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Steps towards being a responsible pet parent

Caring for a dog involves a lot of responsibility, since you are the sole provider for your furry buddy’s social, dietary and health-related needs. Here are vital tips to take care of your pooch.

Training

  • Puppies require special attention: Encourage your puppy to interact with the world around her and beComplete Care open to new situations or environments. This is also known as ‘socialisation’ and involves exposing your puppy to as many new things as possible.
  • Dogs who are properly trained are much easier to manage, and can adapt more easily to new training programmes. Proper dog training should ideally be started as soon as you bring a dog into your home.
  • Be sensitive to how quickly your dog can learn new commands. Different breeds of dogs have different levels of intelligence and will learn at different speeds.
  • Pets respond to love and reward. Teach them right behaviour with patience.
  • Dog training is a process of teaching a dog to perform behaviour in response to certain commands, most commonly as sit, lie down and teaching him to relieve himself outside.
  • Potty training in particular can be difficult as some dogs need a bit of time to adapt going for that outdoor. House training is important issue for puppies. Consistent and regularly reinforced rules, litter box, crate or paper training can be successful.
  • Success of your dog training directly depends on your clear understanding of the dog’s nature. When the dog wags his tail it means that he is pleased with the situation and he would like to play and have fun.
  • Build a strong trust between you and your dog. This does require time and energy, so do not be lazy about it. Communication is pivotal when it comes to getting your dog’s confidence.
  • There is no dog too old or young to learn these techniques. Regardless of the kind of background the dog has, any dog can be properly trained.
  • The most effective way to train a dog involves using treats and positive reinforcement, besides clicker can also be used.
  • Pet parents and dogs who attend training class together have an opportunity to learn more about each other and how to work together under a trainer’s guidance. Training is the most effective if all those who handle the dog take part in the training to ensure consistent commands, methods and enforcement.
  • Most dogs live with people who want them to behave in ways that make them pleasant to be around, keep them safe and provide for the safety of other humans and pets. Dogs don’t figure out basic obedience on their own. The fundamental rule that must be remembered is that one should never apply human standards of society onto the dog with the assumption that the dog will understand.
  • The hardest part of the training is communication with the dog in a humane way that the pet animal understands.

Nutrition

  • Feed your puppy a special puppy-food diet for their first years.
  • Feed your dog a high-quality, nutrient-rich dog food formula that is balanced enough to ensure proper digestion. It is also best to avoid dog food that contains artificial preservatives, colours or chemical flavouring. Fresh food is always best!
  • A nutritionally balanced diet, with constant access to fresh water, is must for your dog.

Grooming

  • Groom her on a daily basis. Move a brush or comb through the hair of your dog, ensuring that her coat remains smooth and free of tangles. Make sure to keep her ears as well as teeth clean.
  • Bathe your dog at regular interval as frequent bathing can dry out her skin and coat and result in skin infections. The best bet would be to bathe your dog once in a month. In case she gets too dirty in-between, rub her with a damp towel or wash just the paws.

Exercise

  • Give her lots of exercise. Keeping her busy physically will also help keep behavioural problems at bay. Walk her at least twice a day and play with her to keep mentally stimulated.

General

  • Never keep your dog tied up.
  • Provide proper area for your dog.
  • Dogs crave companionship and do not like to be alone for long periods. So, try to spend as much time with your dog as possible.
  • Collar your dog and attach an ID to it, with the dog’s name, your name, address and telephone number written on it.
  • A proper physical examination of your dog on a monthly basis is a must.
  • Regular veterinarian check-ups are recommended for your pooch.

(Arun Bajpai is an artist, stylist, interior/exterior designer of villas by profession and above all a great pet lover).

Responsible pet parenting

It is often our mistake and not the pet’s problem that results in a misbehaved pet. Watch out for your responsibilities before adopting a pet and behave like a responsible pet parent. The bond between you and your pet will blossom beyond imagination as your pet gives you back much more than what he receives from you. He sees you as your mentor and will follow the path laid by you.

What does pet parenting means? We put a lot of efforts in parenting our children to ensure their desired upbringing. The same is required for our pet to transform them into a healthy, disciplined and cultured one.For this transforma-tion, responsible pet parenting is essential.Why is right pet parenting essential?

Adopting a pet does not ensure that he is going to inherit all the breed characteristics. Exploiting the genetic potential depends on his upbringing, thereby comes the role of pet parenting.

It is to be understood that as per the breed, dogs possess different characters. For e.g., German Shepherd, Rottweiler and Doberman, have a natural instinct to guard. Labradors are docile with good sniffing characters, while Cocker Spaniel and Dachshund are a hyperactive lot and so forth and so on. Since the basic breed characters cannot be changed, it becomes very important to pick a breed with the desired characters. Once a right breed is selected, the role of pet parenting comes into play to exploit the breed characteristics. A misguided or ill trained dog, even of very friendly characteristics, becomes a nuisance at times.

The human-animal bond

Having pets makes you feel good, both physically and mentally. Many medical studies have shown that pet owners have lower stress levels and fewer heart attacks. If you have a dog or cat, you always have someone to come home for and your furry friend will never tell your boss all the horrible things you said after a particularly bad day at the office. It should come as no surprise that researchers have found that petting and talking to a companion animal actually reduces blood pressure.

Many retirement facilities and hospitals bring in pets for visits or have a pet at the facility. Animal assisted therapy is being used for more health issues than ever before. Guide dogs continue to help the blind, but now assistance dogs also help deaf humans, the physically handicapped, and people with epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and other afflictions.

Sometimes pet problems are people problems

Many “dog problems” stem from a lack of understanding. Many people approach pet ownership as something akin to owning a car: if it’s broken, take it to be fixed. If it has too many problems, you return it to a dealer or sell it. This “pets-are-disposable” attitude is why so many dogs end up in rescue groups and animal shelters. It’s tragic because almost all problems can be solved with a little patience and understanding. A dog is a dog. He is not a small human, and expecting him to behave like one is unfair. Every pet is an individual and you have to work within the limitations of the animal’s personality. All pets in the household need to learn the rules, but the humans need a few rules too. Your pet loves you and the best thing you can do is to love him in return. Like any family member, you learn to live with a few foibles because the companionship and love you receive is worth it.

Time and patience

To own a dog, the two most important things you need to have are time and patience. You need time and patience for feeding your dog every day, housebreaking, brushing, walking, playing and training, taking him to a vet and most importantly for loving him. All this has to happen whether you feel like it or not. So, if you are considering getting a dog, first be honest with yourself.

Kids and pets

If you are thinking about getting a pet and you have children, it may be time to step back and evaluate your kids’ attitude toward animals. Many children have never had any guidelines as to the proper rules for dealing with animals. Some kids run up to the animals recklessly and others shy away in fear when they encounter one. Learning respect for animals should be a big part of growing up, but the increasing number of dog bite incidents is clear evidence that parent’s aren’t telling kids what they need to know. Start teaching your kids about animals at an early age. Show them how to listen and learn about their animal compatriots. Teach your child to be gentle. You might show them how to stroke an animal gently on a stuffed toy first, and then graduate to a friend’s pet who you know is very gentle. Be sure to teach your child not to chase or hit any animal. A kid who is taught to care about animals learns that animals and people are living things and should not be treated violently. If you plan to get a pet, have your child help you research breeds and learn how to take care of a new pet. Explain that owning an animal is a lifetime commitment and point out that the animals should not be treated as disposable “throw away” toys. Show your kids the importance of having the pet as a family member, but don’t expect small children to take full responsibility for caring for an animal. Getting a pet is a fantastic opportunity for education. Kids who have been taught to respect animals learn to look at the world around them in a more humane, caring way. And who wouldn’t want that for their kids.

Think about the pets

Life is full of changes and if you don’t think your pet notices, well, you are wrong. Many times behaviour problems in pet can be traced to changes in their home life. After all, they live there too. Major life events such as death, separation, or divorce cause a great deal of emotional distress and pets pick up on it and become anxious. If people suddenly start shouting and arguing with one another, it has effect on every creature in the house.

What a working person can do?

We have all seen dogs left outside all day to fend for themselves or chained to a dog house, presumably while their owners are at work. Less obvious are those dogs who are left at home all day trapped in a crate. Dogs are social animals and when they are left alone for hours everyday, behavior problems may occur. But even dogs who spend a lot of time with their owners can end up with behavioral issues when the owner goes out. Unfortunately, this type of destruction, barking, obsessive-compulsive behaviours and anxiety are all potential results of social deprivation and boredom. Even though all dogs were bred to do some type of work, too many of them are forced to spend their days doing nothing at all. As with your little kids, if you don’t give a dog something to do, she will find something to do. And it would undoubtedly be something you won’t like. As with your children, someone needs to be in charge. Dogs feel more secure when they have a set routine and a clear leader. That leader should be you. The answer is to provide a stable environment with clear ground rules. If you aren’t the one in charge now, it’s time to start exercising some leadership. For example, when you leave the house, never make it a big issue. Just go. It’s an ordinary event for you and it should be for the dog. If your comings and goings have turned into a massive emotional situation, you need to tone it down. Owning a dog when you have a job is not impossible. But when you’re home, be sure to give your dog lots of love and exercise. After all, a tired dog is a good dog.

(Dr. Aradhana Pandey is the owner of Doggy World, an exclusive center catering to all dog needs. Apart from clinical practice, she specializes in dog grooming, dog behavior and nutrition.)

 

– by Dr. Aradhana Pandey


Tips for responsible pet parenting

  • It starts with bringing home a pup with the desired breed characters.
  • Ensure that the pup is brought from a recognized breeder or vet to avoid genetic defects and health problems.
  • Before entry of pet in the house, you need to make provision for his place, bed, feed and water, etc.
  • Fix the timings and place feeding.
  • Expose the pup to the food that is healthy for him and do not feed scraps.
  • Pups normally relieve after meals if diet schedule is followed. Take the pup to the place where you want him to relieve. Repeat this for a few days, following which the pup gets accustomed to this routine.
  • Do not beat or scold a dog unnecessarily. Speaking in a high pitch commanding tone is enough, if he has done some mistake.
  • Children and other members of the house should get familiar to the pet as a part of socializing.
  • Playing with the pet is good but he should not be over bothered so as to irritate or tire him.
  • Develop a bond with the pet by patting, massage, grooming and playing.
  • Train the pet for all commands you would like him to follow, and use these commands regularly.
  • Train the pet to remain at home even in your absence. This can be done by leaving him for short duration to begin with that is gradually extended.
  • Encourage good habits and discourage bad habits from the very first day.
  • Avoid accidents by taking your pet out with a leash.
  • Avoid chances of poisoning by keeping poisonous substances out of his reach.

Are you a responsible dog owner?

Dog ownership demands a lot of love, commitment and time. There are certain things which should be kept in mind, before bringing home a pup. Adite Chatterjee outlines ten tips to a responsible dog ownership.

Cocoa’s story is sad, but unfortunately, a common tale too. Very often, parents give into their children’s tantrums and bring home a pup. Little or no thought is given to the fact that every pup has his needs; he is a living being who needs to be fed, house-trained, exercised and taught things so that he becomes a member of the family. After the first few weeks of excitement, taking out the pup for walks becomes a chore. The child, at whose insistence, the pup is brought in the first place quickly loses interest, the parents are too busy with their own lives, and the pup is often left at the mercy of helpers.

A bored dog – or one who is not exercised enough – can also be a destructive dog. Dogs are intelligent and often try to grab your attention by doing the most maddening things. When my dog was just about 10 months old, he took to this extremely annoying habit of jumping on to the bed, lifting his leg and peeing, even as he looked straight into my eyes. At first, I was truly appalled and upset by his behaviour but soon I realised that my dog was communicating to me in a manner that needed no words! Action, attention and involvement were what he wanted. At 10 months of age, he had boundless energy and being cooped up in a flat, while I was busy attending to my home-office was not his idea of fun!

With dog ownership comes a responsibility. Dogs are meant to share our homes and be our companions and for that we need to become more responsible dog owners. Here are ten easy ways of being a responsible dog owner:

Don’t get a dog for the wrong reasons?: