Do you remember when you broke up and felt dejected? You were insecure and found it difficult to trust someone again, right? An abandoned dog feels exactly the same way. “Don’t shop, adopt” is a slogan gaining momentum. However, no one tells you adopting and caring for an abandoned and/or abused dog is very different from taking care of a puppy you get. An abused dog always has trust issues. Most of them might have health and behavioural issues too. So, you will need a lot of patience for these pets to become healthy and happy again.
Firstly, you will have to rule out any medical issues or physical discomfort of the dog. A doctor’s visit and a session at the grooming parlour is a must before you get him/her home.
After that, it’s crucial to assert the house rules to him/her to help you co-exist with your pet. Making a place for him/her will help. Having their own bed, toys and bowls gives pets a sense of belonging.
They might constantly stay in fear, hide under furniture, not interact with you and show nervousness. It’s important not to expect a lot from the dog and give them their space till they feel comfortable enough to trust you. Even if you have the urge to hug, wait till he/she starts to trust and accept the family. Let your pet get accustomed to your scent.
Feeding him/her, taking him for walks and brushing his coat will make him feel cared for, and will help you bond better with him/her. Socialising is also essential but do it under supervision, and take your time. Eventually, making your pet meet more people and other dogs will help build his personality.
It is important initially to not leave your pet alone in the house for a long time as being alone in a new environment can make him/her very anxious. Once her/she starts trusting you, your pet will become needy and follow you around constantly. He/she might become very nervous if you are not around. With time and a lot of patience, you will have to train him/her to be independent. You will need the right balance of love and discipline to fix his/her behaviour.
A healthy routine, mental and physical exercise coupled with enough time with an adopted pet is the key to his/her good health.
Just remember that adopting a dog will require a very high level of commitment and understanding. However, in the end, it’s an extremely rewarding experience.
— Swati Tandon, pet expert
Q. I have a two-year-old pug. He has became very impatient because of ticks. I've tried everything but failed. They go and then come back within two days. Please tell me how I can get rid of the ticks permanently.
The most common cause for failure is not eliminating these pests from the environment. Ticks lay their eggs (as many as 18,000 in some species) in sheltered areas or near the ground. The places where your pet spends most of his time will have the greatest numbers of deposited eggs and newly- emerged adult ticks. Thorough cleaning of the house and yard should precede any application of vet-recommended insecticides. It is always best to treat the dog and your home/yard on the same day. A product containing an IGR and an adulticide should be used as well.
— Dr Umesh Kallahalli