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nutrition

‘Treat’ them right!

Delicious, scrumptious treats…our pooches love them and we love to see the happiness on their face when they get one of their favourite treats. But, before you toss that treat to your pooch, hold on, think again – is it right for your pooch?

Treats are an important training tool – used for rewarding your pooch for good behaviour. Treats like chew sticks help to keep your dog’s teeth healthy. But, treats should be used in moderation, let’s see why.

  • No human treats please: We love to share our life with our pooches and sometimes even our nutritionfood…but it can be harmful for her. Pet food is different and contains the essential nutrients for her health. So, do not share your food, even if she looks at you with those soulful pleading eyes.
  • Choose the treat as per your dog size and health: If you have a puppy, feed her smaller treats and if you have a senior dog, softer treats should be fine. Make sure your pooch is not allergic of any contents of the treat. For obese dogs, low-calorie treats are available.
  • For dental health: Chew treats help in promoting healthy teeth and keeping bad breath away. You can use rawhide chews but supervise her to ensure that she does not choke on swallowing it.
  • Treats and training: While training your dog, you can use treats to reward her. But, you can control the calorie intake by giving her a smaller treat. And sometimes, even a pat or ‘Good Girl’ should be enough treat for her. Also, make sure to use different kinds of treats to keep her motivated.
  • Make treat a fun: Use a Kong toy to hide your pet’s favourite treat. She can play with the Kong for hours to get hold of her treat. This would be mentally stimulating for her as well.
  • Limit the treats: Treats should not form more than 10 percent of your pet’s total calorie intake.
  • Special treat…you: There’s nothing like spending quality time with your pooch. Bond with her, play with her, groom her, or take her out for a walk or a ride …because you are her special treat.

Experts’ comments

“We should be very careful about the ingredients while giving treats to our dogs. Treats containing saturated fats are harmful to our pets. Particularly, obese pets should avoid milk-products, ice creams, etc.”
– Dr CS Arun, My Pet Clinic, Mysore

“Apart from other health factors, amount of Buten is the treats should always be checked. Such treats sometimes cause allergic to dogs. And it’s good to go only for additive-free treats.”
– Dr Mahmood Abbas, Caliph Pet Zone, Bengaluru

“Treats are useful during training for a specific reason that it helps in pulling attention of young dogs (4-5 months in age) who are in the initial stage of training regimes.”
– Rajesh Kumar, trainer, Dog Kennel, New Delhi

“One of the useful tools during training sessions is treats. The treats we use are not for feeding purpose. That’s just rewards which encourage the spirits of furry trainees.”
– Sanjay Kumawat, trainer, Kumawat Dog Trainer, Ajmer

 

Training

Show dogs: Treat them right

A typical show dog in India is generally a champion dog, imported from a good breeder overseas. But most breeders overseas are not too keen on sending dogs to India as they feel that dogs in India are kept and bred just for money. Why?

A typical show dog who is generally imported from a good breeder has already been a champion in his country of origin.

A right reason…

People seem to have got so engrossed in just winning that at times they have forgotten the main reason of shows and or breeding a particular breed, which is for the love of the dog breed. Some clubs have made conscious efforts and are doing really well in improving the dog show scene in India.

Family first…

Dogs must be part of our family and then show dogs. That’s how we can actually enjoy a particular breed and his individual traits which along with his looks drew us to him in the first place. Don’t make these dogs mere exhibits and prized processions kept in enclosures or cages. Let’s not reduce them to just an object, like an expensive car in our garage or an artifact in the house.

Little differences…

Most breeders in other countries share their homes with their dogs and one would find them in their house enjoying what a dog loves the most, roaming freely in the house with the entire family. Yes, if the breeder has too many dogs it’s not practical to have them all at the same time at home. There are some breeders who keep dogs on terraces or roof tops in their houses or flats. Let’s think—is it advisable in the hot and dry climate of India? Of course, there are breeders in our country who maintain ample places or kennels with proper facilities for their dogs.

Reality check…

Most people in other countries have home-bred dogs of great standards and occasionally get imported dogs to further improve their stock. Why can’t we do the same in India? If we truly love dogs, showing and breeding them, why do we just follow breeders overseas? How many of us have visited a typical breeder or kennel in India and found old show dogs or brood female dogs residing together with the current show and breeding dogs? Very few I would say! Should this be the life of aged/retired show dogs in India? Are we the so-called dog lovers becoming so heartless and is money the only driving factor for some breeders?

Bring a change…

We can make a difference together and save the Man’s Best Friend from this ill fate. Let’s rethink over the reason of keeping a pet dog – which was love for the animal. Let us try together to rebuild the past glory of the dog world in India. Let us take an active part and give our suggestions to Kennel Club of India (KCI). In this way, we can further bring a prosperous, friendly and brave new world for our furry buddies to a greater height where we can sweep out all unethical or puppy mill breeders.

(Dinkar Singh is a passionate animal and bird lover. The love for all types of living things runs in his family. He likes to occasionally show and breed dogs as a hobby).