A-Z of pooch love and care

Agility A mentally-stimulating dog sport in which a dog handler directs a dog through an obstacle course. A perfect showcase of man-canine co-ordination through voice, body and movement!

Your pooch’s bed is his personal space – get him a warm, cosy bed according to his size with washable covers. Keep his bed clean and put it in sunlight from time to time.

Pups love to chew to explore new tastes. They sometimes chew to relieve pain and discomfort due to teething. At times, they just chew out of boredom, anxiety or poor nutrition. Ensure a well-balanced diet and invest in good chew toys.

Deworm your pooch from time to time – puppies and adult dogs. Puppies should be dewormed at the age of three weeks. Consult your vet and get a deworming schedule designed.

Eating habits
Develop healthy eating habits in your pooch right from the start. Feed him a well-balanced nutritious diet as prescribed by your vet. Feed him dog food only; do not give him table scraps.

Food bowl
Choose a food bowl according to your pooch’s size, breed and health condition. Get metallic bowls. Plastic bowls can harbour bacteria. An elevated bowl is a good idea for large dogs and those suffering from back problems.

It’s not just to make them look good! The ideal grooming routine should include brushing, bathing, conditioning the coat, drying, nail clipping, cleaning eyes and ears, etc. The frequency of bath will depend on the breed.

Dog proof your home to avoid dangerous situations. Stack away all medicines, keep poisonous plants and electrical cords at bay. Give your pooch a nice cosy place to rest and never leave him alone outside.

Inflammations and infections
Dog ear inflammations and infections are common ear problems to watch out for.

Discourage your dog when he jumps to welcome you. Fold your arms and look away. He will get the message. Next time, when he welcomes you without jumping on you, reward him with a treat or praise.

Dry dog food or kibble is balanced and complete with all nutrients good for feeding your dog daily.

Leash walking
Whenever you take your dog out, put him on a leash to keep him/her away from wandering around, chasing things which may not be within reach. Make sure the leash is long, so he can sniff to his heart’s content.

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. Love him, pamper him, and keep boredom at bay!

Your pooch is very sensitive to noise; keep him away from loud noise.

Obesity causes various health problems. Consult your vet and get a proper diet and exercise plan for him. Keep him in shape!

Play time
Pooches love to play games like fetch, hide and seek, frisbee. It’s a great way for you to exercise and bond with your pet.

Quality time
You are the centre of the world for your pooch. Spend quality time – grooming, walks, playing or just sit with him/her.

Routine vet check-up
Prevention is always better than cure. Take your pet for routine vet check-ups to diagnose any problems beforehand.

Spay/neuter your pet unless you wish to breed from him/her. It prevents unwanted pregnancies and is good for their health and behaviour.

A well-trained pooch is a delight for all. Training should start right when the pup enters your home. Obedience training is a must for all pet pooches.

Unconditional love
When you have a pet, you are blessed with unconditional love. They are there with you no matter when and what happens. Bask in this love as it’s a stress buster and precious!

The wonders of vaccination cannot be undermined. It can protect our pooches from several life-threatening diseases like canine distemper, hepatitis, rabies, etc.

One of the ways for our pooches to express themselves is through their woofs. But you can tell the difference between a woof and incessant barking. In case your pooch barks non-stop, consult his vet to find the underlying problem.

Xtreme loyalty
Dogs are loyal beings; their loyalty has been tried and tested over centuries. It’s time we reciprocate – never ever think of abandoning your pet. Try to figure out a solution for your problem.

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.

Zest of life
Pooches are your best friends; they add value to your life… making it more meaningful and putting a zest in your life.

Varsha Verma

Story source:

Pet query

Q. Our pet Cocoa, now 3 years old, is having trouble with wax in his ears.

It’s profusely coming out from both his ears (particularly right). We have consulted many vets but nothing worked out. What should we do?
— Bhavesh Gour

Some breeds, like cocker spaniels, may have excessive cerumen production or a high density of sebaceous glands and hair follicles in their ear canals. Change in temperature, humidity, excessive cleaning or water in ear canals may also contribute to excessive wax in ears of healthy dogs. In clinical practice, this is most commonly due to poorly-controlled infections or allergies, like atopy or food allergy. There is also a rare condition called PSOM or glue ear, a form of inflammation in the middle of the ear. Without proper control and management of the underlying disease, recurrences are highly likely.

— Expert: Dr Umesh Kallahalli, veterinarian

Are you a proud pet parent? Have a cute cat story to share? Maybe your guinea pig is giving you trouble? Whatever is your creature companion, we are here to listen to you. Send your photos, queries and stories to [email protected]