Festive care tips

It’s festive time again… lots of fun, loads of delicacies, beautiful decorations, and it’s time to let your hair down. Somehow, pets too get into the festive spirit and dance all around… only to be disrupted by noisy crackers, too many treats, too many guests… We need to take care of our pets. Let’s find out how.

Decorations at bay:All those attractive tinsels, strings, glass ornaments, etc. that liven up your rooms are equally appealing to our pooches. They may like to ‘taste’ them as well. So, keep all the decorations at a height where your dog or cat can’t reach them.

Lighting at arm’s length:Similarly, all the lighting used to liven up the room or the beautiful Christmas tree should be installed where your pet can’t reach them. S/He may try and chew the wire and get hurt.

Candles: Of course, keep them at bay. Ensure candles and other lighted stuffs like diyas and agarbattis are not within reach.

Chocolates:A strict ‘no’: Chocolates can be poisonous. Even a small bite can be toxic. So, however hard your pet may try, do not give in to his soulful pleading eyes.

Avoid table leftovers and delicacies:Do not feed your pet any table leftovers as they may be loaded with fats and other ingredients not fit for them. Instead, give them a balanced healthy meal and doggy treats.

Maintain schedule:Try to keep your pooch happy and unstressed by maintaining his schedule – take time out for his routine walks and don’t forget his meal times.

No pets as gifts: Do not give a pet as a gift to your near and dear until they really express willingness to adopt one. In that case, let them choose a pup for themselves.

Pet-safe gifts: While buying a present for your pooch, keep in mind what’s safe for him. It can be a toy or a chew bone – something that your pooch enjoys.

Cracker-safe: Dogs get alarmed by loud noises. Keep them safe indoors when people are burning crackers outside. Request your neighbours to use noiseless crackers. Put cotton swabs in their ears. Give them a toy to play with. Calm him/her and do not shout.

Guests ‘n’ pooch:Festivals are time for guests. Too many strangers can make your pet excited. Keep him indoors in a safe place where he is away from the hustle-bustle in the house.

Love – at all times: Festive time is a busy time, but do not forget to give quality time to your pet. Pat him, take him for a walk, play with him – show him how much you love him. After all, festivals are all about spreading love and cheer.

By Varsha Verma

How to prepare yourself and your pet for a newborn in the house...

Safe breeds
Generally, breeds like Labrador, Golden Retriever, Beagle, German Shepherd, mixed breed dogs, etc. are recommended for homes with children. But there’s no thumb rule. Each dog is different. While they will inherit the basic breed characteristics, their temperament depends a lot on their upbringing and lifestyle.
The size of the dog matters for the child. So does age. A puppy and an infant together will be a lot of work on your hands. An older dog will be more understanding for you when you have infants to take care of.

Managing infants & pets
There are many families where a pet enjoys the ‘only child’ status till an infant in born. Instead of becoming apprehensive, prepare well. Gradually, get your pet used to baby stuff around. Play recordings of baby cries and noises so that your pet gets used to it. Teach him basic obedience commands. Once the baby is home, let a relative or friend take care of the child, while you spend a little time with your pooch. Bring him near the baby and then give him treats. If your pet doesn’t want to come near the baby, don’t force him/her. At times, this takes time.

When the pup is the new entrant...
Most children look forward to the homecoming of a pup. But before you bring home a pup, see if you have enough time to manage. Once you have decided, discuss it with your child. Advise him/her on handling the pup. Make your child understand that the puppy is not a toy and needs proper handling and care. Bring him a stuffed toy shaped like a dog and let him cuddle it. Teach him how to approach and play with him. Tell him never to pull his tail or put his fingers in his eyes, mouth or nose.

Always keep the child and pup under supervision. Depending on the age of the child, assign duties to take care of the pup. To foster a beautiful relationship, teach your child to love the puppy in the same way you love your child.
—Varsha Verma

www.dogsandpupsmagazine.com; www.facebook.com/Dogsandpupsmag

Did you know?
  • Dolphins have powerful eyesight and hearing which they use along with echolocation to find objects
  • The Killer Whale or Orca is actually a type of a dolphin
  • Male dolphins are called bulls, females, cows, and young dolphins are known as calves.
– parenting.firstcry.com

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]

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