A–Z of pet parenting fundamentals


Here’s a round-up of basics of pet parenting, which every responsible pet parent should know.

Acceptance by family
Whenever you wish to bring home a dog, always ensure that all the family members accept the new member with open arms.

Be patient

Your pooch is like a small child and you need to be very patient while teaching him housebreaking and basic obedience. Never yell at your pooch.
Crate-train your puppy. This will provide a safe place for him and protect him from many mishaps later in life.
Deworm at regular intervals
It is very important to deworm your pooch from time to time, not just for puppies but also for adult dogs. Puppies should be dewormed at the age of three weeks. Consult your vet and get a deworming schedule designed for your beloved pooch.
Exercise right!
Just like us, pooches need to be exercised daily. Ask your vet for the kind of exercise your dog needs, depending on his age, gender and breed.
Always feed a well-balanced nutritious diet to your dog. Consult your vet for frequency and serving size. Never feed them table scraps as they can be harmful.
Grooming is essential to make them look good and keep them healthy. The ideal grooming routine should include brushing, bathing, conditioning the coat, drying, nail clipping, cleaning eyes and ears, etc. The frequency of bath would depend on your pooch’s breed and his living conditions. So, spruce up your pooch!
House training
House train your puppy as this is an important part of dog training. Teach him to defecate in a designated place from the first day itself. Mishaps do happen, but take it positively.
Introduce a new member slowly
If you are bringing a new pet or are expecting a baby, it is best to introduce your pooch to the new one slowly. Always supervise their interactions, until they are comfortable with each other.
Joy of touch
Let your dog get used to your touching him. This will help you in grooming him and handled by your vet.
Know your dog
Each breed of dog is different. Their basic instincts are different. So, when you adopt a dog, research about his breed thoroughly. Ensure that he fits in your family. For example, if you have a small apartment, you can’t raise a large breed, who needs lot of space to move around. Ask your vet for opinion.
Learn body language
Your dog might not be able to talk to you but you can get various hints from his body language. For example, ears perked up means he is alert and interested. While, tail between the legs means he is afraid. Learn about the basic body languages of dog.
Mental stimulation
A pooch needs to be mentally stimulated to be happy. Give him toys to play, take him out for walks, let him exercise or romp in the garden. Keep boredom at bay as it can lead to many behavioural problems.
Nose work!
Dogs love to sniff…take them out in the garden and let them sniff the fresh air, flowers, plants and any new scents they like.
Like humans, pooches too can become obese, which in turn can cause various health problems. Consult your vet and get a proper diet and exercise plan for your pet. Run with him, keep him in shape!
Positive enforcement
Use positive enforcement to encourage desired behaviours. Use praise, rewards or pet your dog when he does something right.
Quality time
Always spend good quality time with your pooch – groom him, take him out for walks, play with him or just be with him.
Retrieve game
Most dogs love to play retrieve. Start by tying a toy to a whip and drag the toy. If your dog loves to chase it, he is game for it. You can later throw the toy and let your dog retrieve it.
Safety first!
Keep your dog safe. Invest in a collar with his name and address on it. Puppy-proof your home to avoid accidents. Keep him in a fenced area to avoid running out.
Toys to play
Give your pooch toys to play. You can also give him chew toys and Kong toys. Toys keep him busy and mentally stimulated.
Unconditional love
When you have a pooch in life, you are blessed with their unconditional love…they are there with you, no matter what happens. Let us also learn to love them unconditionally and take care of them through thick and thin.
Vaccination time
The wonders of vaccination cannot be undermined. It can protect our pooches from several life-threatening diseases like canine distemper, hepatitis, rabies, etc. Consult your vet for proper vaccination schedule for your pet and ensure that they get their shots in time.
Walk safe!
Whenever you take your dog out for a walk, take him on a leash. Train him to walk on the leash without pulling.
Xposure to various sounds and settings
Desensitise your dog to various sounds and surroundings as it can go a long way in keeping him safe. It is seen that dogs go crazy in loud noises like crackers bursting. Desensitising them to loud noises can help them deal with celebrations time better.
As a pet parent, you are their centre of universe. Be the pack leader. Let your pooch know what is expected of them. And as a responsible pet parent, take care of their food, exercise, health, grooming and their overall well being.
Zoonotic diseases
Zoonotic diseases are the ones that can be transmitted from dogs to humans. These diseases can be caused by internal parasites, external parasites, fungal infections, and dog bites. So, always keep your dog in healthy conditions and do not encourage plays where dog bites humans.
Happy parenting!