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General Pet care tips

BSPCA offers pet care tips and advice as looking after any animal is a huge commitment and takes time, money and patience make sure you plan ahead for your pet's health and happiness.

How to look after dogs

Pet care dog

Dogs make great friends as they are intelligent, funny at times and faithful. They take up a lot of time and energy, are relatively expensive to look after and need plenty of space. A dog is not a good choice for people who are out all day.

What do dogs need?

  • A balanced diet.
  • Companionship - to be with other dogs or people and not to be left alone for too long.
  • Regular walks and a lead for walking in traffic.
  • To be properly trained.
  • A constant supply of fresh, clean water.
  • A bed and blanket.
  • To be brushed regularly, especially if they have long hair.
  • To be taken to a vet if they are ill.
  • Injections to prevent serious diseases.
  • Worming and regular flea treatments.
  • Dogs need to have their teeth checked regularly by the vet.
  • Never to be left in a car, even with the window open.
  • To be neutered if you don't want puppies.
  • A collar and identity tag.
  • To be looked after when you are on holiday with an equally caring person. This may be expensive as the concept of kennels are new in India.

Life span

Dogs live long lives if healthy; depends on the size of the dog, but average life span is around 12-14 years.

Behaviour

Different breeds have different temperaments and abilities but all need the company and attention of their owners. A dog is a pack animal and will be upset if left on its own for long periods of time. Basic training is important. Puppies can be house trained and given informal behavioural training from about six - eight weeks. Formal outdoor training should not begin until they are fully vaccinated.

Handling

Pet care dog - Handling

Don't overfeed your dog. A dog can become overweight if it does not get enough exercise, or if it is given too much, or the wrong kind of food. A good diet is especially important for older dogs. Many dogs and cats suffer from parasites, such as mites, which cause sores in the ears - ear canker. Pets should be treated against worms - parasites living in the gut. Tablets are available from your vet and should be given regularly.

Avoid Chocolates ... its poison for a dog

Avoid Chocolates ... its poison for a dog

It contains a chemical called theobromine, which is harmless to humans but toxic to dogs and causes vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions and even death. Cocoa powder is the most toxic chocolate product for dogs, followed by dark and then milk chocolate.

Cocoa shell mulch - used around the base of indoor potted plants to provide nutrients and keep weeds at bay - is even more toxic than chocolate so it should not be used in homes or gardens where dogs could eat it.

If your pet has bad breath and difficulty eating, it may need to have its teeth scraped by a vet.

You may find that if it does not exercise regularly on hard surfaces, a dog will have overgrown claws. Ensure timely clipping.

Breeding

Thousands of unwanted puppies and kittens are born every year. Mumbai has many stray dogs and cats as we all know. Don't add to this problem. BSPCA strongly advises neutering at an early age. This is a straightforward operation that can be arranged with a vet.

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