Pet Care Tips
Pet Care tips and common myths
On this page we provide you valuable tips to make owning your pet easy and hassle free. If one takes a few easy precautions then eighty percent of the common ailments are avoidable.
Deworming : Worms not only make the animal loose weight, appetite and thriftiness they also can cause alternating loose motions and constipation. Dewormers can be oral or injectable and need to be given every three months.
Vaccinations: Are the most important. Some are life saving while others can prevent major problems. They are to be administered on a yearly basis in India because of the endemic nature of the diseases here.
Grooming: Is of vital importance as it improves blood circulation, improves coat condition and helps detect skin parasites. Grooming must be done on a daily basis for longhaired dogs and on alternate days for short-coated dogs. Use a Brush for short-coated dogs and a comb for long coated ones. It also includes bathing, which is best done every fortnight for dogs. Nail cutting must be done on a regular basis while the anal glands need to be expressed every three months.
Feeding: Must be in accordance to the season, age, breed and activity of the dog. In summers provide foods that are rich in fluids while in winters more protein is needed. Young dogs and pups as well as older geriatric animals need more protein in comparison to middle-aged animals. Active animals need twice the amount of energy in comparison to sedate ones. An adult dog needs only one major feed a day, while pups need to be fed five times per day. Breeds with pendulous abdomens can be fed two meals instead of one heavy meal.
Housing: Few realize the importance that a good doghouse plays. The flooring in the house must be firm and marble floors will lead to crooked legs. The house must be draft proof and yet have good ventilation. Keeping a dog tied all day not only is cruel but also makes the dog aggressive. A dog kennel must be one and a half times the size of the animal itself.
Exercise: Keeps the dogs mind healthy and also physically fit. In tropical areas like India it must be done in the cooler times of the day and also never after a full meal. Breeds like the Labrador and the Daschund that tend to put on weight need more exercise. Highly active animals like the Doberman and Rottweilers if enclosed in small areas without free exercise will turn vicious. Each breed has a separate requirement of its exercise.
Veterinary care: All dogs should visit the vet at least twice a year for their annual shots and worm medications. Next, geriatric patients need an annual blood and physical examination to rule out any diseases. At our clinic we firmly believe that ‘Prevention is better than cure’.
Cats: Need practically no care in comparison to dogs. It is not without reason that they say that dogs have a boss while the cat is the boss! Cats need to be groomed occasionally and in general they groom themselves and are fastidious in their cleanliness. Grooming does however help remove their coats that would otherwise be ingested to form hairballs. Their housing is little more than a warm bed and try to keep them indoor at nights if possible. In fact try and keep them indoors as long as possible as they tend to wander quite a bit and end up in catfights. If you do not intend to breed the cat neuter it to reduce aimless wandering.
As far as exercise is concerned, they need a little of it. They do however treasure their freedom. Some cats learn to walk on a leash. All cats need mental stimulation and need toys like balls or a ball of wool. A scratching post helps to keep their nails in good shape and if you fail to provide this furniture is in danger of being damaged.
The feeding of a cat differs in the sense that cats need non-vegetarian food at least twice a week, while dogs can survive on a totally vegetarian diet. Cats also need Vit C supplementation in their diet. They need annual vaccinations against Rabies and Feline Distemper.
Rabbits: The housing is the most important aspect. A drought proof enclosure with adequate space for exercise, a porous floor to allow the excreta to fall down, separate day and night enclosures are all important features. Feeding is totally herbivorous with greens, carrots, cereals etc. A log of wood must be provided for the rabbit to gnaw and taper its long incisors. Exercise is a free run within the enclosure. Water must be provided ad-libidum. Rabies shots can be given annually and dewormers every quarter.
Turtles and Tortoises: Turtles are marine while Tortoises are landforms. By law in India it is illegal to own one as they fall under the Wildlife protection act. Feeding is a mixture of herbivorous and carnivorous feeds. The container needs to be cleaned twice a week. They also hibernate for long periods.
Common Dog Myths:
Dogs fed only meat do well. False as a pure meat diet leads to imbalance in Calcium and phosphorous leading to weak bones.
· Dogs need to conceive. Again false, and bitches are best spayed before their first heat.
· Male dogs cock their legs and females squat to urinate. Mostly true but the inverse can occur that is males might squat and females raise their legs!
· Dogs that bark don’t bite and vice versa. The worst myth and never trust a dog that you do not know.
· You need to feed it every time you eat. Total rubbish! The only time you need to feed the dog is once or twice a day preferably the same time every day.
· Dogs need variety in their diet. I have seen dogs live well on a monotonous diet and misbehave when their diet is changed frequently. They then tend to become choosy and finicky eaters. This theory holds true more for small breeds.
· Eating grass is normal. Mostly yes, but could also be a sign of worms, gastritis and less fiber in the diet.
· Wounds heal well when left open. The more the dog licks its wound especially in summer wounds tend to fester. Bandage the wounds or better still use some bitter spray on them.
· Dogs eat their stool due to deficiencies. Coprophagy or stool eating is really a troublesome topic to understand. The causes range from fear of being punished to worms to deficiencies. God knows why they do it …………..but it bugs the owners no end!
· Dogs don’t have psychologists. Canine psychologists are probably the most in demand vets and probably every owner needs his services at least once in his pets life span.
Human to Dog Age calculator: This is only an approximation for readers and the rough formulae is : The first canine year is 9 years of human age and each subsequent year is 7. Some texts state that for small breeds each subsequent year is 7 years, while for giant breeds each subsequent year is 9. This means that : A Pomeranian Aged 11 is 79 human years ( 1*9 + 10 * 7)A Great Dane Aged 11 is 99 human years ( 1* 9 + 10 *9) This probably explains why giant breeds have a shorter life span compared to miniature breeds.