Wow! It’s match for UNCONDITIONAL LOVE!
Dr Rajesh Kasrija
Dr Yerramareddy Roopa
Dogs are man’s best friend and a house becomes home only with paws. They bring loyalty and unconditional love. –by Dr Yerramareddy Roopa and Dr Rajesh Kasrija
There are so many breeds to choose from, but selection of a pup is based on choices and circumstances of pet parents. You need to keep various factors in mind – budget, breed, gender, and time you can devote, etc.
Don’t just bring home a puppy because he looks cute or you want a new toy. Once you decide to bring home a pet, he becomes your full time responsibility. They are your family members who need love, affection, and a lot of attention. Be sure you’re ready for this kind of parenthood. There are various preparations that you would need to do before getting home a puppy.
Before the bundle of happiness comes home
• Think about the financial situation of your family because maintaining a dog is not an easy job. There will be expenditure on food, medication, toys, etc.
• Think whether all the family members will be happy by bringing home a puppy. Talk to the entire family.
• Selection of pup should be based on location and type of house. Make sure to choose a breed who is compatible with your lifestyle. A small/medium breed is good for apartments and flats. And if you have ample open space (garden, backyard, etc.) then you can get an active large breed as well.
• Also think about which breed you want – purebred pet, mixed breed, Indian breeds, etc. Some breeds have specific health problems, so do keep all these points in mind before selecting a puppy.
• People have different perceptions for different dogs. Don’t just bring home a pet as a status symbol.
• Spending time with your pet is the most important factor that will affect his behaviour. First few weeks after bringing him home are the most crucial. Help him adjust to the new environment and give him time.
• If you already have pets (a cat, or a different breed of dog), do consider compatibility issues. You can consult your vet to check the compatibility of breeds so that there are no temperamental problems.
• If you travel, think how you will make arrangements for your pet. Their stay, food, and walks need to be regulated. Will you be leaving your pet at a boarding facility or at home with house help?
• Make a list of nearby pet clinics so that it will be easy in emergency conditions.
• Visit a few breeders or adoption centres before making the final choice. Talk to the breeder and clear all your doubts. A good breeder won’t hesitate if you visit their place.
• Buy a pup from an ethical breeder who is registered under kennel club and maintains pedigree and health records properly. Usually they maintain pedigree up to four generations.
Wow it’s a match! Time to bring home your bundle of happiness
• After visiting the breeder observe the surrounding areas. Look for overall cleanliness and hygiene.
• Buy a pup who is at least 8 weeks of age. Separating the puppy from the mother before 8 weeks can lead to various illnesses and behavioural problems.
• Ask as many questions as you can about the breed. An ethical breeder will have good knowledge about breeds.
• A professional breeder will register their puppies in kennel club so ask for those documents. Also him about vaccinations and deworming records that are already done.
• Ask the breeder to show you the parents of pup (if possible). Play with the puppies for some time, and choose one who shows keen interest in you, comes and plays with you, wags his tail or licks you.
• Don’t just agree on taking the pup which the breeder has shortlisted for you. See the litter, observe them, spend some time to know who is dominant, playful, dull or active, and then make the final decision.
• Check the puppy’s whole body including eyes, ears, face, walking style, front side and back side. This way you’ll get to know if any deformities are present. A good puppy has shiny and clean coat without any external parasitic infestations, no discharges, no diarrhoea, bright eyes, clean face, clean ears without crusts, gums will be pink and firm, normal walking style, claws foot pads. Check their vision and hearing ability as well.
• A responsible breeder will take back the puppy if any health issues occur at an early age. So it is recommended to talk to a vet about your pet’s complete health check up as soon as you bring him home.
• During selection consider the feelings of both heart and mind, also consider pup behavioural and physical signs.
• After choosing a pup ask the breeder about, what, how much and how many times they are feeding, urination, defecation, grooming, and exercise schedule.
(Dr Yerramareddy Roopa and Dr Rajesh Kasrija are from Department of Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Extension Education, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU), Ludhiana)
When your little ‘Paw Heart’ comes home
• Take him to a veterinary clinic for thorough health check-up and physical examination.
• If everything is normal take the little friend home and provide something to eat.
• Slowly start interacting with the puppy, and introduce him to other family members.
• After all this take the pup to resting area.
• Show him the defecation and urination area.
• Maintain proper feeding schedule. Don’t leave the food bowl for more than 20 minutes. This will teach him to eat in time and show no tantrums.
• Maintain his vaccination, deworming and health records properly.
• Talk to your vet about the right age for potty training and obedience training for your pet.