding. So, take some time out for your waggy friends and see how that tail wags for
you in happiness and joy.

KPS way to rename your pooch

We all know how important a name is to us, same is with your pooch. Here’s how to make the transition smooth for your dog.

  • Fine to rename: It is ok to rename a dog as he may have bitter experiences with his old name.
  • Select a name: Though it is better to select a name which rhymes with his previous name, but you can choose a name that all family members agree on.
  • Bribe him, literally: Whenever you call him with his new name and he looks at you, smile, praise him and give him a treat.
  • Be consistent: For a few days, be consistent with your praise and treats every time he responds.
  • Never use his old name: Do not confuse him by using his old name even if he does not respond with his new name.
  • Be patient: He will soon associate with the new name with good things.

If your pet comes from a loving family, it is best to keep the name he is used to.

Revealed – common household substances which are Poisonous for your pooch

Common household substances can be hazardous for your canine. Stack them away and make your home pooch-friendly.


Household products for specific uses may be hazardous to pets with accidental exposure. Exposure of the household substances may be dermal, oral, ocular or inhalational. Some of the important indoor substances with higher toxic potentiality are described.

Dr. Vijay Kumar M

Dr. Vijay Kumar M

Soaps and detergents

Products: This class includes soaps, shampoos, spray cleaners, dishwash liquids, powders, laundry products, disinfectants, fabric softeners and sanitisers. Bath soaps and bar soaps usually have low toxic potential, causing mild gastroenteritis with vomition on ingestion. In case your pet accidentally ingests such products, use demulcents and diluents like milk, rinsing with water for dermal and ocular/eye exposure and induction of emesis if soap is non-alkaline (non-corrosive). If there is no spontaneous vomition within thirty minutes of ingestion, then give fluid and electrolyte therapy with assistance of your local veterinarian.
Symptoms: Toxicity related clinical signs are vomition, diarrhoea, gastrointestinal discomfort, intravascular haemolysis in impaired liver condition, dermal irritation, corneal damage; oral-corrosive damage, salivation, muscle weakness, respiratory and CNS depression, seizures, collapse, coma predominantly seen with cationic detergents.


Products: Product examples are toilet bowl cleaners, automobile batteries, gun barrel cleaning fluid and swimming pool cleaning agents. Other examples are drain cleaners, washing products, liquid cleansers, etc.
Symptoms: On dermal and ocular/eye exposure: serious burns, extremely painful, corneal/conjuctival necrosis, perforation and opacity. On ingestion: corrosive burns of mucosal membranes (milky white/grey, turning to wrinkled black). Vocalisation, depression, panting, inability to swallow, vomition with blood, abdominal pain, polydypsia, respiratory distress, shock, secondary pneumonia from aspiration of vapours, gastrointestinal bleeding, perforation and fistula are the other signs observed depending on the severity.


Phenols: Sources of phenolic compounds include flooring materials, coal tar, creosote, tar paper, etc.
Symptoms: It results in intense pain and skin of exposed area of pet becomes black. Also may cause corrosive burns of mouth, oropharynx, and oesophagus. Vomition, salivation, ataxia, panting, weakness, tremour, coma, seizures, methhaemoglobinaemia, respiratory alkalosis, severe liver and kidney damage. Ocular exposure is treated by sterile saline wash.


Symptoms: Generally, the toxicity of bleaches is of lower degree, resulting in irritation of ropharynx, salivation, vomition and abdominal pain. Bleaching of hairs, pulmonary irritation- coughing, dyspnoea and retching on inhalation may also be seen. Non-chlorine bleach products (sodium perborate, sodium peroxide) are alkaline and severe gastric irritants cause renal damage and CNS (Central Nervous System) excitation, depending on the amount ingested.


They are composed of aluminium chloride and aluminium chlorohydrate which have moderate toxicity potential.
Symptoms: Ingestion can cause oral irritation, necrosis, gastroenteritis (diarrhoea) and nephrosis (urine voiding problems).

Solvents and alcohols
Products: The most commonly encountered solvent (acetone: sources: nail polish remover, varnishes, glues) and alcohols include isopropanol        (perfumes, cologne, grooming products), methanol (antifreeze products, automotive wind shield cleanser, consumer products) and alcohol (alcoholic beverages, cosmetics, mouthwashes, common baker’s and brewer’s yeast).
Symptoms: Clinical signs noticed are CNS and respiratory depression acidosis, ataxia, hypothermia, cardiac arrest, coma, etc.

Petroleum distillates

Sources: Gasoline (petrol), kerosene, motor fuels, solvent paints and vehicles for pesticides. Because of low surface tension, chance of aspiration is most common.
Symptoms: Dermal exposure may result in dermatitis. Oral exposure results in aspiration pneumonia, cough, hyperthermia, cyanosis, CNS depression and pulmonary oedema.
Note: Do not make the pet to vomit using Emetics (saline solution) and oily purgatives (liquid paraffin) are contraindicated, as they increase the risk of aspiration.


Products: Automotive or dry cell batteries contain sulfuric acid that can be irritating on contact with eyes, skin and gastrointestinal tract, which is treated accordingly as with acid exposure. The sources of small disc/button batteries include batteries used in calculators, cameras, hearing aids, watches, the content being mainly mercuric oxide. The dry cell batteries commonly used in toy flash lights, may contain alkaline (NaOH, KOH; alkaline batteries) or acidic compounds (ammonium chloride, manganese dioxide, heavy metals- Li, Ni, Zn, Ag, Cd) in them.
Symptoms: On ingestion, most of the intact batteries pass through digestive tract within 24 to 36 hours without producing any major adverse effects, except for mechanical obstruction occasionally. Gastrointestinal distress (off feed, dull and depressed) may occur resulting from retention and obstruction, which has to be diagnosed by radiography and has to be corrected by endoscopy and surgery. If battery is chewed and split apart, it may cause corrosive damage depending on the chemical content in it. Timely surgical intervention together with the administration of saline cathartics, enemas and appropriate chelation therapy with specific chelating agents if any (e.g. DMSA or D-Penicillamine as for Pb), can minimise the corrosive damage caused. Lead is the major source of toxicity among the metals, resulting in acute or chronic toxicity upon ingestion. The sources of lead are paints, batteries, solder, plumbing supplies, lubricating material, ceramic containers, Pb pipes, toys, inks, dyes, used oil from vehicles that burn leaded gasoline. The clinical signs noticed are: acute-CNS excitability signs, convulsions, behavioural changes, ataxia, tremour, blindness; chronic-gastrointestinal disturbance signs, vomition, pica, diarrhoea and abdominal pain.


Cyanoacrylate adhesives (superglue)
Uncured cyanoacrylate adhesives form an almost instantaneous bond on contact with hair/skin resulting in annoyance and frustration of the animal. Cured ones are nontoxic upon ingestion. Dermal exposed areas are soaked with warm soapy water as quickly as possible and with acetone for several minutes, if area is away from face or eye. The hair may be clipped to reduce the tension on skin. The surfaces should not be pulled apart, with direct opposing actions. Ocular: Eyelid/eyeball is thoroughly washed with warm water and Elizabethan Collar is applied to prevent self trauma. The animal will be able to open eyes on his own with no residual tissue damage within 2-3 days and hence forceful manipulation should not be done.


Products:  Coffee, tea, chocolates, cola/soft drinks, asthma, analgesic and cold medications. Caffeine, oxicoses and theobromine are the primary toxic agents.
Symptoms: Clinical signs manifested by vomition, diarrhoea, polyuria, weakness, hyperexcitability, tremours, seizures, coma and death resulting from cardiac tachyarrhythmias.
Symptoms: Dirty brown coloured gums, dyspnoea (difficulty in respiration), haematuria (blood in urine), jaundice, facial and paw edema, cyanosis, hypothermia and vomiting. Less common signs include coma, generalised weakness and death.


Products: It is a sweetener used in sugar-free products/chewing gums.
Symptoms: It induces hypoglycaemia by stimulating insulin secretion, resulting in weakness, ataxia, seizures and collapse.


Poisoning occurs commonly from ingestion of a tick collar.
Symptoms: Clinical signs include ataxia (unable to walk), bradycardia (dull and depressed), CNS depression, vomition, diarrhoea, and seizures.
Caution: All the pet parents are requested to ensure that poisonous substances mentioned above should be used carefully in presence of pets. Kindly contact the nearest local veterinarian for assistance at the earliest as the condition of your pet could
be extremely critical.
*The best first aid during any of the above mentioned poisonous conditions for your pet is to give/use concentrated salt solution (more salt and less water to give orally to your pet) to induce vomition within two hours after  ingestion of suspected poison.
(Dr Vijay Kumar M is assistant professor at Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Veterinary College, Bidar).

Are you sharing your food with your pooch?

As pet parents, we all must have melted at the soulful eyes your pooch displays while you are eating.  But table scraps can be harmful to your pooch. Here’s a checklist on what to do.

Can we feed our dogs table scraps?

Dr. Sunita Patel

“Table scraps do not constitute a balanced meal for dogs. Some dogs cannot handle the spiceseither. It’s best to give dogs food which is meant for them and not us,” told Dr Sunita Patel. “Only certain foods like rotis, rice, eggs, some vegetables, fruits like papaya, chikoos, watermelon, ripe mangoes (without kernel) and apples (without seeds),” she added.
While, Dr Manvir Singh opined, “Food should provide balanced and complete nutrition to meet dog’s nutritional requirements at that life stage. Many food items are safe and healthy like well-cooked lean meat or fresh fruits but not to forget to reduce same amount from your pooch’s diet to make it balanced.”
“Picking food from your plate and feeding it to your dog is not the healthiest way to feed your pet. While this may have been a common practice in the past, dogs today eat a properly balanced diet and adding any amounts of table scraps will upset that balance of nutrition and digestion  and can lead to problems. Bad manner or begging can be a result,” said Dr Makarand Chavan.
Which foods are harmful for pooches?
Some of the harmful foods include dark chocolates, onion, grapes & raisins, items containing caffeine, alcohol, xylitol (non-calorie sweetener), raw eggs, small size bones and fish with spines. “Some of them may be ‘toxic’ and some may be ‘dangerous’ while some may cause allergy or disturb digestion,” told Dr Manvir.
Dark chocolate: “Dark chocolate may be toxic as it is made from processed seed of theobroma cacao which contain theobromine and caffeine. If ingested in more quantity, it may lead to various complications,” said Dr Manvir.
Onion: “Onion contains thiosulphate which is toxic to dogs and cats. It may cause haemolytic anaemia in which red blood cells (RBCs) get destroyed. So, we should avoid onion containing food stuffs like pizza, tomato sauce, Chinese food, etc,” told Dr Manvir.
Grapes & raisins: Dr Manvir explained, “If grapes & raisins are eaten in large quantity, they may cause acute renal failure”.
Raw eggs: “As raw eggs contain enzyme inhibitor ‘Avidin’ which may interface with the Biotin. This can cause skin problems, if raw eggs have been fed for long,” said Dr Manvir.
Alcohol and Xytilon: Dr Manvir told, “Alcohol intoxication may commonly cause vomiting, loss of coordination and stupor as dogs are more sensitive than us. While, Xylitol a common non calorie sweetener used for various baked diet products. Ingestion in large amount may drop in blood glucose level (hypoglycaemia) which may cause nausea, disorientation seizures or it may be fatal if not treated in time.” Dr Sunita Patel added, “ Candies and gums contain sweetener Xylitol which causes liver failure in dogs.”
Small bones: “Small bones or fish with spines may pose threat to life of your pet as they may get stuck in oesophagus of your pet and lead to choking or its splinter may puncture any vital artery/vein in that area,” said Dr Manvir.
Macadamia nuts: Dr Sunita Patel explained “Macadamia nuts cause tremors and hyperthermia. Apple seeds cause cyanide poisoning.” In this, Dr Makarand added, “Macadamia nuts contain a high level of phosphorus and, along with other types of nuts, can cause bladder stones in dogs. If a dog ingests macadamia nuts, they can develop a tremor of the skeletal muscles as well as weakness or paralysis of the hind legs. All such dogs will face a hard time rising, get distressed quite often, they pant a lot and even some of them may have swollen legs which give them pain when touched or manipulated.”

Dr. Makarand Chavan

Raw meat:Raw meat and raw fish can lead to tooth fracture and food poisoning and acutegastritis. Fat trimmings and bones can splinter and get caught in or perforate a dog’s digestive system, pancreatitis and obstruction in gastrointestinal tract (GIT) and sometimes can lead to death. Even hard bones, like knuckle bones, are dangerous for a dog,” told Dr Makarand.
Mushrooms:Mushrooms are also toxic to dogs and certain types such as Amanita phalloides can even be fatal to dogs if ingested. Symptoms of mushroom toxicity include abdominal pain, drooling, liver damage, kidney damage, vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, coma and death,” explained Dr Makarand.
Other miscellaneous items: Dr Sunita Patel told, “Garlic causes anaemia in dogs. Coffee and tea (caffeine) cause vomiting, diarrhoea, abnormal heart rhythms, seizures. Avocado can cause vomiting and diarrhoea in dogs.” Dr Makarand added, “Tomatoes can lead to GIT irritation, ataxia and weakness and urinary calculi. Peaches and plums can cause inflammation in small intestine and abdominal obstruction. Milk can cause indigestion and lead to diarrhoea. Yeast dough can be responsible for gas accumulation (bloat) in dog’s intestine and stomach which can even cause rupture.”
What are the symptoms of these problems?
Various signs and symptoms may be shown by affected dog which are being listed below by Dr Manvir; however, this is not exhaustive list:

  • Allergy
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Fever
  • Internal bleeding
  • Anaemia
  • Skin problems
  • Abnormal breathing
  • Renal failure
  • Nervous signs like seizures, tremors, etc
  • Cardiac signs like abnormal blood pressure, cardiac arrest.
Dr. Manvir Singh

Dr. Manvir Singh

What leads to obesity in dogs?“Obesity is because of lack of enough exercise and overfeeding – mostly table scraps, treats, imbalance in the protein-carbohydrate ratio. Obesity can lead to diabetes and its related problems, arthritis,” told Dr Sunita Patel.
“In my practice, I often encountered with obese dogs. After digging deep, I found that pet parents are feeding them table scrapes which were containing high fat and carbohydrates. Dogs were very finicky in taking pet food but they relish table foods. Pet parents were educated about balanced and complete nutrition and its affect on
health and longevity of dog. After following strict diet regime combined with exercise, obese dog returned to their shape,” told Dr Manvir.
Four basic preventive measures
According to Dr Makarand Chavan, there are four basic preventive measures.
No junk food: Never feed junk foods such as fries, potato chips, leftover pizza or candies. Only provide your dog completely balanced commercial pet food. You can consult your vet to choose correct food and feeding pattern for your pet according to his breed, weight, age and overall health.
Moderation is the key: If your dog is given healthy human food, you should carefully maintain his daily calorie requirement and reduce his own food so that he will not put on weight. Balance his diet since your dog would still need his regular food.
Watch out for toxic foodstuffs: Avoid foods that have been found to be poisonous to animals.
Emergency assistance: Be sure to call your vet immediately if you suspect your dog may have ingested something toxic.

Definite ‘NO’ items
“Chocolates are a definite NO. Raisins, grapes, onions, garlic, coffee, tea, alcohol, salt, avocado, macadamia nuts, apple seeds, candies and gums also,” explained Dr Sunita Patel

(With inputs from Dr Sunita Patel, Veterinary Surgeon, All India Animal Welfare Association and President, Pet Practitioners Association of Mumbai; Dr Manvir Singh, MVSc (IVRI) and Veterinary Nutritionist, College of Veterinary Sciences, Pantnagar, Uttarakhand and Dr Makarand Chavan, BVSc &AH, MVSc, Dogs and Cats Veterinary Clinic, Mumbai).

Do you ‘give in’ to the ‘soulful looks’?

Does your dog melt your heart for table scrap? That was the question we put to our friends in Bengaluru and here’s what they have to say.

Sangita & Snicker

Sangita & Snicker

“Snicker, my Golden Retriever, is mostly a placid happy-go-lucky guy… till his mealtimes.Then he becomes James Bond and Chulbul Pandey rolled into one. First comes the James Bond… he’ll stare up at you like he’s a spy…charmingly checking out the table, scooping out the yummies on display. Then he’ll dart look at you, like he actually doesn’t care. But when you start serving yourself, he’ll become debonair and the sexy Bond will come up. He’ll put his face on your lap and snuggle closer. He’ll stare into your eyes…or you must say, into your soul. But if you ignore that also, Chulbul Pandey will put his Dabangg paw on you. He will first paw gently, and then the claws will slowly come out and dig in. And he’ll let out a small sigh before drooling…so to answer your question – yes he does melt my heart for table scraps.”

Ashit & Fifo

“Two lives wait for me eagerly at home – Ishaan & Fifo. Ishaan is a Shih Tzu and Fifo is a Maltese. They love my wife’s cooking and love to chew her shoes too. Whenever we sit on the table to eat something, wherever they are and whatever they are busy doing, they will run to the table and start harassing us with their continuous pawing and jumping up on the table and even barking, just to let us know that the kings of the jungle are here and need to be given an offering of whatever we are eating. Their quirks amuse me day in and day out.”
–Ashit and Priyanka

Rupa & Maxim

Rupa & Maxim

“Maxim, our five-year-old Poodle, loves to follow me around, especially in the kitchen.Sometimes, I can just not ignore her pleading eyes and heartbreaking whimpers when he begs for some table scraps. Some of her favourites are bread, ice cream and cheese.”

Anant & Misty

“The most mesmerising thing about Misty is her eyes – when she sits at your feet and looks at you, no one can do anything but gaze into her most beautiful eyes. She loves eating- not what you give her but what she wants. And so many times she just ignores the food in her bowl to come and sit at your feet, while we are at the dining table, to look at me so expectantly that in spite of myself, I find me feeding her scraps off the table even though I know I am spoiling her silly. In just the four years she has been with me she has changed all my resolutions about rearing so much that I don’t know whether her behaviour is what it is because of me or mine is what it is because of her!”

Raveena & Tanny

Raveena & Tanny

“We have a Golden Retriever named Tanny. In her earlier years, she often used to wait for table scrap. So, in order to stop this habit of hers, we had tried various tricks and out of which the following three worked: i) Give her food at the same time when we eat our meal or earlier to that. ii) Strictly say NO (a couple of times), which she understands and moves away from the table. And iii) We ignore her by not looking at her and then she would simply sit closer to the table without drooling for the food.”
–Raveena Jain


KPS Valentine Pooch!

Love has no boundaries… love is eternal and unconditional…  and so our pooches are pawfect Valentines. Let’s see why.

  • Our pooches are always happy to see us, no matter what, even if we are late from work or elsewhere, they greet us happily at the door.
  • Our smile means the world to them.
  • They are the best listeners and we can talk to them for hours and not once they will show signs of boredom.
  • They can gauge our moods – they know when we are happy and know when we are sad.
  • They are loyal and will be with us in all our ups and downs, illness and wellness….
  • They will remember and recognise us throughout their life.
  • Their love is unconditional – they love us irrespective of anything in return.
  • They never crib and complain – happy-go-lucky chaps – they are truly our lucky charms!

Saina Nehwal’s pooch Love

There is something more than badminton in the life of Indian shuttle queen Saina Nehwal.  That’s pooch love which this world badminton champ shares here.

Saina Nehwal's

Saina Nehwal’s

Saina Nehwal’s brilliance in badminton has made India proud for giving birth to such a young sportswoman of exceptional talent. Saina achieved her first shot to the fame when she ranked 2nd by Badminton World Federation in December 2010. She is the first Indian badminton player who bagged an Olympic medal which she accomplished at London Olympics 2012. In addition, Saina is the first Indian shuttler to win the World Junior Badminton Championship held at Pune in 2008 and the first Indian badminton ace who won a Super Series Tournament in 2009. Besides all her adoration and achievements in badminton, what she reveals here is her love for her pooches – Macho and Chopsi.

First pet: Black-coloured Macho, who lived with us for good 13 years.
Worst pet parenting moment: When Macho died, I was in China and I wept bitterly.


Current pet: Chopsi
What’s special about your pooch: I like them profusely. They are innocent and try to elevate your mood by playing with you even when you are not well.
Special paw moments: It happens when I return from a foreign tour, Chopsi will not allow me to enter the house, unless I love and pet him for 10 to 15 minutes.
Special moments that touch your heart: Chopsi sits outside my room till I come out.
Daily pooch time: About half an hour everyday.
What you love about your pooch:  Their affection towards me. Sometimes, Chopsi licks my toe to show his love and will keep on doing it until I scold him.
What your pooch loves about you: We are family.
Exercise for your pooch: We take him out 4 times a day for 6 to 8 km walk daily.
Your pet’s favourite dishes: Pedigree Dentastix, rice with curd, milk.
Special treat for your dog: Tiny shoes for him.
Message to pet parents: They keep us happy, it’s our responsibility to keep them happy too.

feactures fun n frolic

Pooch movie mania magic!

Winters are here…kids are looking forward to their winter vacations. Cold waves, warm bedding – who wants to go out? How about some lovely pooch movies to keep boredom at bay? What’s more? Let your tailwagger curl up by your side, while you both enjoy these beautiful movies.
Movies are a fun way to treat and train animals. Some movies are with a message that spread awareness about adopting dogs. Here are some of the must-see movies the every dog lover must see:
Beethoven: This film is one comedy drama that you can watch with your kids! Directed by Brian Levant in 1992, Beethoven depicts the story of a St Bernard who comes into the lives of Newton family and fills a void that always existed in their family. The dog becomes the center of attraction and attention for the family and is endowed with much love and care. But the dog’s vet, Doctor Varnick, has some other plans for Beethoven. Dr Varnick has a secret, a dark horrible side to him that requires a lot of dogs to carry out experiments. He eyes the poor slobbering Beethoven for the same. How Beethoven is saved from the cruel vet is something to watch out for! A St Bernard by the name of Chris portrayed the role of the dog and you just can’t avoid falling in love with him.
Marley & Me: This movie became a superhit in 2008. Directed by David Frankel, this movie is based on an autobiographical book by journalist John Grogan. The story revolves around John’s life and experiences with one mischievous Labrador Retriever. This one is a truly family entertainer. It will make the elders, teenagers and even kids laugh. The unforgettable chaos that the dog gets the family into is real fun, but in the end the dog teaches the family what is really important in one’s life. The character of Marley is played by 18 different Labrador Retrievers. Also look out for the sequel, though the first part is much better. The book is also worth a read for book lovers. The language is simple and it also has photographs of the real Marley.
Hachi – A Dog’s Tale: An all time favourite movie among all dog lovers, this movie was made in 2009. It became an instant hit with all dog lovers across the globe. Hachi is a true story of an Akita breed dog. If the word Loyal has a synonym, then it is ‘Hachiko’. The story shows a rare and invincible bond between a dog and a human. College professor Parker Wilson finds a young pup abandoned at a train station. He instantly takes a liking for the dog and names him Hachiko-Hachi (which is a Japanese symbol for good luck that’s hanging from the pup’s collar). Hachi is a dog who doesn’t like to play fetch games, or do any tricks or get trained as other dogs do. That’s why Parker’s family has inhibitions towards Hachi. But he is extremely faithful to Parker and is friendly to him. He walks with him everyday to the train station in the morning and then again comes back to greet him every evening when his master returns. This is a routine Hachi follows even after the untimely demise of Parker. Hachi brings tears to the viewer’s eyes in the climax of the movie.
Air Bud (Series): Air Bud, as the name says, is about a buddy who jumps up in the air. No, he is not a superman but just a cute bundle of fur. A sports playing Golden Retriever named Buddy is the central character of the film. All the series are a great watch. A Golden Retriever by the actual name of Buddy played the central character. Buddy has also acted as Comet in the TV series Full House. Josh, a young kid becomes friends with a stray Golden Retriever who has some amazing ability to play basketball. Josh makes a school team of basketball players and Buddy becomes their Team Mascot. Josh and Buddy emerge as the stars of halftime in the game. Buddy gets all the attention from the media in halftime which is seen by his former mean pet parent, Norm Snively. He sees it as an opportunity and makes a wicked scheme to cash in Buddy’s popularity. Watch this movie to find out if Josh and Buddy get separated by Norm’s wicked plan or they remain buds forever?
Homeward Bound – The Incredible Journey: Here the three animals – Shadow, the Golden Retriever (intelligent and calmest of all- a true leader), Chance the Bulldog (a talkative fun mischievous adopted dog) and Sassy the cat (as our kitties always are) are given human voices. They belong to one family but each has their own space and own favourite kid-parents. When the family has to go on a vacation, they leave them with a pet sitter. The trio run away and set on an adventurous journey to reach back home. The film shows a series of events wherein each completes their own journey too of throwing away inhibitions, getting to know the outside world and becoming brave and courageous. It’s a perfect entertainer for small kids. The movie shows an abundance of wildlife and beautiful location sceneries.
Eight Below: This movie was also released by the name Antarctica in the US. Inspired by a Japanese movie, this is based on a true story of a Japanese expedition carried out in 1958. The human cast has done a great job, but the eight Siberian Huskies steal the show. Heart warming, this one is sure going to keep you on toes throughout their expedition. The story revolves around a dog-sled guide working at an Antarctic research station and his live action-adventures. A severe storm forces him to abandon his eight beloved sled dogs in harsh Antarctic winter. Left to fend for themselves, the rugged and resourceful dogs face several dangerous situations at every turn. They survive for nearly six months and finally meet Walter, who along with his colleagues, join hands to carry out a daring rescue mission to save the dogs. The Huskies look so huggable in the movie that you can’t help falling in love with each one of them.
101 Dalmatians: Dalmatians are a breed of dogs found first in Croatia. They were mainly used as carriage dogs in early days. But here in this movie Cruella DeVil, as her name is cruel and devil-like, kidnaps puppies and kills them for fur. The movie takes a turn when various animals join hands against her and take their revenge. The beautiful spotted Dalmatians in the movie make the viewers’ heart skip a beat. In the sequel 102 Dalmatians, Cruella manages to get out of prison and once again goes after the darned puppies. But the Dalmatians prove smarter. A full fledged entertainer for the whole family, 101 and 102 Dalmatians are not to miss out for the drama and picturisation.
Old Yeller: This movie is an old time classic. Set amidst the landscape of 1860 Texas, the movie revolves around a young boy named Travis and the bond he shares with a lop-eared stray. Directed by Robert Stevenson in 1957, the movie is based on an award winning book ‘Old Yeller’ by Fred Gipson. Travis doesn’t take an instant liking to Old Yeller until he saves the family from attack of a bear. Showing his true protective skills, Old Yeller gains affection of the family and becomes a loyal buddy of Travis. Soon they become inseparable, sharing joyous experiences and learning valuable lessons about growing up. The movie teaches kids about love and death, family bonds and life’s teachings. It might also teach kids about dealing with loss of a life (dogs). The movie also has a sequel Savage Sam which is again based on another book of Fred Gipson.
Hotel for Dogs: Andi and her little brother Bruce stay in a foster home where animals are not allowed. The kids love animals and an adorable dog whom they name Friday is their buddy. They secretly care for him and are ready to risk everything for him. They soon find a shelter for him in a huge abandoned hotel. Bruce puts his engineering skills to use and transform the abandoned hotel into an ideal place for dogs to live. Friday soon shares his home with all kinds of furry buddies and the place soon becomes a paradise to live in. The neighbours are led into a mystery when they discover sudden disappearance of all stray dogs around. Andi and Bruce strive to keep the hotel’s secret from being discovered. Will they manage to do so? The adventure is also beautifully penned down in Lois Duncan’s book by the same name on which the movie is based.
A Dog of Flanders: The movie is based on a novel written by English author Marie Louise in 1972. The movie is about a Flemish boy named Nello and his dog Patrasche (a Bouvier, a large sturdy dog native to Flanders). There is even a statue of the boy and his dog in Antwerp which is a tourist attraction. Young orphaned boy Nello lives with his grandfather in a small village in Antwerp and sell milk as they are very poor. They find a bruised dog and adopt him, naming him after Nello’s mother Mary. Patrasche helps Nello pull milk into town every morning. Though the book’s ending and film’s climax are totally different, both show a great human-dog bond.
Turner & Hooch: This film is surely going to bring smiles and laughter all around. It’s an average cop and dog movie. It’s a sweet love story of fights and bonding between Turner
(played by Tom Hanks, a cop) and Hooch
(a large and slobbery French Mastiff or Bordeaux Mastiff as they are called) who come together to find the murderer of Hooch’s pet parent. Turner hates Hooch but has to keep him at his home till the case gets solved and in the process takes a liking for him. In the end, Hooch dies solving the case and saving life of Turner. Turner, who was a control freak, becomes soft, considerate and animal loving by the end of the case. It’s his own emotional journey too. Watch out for the hilarious moments at Turner’s home when Hooch enters in initial days.
A Dog Year: This one is about a great bonding between Jon Katz, a writer by profession and his bonding with a Border Collie, a dog whom he receives from a kennel. The dog is undisciplined because of abuse and he gets Jon into a series of mishaps, but Jon doesn’t quit on the dog and wants to keep trying. Jon hires a farmhouse to give the dog enough room to run around thinking that will drive out his energy and calm him down. But, during the course, he realises that it’s his own problems that is driving him crazy and not the dog. A great emotional journey about a dog helping a human discover oneself. The Border Collie is one guy to watch out for….furry and huggable.
The Adventures of Milo & Otis: An adventurous film that will be enjoyed by both young and old. A kid’s favourite, this film revolves around the adventurous journey of Otis, a Pug-nosed puppy, when he takes off with an aim to rescue his friend Milo, the always curious kitten, when she is swept down a river during one of her roaming hangouts. It’s a Japanese action adventure film made in 1986 and the film was reworked for its release in English in 1989.
The Shaggy Dog: The adventure starts when a workaholic human (the dad, played by Tim Allens) is transformed into a lovable dog. Made in 2006, this movie is about a typical home where the wife and kids complain to their father about not giving them enough time. When he turns into a dog, he sets on a mission to uncover the mystery of how it all happened. His struggle to discover the mystery makes him understand his family better as a dog. He understands the meaning of fatherhood and wants to turn back as human and give all the love and time to his family that he has missed out on. A wonderful film to watch and learn!
Snow Dogs: Made in 2002, the movie stars Cuba Gooding Jr and is a live action comedy film. Directed by Brian Levant, the movie is based on the book Winter Dance: The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod by Gary Paulsen. Cuba Gooding Jr is shown as a dentist from Miami who inherits a team of champion sled dogs. During the film he discovers that he was adopted and hence manages to find his true place in life. They participate in the Arctic Challenge Sled Dog Race to win it in the end. The race is to watch for and the occasional winking of the Siberian Huskies is to die for! The power of love between family, friends and dogs is what one can expect in this family film.
So, what are you waiting for? Grab the DVD and bask in the love and bind of
these lovely beings!

Canine Superstars!
Dogs who play central characters become a celebrity and when a movie becomes a hit, we suddenly see the demand for that particular breed in market! One such celebrity was Rin Tin Tin. He was the Biggest Canine Superstar Hollywood ever had. ‘Rinty’, as he was called, was a German Shepherd and he starred in more than 27 Hollywood films during an era when silent films were being made! Rinty was so popular that he was even nominated as ‘Best Actor’ and secured most votes in 1929 Academy Awards. Sadly, the Jury ruled him out or else, he would have been the first dog to have ever won an Oscar!! Rinty’s popularity made the breed German Shepherd a popular household pet. He died at the age of 14 in 1932.The dog was so popular that for the next two decades, directors hired German Shepherd dogs and named them Rin Tin Tin II, Rin Tin Tin III and so on. Interestingly, most of them were Rinty’s own sons.

Sports for the pooch part-II

Sports channels, sports bars, sports quota… Sports are an integral part of our lives, so why should our furry friends be devoid of the fun and entertainment that come as a complimentary gift with any sport? In the last issue, we discussed a few dog sports like Flyball, Disc Dogs, Dock Jumping, Herding Trial and Lure Coursing… here are a few more.

Dog sports are a great way to bond with your pets, teach them discipline and more than that it helps in their mental and emotional well-being. There are also some organisations that host dog sports. These organisations help you with all the required supports – training, getting the pets ready for races and competitions, providing regular updates, making sure the competition is healthy and most importantly setting the rules and guidelines for the safety of the pets. Here are some of the most popular dog sports.

Canine Freestyle
– two to tangoTraining

It is a highly popular dog sport which combines the fun of music with sports. It displays the coordination, movement and obedience skills of the dog. Another aspect that is judged is the relationship of the dog and handler/trainer. The main purpose is to portray canines in a creative and artistic manner.

Each team gives its own version of the test, known as the presentation. These presentations are always given live before an audience and judges. There are four levels and with each level the difficulty increases. There is a theme that unifies all the teams but each team has something new to offer. In plain simple words, Canine Freestyle is dancing with your dog.

It is highly important to choose the right music; a fast, upbeat and peppy track always goes with the mood. The next step would be to train the dog. Obedience movements, tricks, jumps, twists and turns are what you can experiment with. The final step is to select and coordinate the outfits according to the theme and the music.

There are two kinds of Canine Freestyle – Freestyle Heeling and Musical Freestyle.

Freestyle Heeling: Popularly known as Heelwork to Music, the basic rule in Freestyle Heeling is that the canine and his handler stay very close together. The routine does not allow the dog to be away or at a distance. The dog matches the handler’s steps and there are certain dos and don’ts of the game. Jumping, rolling, weaving and passing through the handler’s legs are not allowed. Moving forward, backward and diagonally to the tunes is what the judges look at.

Musical Freestyle: The canine companions display their obedience tricks and a variety of other fun tricks. It combines Freestyle Heeling with some other routines like – coordinated movements, advanced tricks (twists, jumps, spins, etc.), sending the dog away and more. Distance is not a matter thus the tricks can be performed from any distance.

The sport celebrates the training and the balance that the instructor imbibes in the animal. Dancing and swaying to the melodious tunes of music, these furry friends surely bring a smile on everyone’s face.

Size/breed: All breeds and all sizes.

Training tip: The only thing that one needs to keep in mind includes those movements that are dangerous for the dog as their safety is the prime importance.

Organisations involved: The Canine Freestyle Federation Inc, World Canine Freestyle Organisation, etc.

– a.k.a. beauty contest

It is also called Dog Show or Breed Show wherein the judge judges specific breeds of dogs (purebred) on how well do they conform. A purebred dog is a modern dog with a history of Pedigree registered with a breeding club or kennel club. For commoners, Conformation is a beauty pageant for our beloved canine friends.

Judges acquire proper training to judge specific breeds and the ‘all breed’ judges have to gain years and years of expertise before becoming perfect. The dogs compete to earn points and certifications. The judge’s role is to award points according to how close each dog resembles the perception and image of an ideal dog breed. The parameters include – coat type, size, coat colour, movements, posture, stance, temperament and attitude. But it is not just looks, their overall health and well-being is also accountable. The dog should be minimum six months old to participate.

There are three types of Conformation dog shows –

All Breed Shows – it includes a variety of breeds that participate in the competition.
Specific Breed Shows – it is restricted to a specific breed or variety of a single breed. For example, Dachshund and short coat, wired coat and fur coat.
Group Shows – it is for dogs who belong to a particular group, like Hounds, Herding, Working, Terrier, Toys and more.

Training tip: It is not just looks, their overall health and wellbeing is also accountable.

Size/breed: All Pedigree dogs.

Organisations involved: Kennel Club of India, American Kennel Club (AKC), United Kennel Club (UKC), Crufts UK, Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, Canadian Kennel Club, etc.

Rally Obedience – your wish is my command

As the name suggests this dog sport is based on obedience. It is interesting because the dogs do not wait for the judge to command on which their obedience can be judged. There is a course that is designed which the dog needs to complete with his trainer or handler. It includes various exercises and tricks like sit, stand, roll and move. The course has three levels, novice (beginners), advanced and finally excellent.

The handler keeps talking to the dog and it is amazing to see the bond and understanding that they both share. It is sheer compatibility that the game honours.

Size/breed: There is no restriction on the breed; thus purebred, mixed breeds and even disabled dogs participate in this fun and intelligent dog sport.

Training tip: Have a friendly relationship with your pooch.

Organisations involved: American Kennel Club (AKC), Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT), Canine Work and Games (C-Wags), Canine and Human United (CHU), United Kennel Club (UKC), Swedish Working Dog Club (SBK), etc.

Canine Agility – the adrenaline rush

Kritika Manchanda

Kritika Manchanda

It is certainly one of the most popular and loved dog sports throughout the west. The energy and enthusiasm is always high during the course. It is a moment of great pride and happiness for the pet parents to see their naughty ones perform the tasks swiftly.

Agility literally means the ability to move swiftly and quickly. As for canine agility it is a dog sport in which the dog performs an obstacle course and is judged on two main factors, time and accuracy. The interesting twist is that the handler cannot control the dog as the course is performed off leash. The trainer/handler can only contact their dog using gestures, hand movements, special signs and of course their voice. The obstacles include – tunnels, see saw, A-frame, dog walks, cloth tunnels, hurdles, tyres, jumps and a lot more. Usually there are five levels of the game.

Size/breed: There is no restriction on the breed but the age of the canine must be more than 15 months for participation.

Training tip: Since every course is different, the strategy that helps is good training and great amount of practice.

Organisations involved: American Kennel Club (AKC), USDAA (United States Dog Agility Association), UKC (United Kennel Club), NADAC (North American Dog Agility Council), ASCA (Australian Shepherd Club of America), etc.

Tracking – the sniff game

I am sure you all must have tricked your beloved at least once to find an object. And most of the times your champion would just sniff around here and there, and boom the object would appear. That’s what this sport is all about. The dog finds various hidden objects using that object’s scent. In simple words, it is treasure hunt aided by sniffing.

There is no doubt on how good a dog’s smelling ability is, thus with a little training the dog can become a master of the game. It is also used by police force, by search and rescue operators, aids in bomb squads, etc. It is common sight to see sniffer Labrador Retrievers, Spaniel Cockers, etc using their tracking abilities for hunting, finding drugs and explosives and also to trace a location.

Size/breed: Any breed of any size can participate.

Training tip: It is important to introduce scent discrimination to the dog during training. Using this technique the dog would be able to differentiate between smells.

Organisations involved: American Kennel Club (AKC), Search Dog Organisation of North America, etc.

Winning is not important, what is important is participating and playing the sport with the right spirit. It is always good to compete and yes, if you win, it proves to be an added advantage, so don’t force your pet into a sport. You are the best judge of their likes and dislikes, so choose a sport wisely and let’s have fun.

Ooh! Aah! Ouch! Your pooch might be suffering from arthritis!

We all know that arthritis is a common ailment of old age but not many of us would know that it is the case with our pooches as well. If your pooch is not willing to play or work or has slowed down, he might be suffering from arthritis. But help is here at hand!

What is arthritis?

Arthritis comes from Greek word arthro-(joint) + -itis (inflammation). It refers to a group of conditions involving damage to the joints of the body. There are over 100 different forms of arthritis, the most common being osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease), which is a result of trauma to the joint, infection of the joint, or age. Other arthritis forms are rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and autoimmune diseases in which the body attacks itself. Septic arthritis is caused by joint infection while Gouty arthritis is caused by deposition of uric acid crystals in the joint, causing inflammation.

Canine arthritis: a common ailment

Arthritis not only affects humans but also it’s a common ailment in your loving pets; though dogs of all age group can suffer but it’s more frequently observed in older age. You can notice the change in your pet’s activity if you observe his behaviour. You can notice following changes in your dog’s behaviour:

  • Favouring a particular limb
  • Hesitancy to jump, run or climb stairs
  • Behavioural changes like sleeping more
  • Reduction in alertness
  • Seeming to have stiff & sore joints
  • Not willing to play
  • Joint enlargement or swelling
  • Weight gain

Probable causes of arthritis

Old age, joint infections, traumatic injury to joints, dietary imbalance, autoimmune diseases, hormonal imbalance, overweight & lack of exercise can act as predispository factor.

Diagnosing arthritis

If these symptoms persist for longer than 2-3 weeks, consult your veterinarian for correct diagnosis. Physical examination and X-ray imaging may be used as diagnostic tools.

Treating your loved one

Treatment options may vary depending on the type of arthritis and include physical therapy, lifestyle changes (including exercise and weight control), orthopaedic bracing, medications and dietary supplements (symptomatic or targeted at the disease process causing arthritis). An effective balance should be maintained between dietary supplements and physical exercise. In general, studies have shown that physical exercise of the affected joint can have noticeable improvement in terms of long-term pain relief. Furthermore, exercise of the arthritic joint should be encouraged to maintain the health of the particular joint and the overall body.

Treatment may include:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) supplementation to reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Dietary provision of nutrients like glucosamine, chondritin sulfate & hyluronic acid salt formulations have been found to be very effective as they provide structural support in form of Gag molecules to build cartilaginous matrix of joints.
  • Combine therapy including NSAIDS, glucosamine, chondritin & hyluronic acid can have a very beneficial effect for overall management of arthritis as it covers all treatment aspects.
  • Along with this, proper nutritious diet and regular exercise will help in effective management of arthritis condition.
  • Proper diet with supplementation of gucosamine, chondritin & hyluronic acid containing formulations can be used as a preventive measure for control of canine arthritis in older dogs.

(Dr Vishal Surve, M.V.Sc, Pharmacology & Toxicology, is Product Executive at Petcare Animal Health, PROVIMI.)

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.