Whose fault is it anyway?

Getting a dog home is only half the work done; you have to get to know them better and train them to lead a happy life. Only then will you be able to do justice to the relationship and enjoy your four-legged companion – who is the best friend one can have. Dr. Aradhana Pandey shares important tips for this beautiful relationship.

“It is most embarrassing when my dog paws and whines before guests for food…”, “My dog is very fussy about eating”, “He scratches his body like a street dog”, “What to do! he keeps scratching the walls and eats from the garbage bin”, “I have a dog that barks like hell”, “and mine doesn’t even growl at any sound”.

These are common complaints that I get to hear regularly from my clients about their four-legged members of the house. Much as I understand their predicament, I can’t help but wonder who really is responsible for the problems they are facing. Aren’t they the same parents who brought up their children without so much as a whimper? Then why can’t they understand that pups are very much like small children, who have just entered a new phase of life and who like kids, need to be guided. Believe it or not, there have even been cases where dog owners have abandoned their pups because they could not handle them. How irresponsible can they be!!! After all, they need to ask themselves in all honesty, “Whose fault is it anyways, for which they end up punishing their dogs!!!”

As a responsible dog owner, it’s imperative that they sincerely search their souls to find out what it is that’s causing problems. And believe me, where there’s a will, there’s a way…If you really want to work on your relationship with your sweet-little friend that you’ve got home, you just have to educate yourself about some things about them. After that, you will realise what a blessing it is to have brought these darlings – not just in your house, but also in your life and heart. Honestly speaking, the issues have a direct co-relation to dog behaviour, breed characteristics and management. Once you are even slightly familiar with these, you will not feel lost anymore…

Dog behaviour

A dog by nature is a routine animal. He likes to be fed on time, and it’s just a matter of fixing routines for him and seeing to it that it is followed. The freedom of setting his routine lies totally with you. So go ahead and set it completely. This would help him to know what to expect and when. He would simply look forward to his walks/food/entertainment at scheduled times .

Breed characteristics

For those who are not very familiar with dogs, it comes as a surprise that there are hundreds of dog breeds and each breed possess distinct characteristics. For better understanding, different breeds can be grouped into Sporting, Hound, Working, Terrier, Toy, Non-sporting, Herding and Miscellaneous class, on the basis of their inherited characteristics. Each breed has their own distinct personality trait. Thus, in order to choose your perfect friend, you must ensure your requirement. Once you have taken in a breed that suits your specific needs, there should be no ‘relationship’ problem.

Management

It is the key to keep your dog healthy and build a loving bond. It involves proper nutrition, grooming and training. Nutrition?:?See to it that your dog gets nutrient rich food. The nutrient requirement changes as per the age and life stage of a dog. Unlike us, they require a lot of protein in diet for good health. Apart from this, food should also contain adequate amount of carbohydrate, fats, minerals and vitamins that ensure his healthy growth. Failing to provide a balanced diet could lead to skin problems. Most prominent result of diet is seen on the coat of the dog. Lustrous coat free from skin irritation is a reflection of good nutrition. When you see dogs eating things like mud, concrete etc, it is a sign of mineral and vitamin deficiencies, which they try to fulfill by feeding on those.

Grooming : Massage, brushing and combing is essential for all dogs. However their frequency and intensity may vary according to the type of hair coat your dog has been blessed with. Dogs should not be bathed very frequently, as it may destroy the natural oil that is secreted from the skin glands. This oil is very essential to give shine to the hair and keep skin free from problems. Proper grooming will thus limit the chances of skin ailments. It also leads you to spend quality time with your lil’ darling and most important, it helps you to keep a check on your pet’s well-being.

Training?:?Initial obedience training is very important since he is going to be a part of your family and life. The pup needs to be trained and guided with positive reinforcements towards right behaviour. The basic rule thus is to make the pup aware how he has to behave from day one. Dogs love to please and would do anything to make you happy. The bottom line therefore is that it is eventually you, and not the dog, who is responsible for his behaviour. The worst thing for a dog is to be separated from his owner. Lastly I would like to say that “It is easy to adopt a pup but in bringing up the pup responsibly lies the real challenge”.

(Dr. Aradhana Pandey runs Doggy World- the pet’s paradise catering to all doggy needs under one roof. Doggy World is an exclusive unit with a fully equipped dog clinic, pet shop and pet beauty parlour. A veterinarian with MBA in marketing, she believes in service to the customer at an affordable cost without compromising on quality. She can be contacted at Tel: 9811299059, 011-27942285, 011- 55817851 adhana14@yahoo.com)

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