ABC of pooch love

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A pooch brings a lot of love and joy in a household. He deserves to be happy and well cared. Here’s how to take care of your tail-wagger.

Varsha Verma with Rocky

Active life, happy life
Your pet needs to live an active life to be happy and stimulated. Give him space to run around, play games with him.
Boredom at bay
Dogs also get bored. Signs of boredom include excessive chewing, destructive behaviour, barking, digging, etc. Keep your pet mentally stimulated. Give him a Kong-stuffed treat, let him sniff around for his rewards, tire him mentally as well!
Check compatibility
Before you bring home a dog, check his compatibility with your house, climate of your region, family members, etc. All family members should be happy to keep a pet and the size and breed of the dog should depend upon the size of your house. Similarly, it is cruel to keep breeds like Bulldogs and Boxers in warm climates.
Drinking water at all times
Ensure your pooch get clean drinking water at all times. Observe his drinking pattern — see if he is drinking water excessively or is not drinking water at all. Contact your vet if you notice any changes.
Exercise daily
Dogs need their daily dose of exercise. The amount and intensity of the exercise depends upon his age, breed and health. Talk to your vet about it.
Feeding schedule
Stick to a feeding schedule for your pooch. Give him food at regular and designated intervals. It will also keep his diet in check.
Groom for health
Grooming is an essential part of dog care. Groom your dog regularly. Brush him, bathe him, clip his nails, clean his eyes and ears, etc. Just make a note not to bathe him too frequently as it will rob his coat of natural oils.
House training
House training your dog is very important. But, you need to be consistent, patient, and give him positive reinforcement. Start early, when he is just a pup. Accidents happen but never punish your pooch.
Indian breeds deserve a chance
It is fashionable to keep an imported Pedigree dog, but unless you wish to have a particular breed for some good reasons, opt for an Indian breed. They are much acclimatised to Indian weather and are as lovable and loving as other dogs.
Joy to be around
There is never a dull moment with a pet around. Since he brings so much joy in your life, it is our responsibility to take care of them in their days of ill health and old age. Never ever abandon your pet.
Keep indoors
Your pets are not conditioned for harsh weather outside. They need cool environment during hot days and warm cosy corner in winters. So, keep them indoors.
Love is unconditional
One being who will always welcome you after a long day of work or a short break from home is your dog. They love the sight of you coming back to them; they love you regardless of anything. Have you seen any love as selfless as this? Give him the love he deserves.
Massage your dog
Who doesn’t love a massage? Dogs love to be massaged. It lowers blood pressure and reduces stress for both the giver and receiver. What’s more? You don’t need any tools, your hands do the trick. Your dog will show where he loves to be massaged more. Just find the right spot!
Nutritious diet
Take care of your pooch’s diet. Feed him well-balanced nutritious food as per his age, size, season and activity level. Talk to your vet for an advice on this.
Outdoor fun
One activity which every dog would enjoy is walk. Take your pet for walks every single day. Let him sniff around and walk at his own pace. Take him to a dog-friendly park. Let him mingle with other dogs and people around.
Pamper your pooch
We all crave for love and attention, so do our pets. Pamper your pooch with love and sometimes with treats and gifts like long walks, pat on the back, belly rub, etc.
Quality time
Spend quality time with your pet. Groom him, play with him, take him out for a walk, talk to him, listen what he wants to say or just sit with him.
Reinforce positive behaviour
Whenever your pooch behaves the way you want him to, praise him and give him a pat or a treat. Reinforce positive behaviour so that he knows what makes you happy.
Socialise for well-being
If you do not socialise your dog as a puppy, he might exhibit behavioural problem later in life. So, socialise your dog— make him meet more humans and pets. Teach him good behaviour.
Training a must
A well-trained pooch is a delight for all. Training should start right when the pup enters your home. Teach him simple commands like Sit, Stay, Jump, etc. It’s never too late to teach your dog a new command.
Understand your dog
Your pooch can’t talk but they express themselves through their eyes, body language and behaviour. Try to understand what he is saying.
Vaccines for prevention
Your vet will make a vaccination card for your pooch. Follow the chart and get your per vaccinated at designated time intervals. Always remember prevention is better than cure.
Weight in check
Like humans, obesity causes various health problems in dogs too. So, keep your dog’s weight in check. If you think he is obese, consult your vet and get a proper diet and exercise plan for him.
X-ray your home
Dogs are curious by nature. They love to chew. Puppy proof your house to find any dangerous objects within their reach. It can be a loose electric wire or a piece of soap—just keep everything out of their reach.
Yummy treats
Use delicious, mouth-watering treats as a reward for your pooch; but never overdo it. They should not be a substitute for food and should be accounted for the total calorie intake.
Zzzz…it never ends!
Your dog will never tire of sleeping. He can sleep at any time of the day. Do not disturb him while sleeping.

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