1. My neighbour always keeps his dog tied, what corrective action can be taken?
The neighbour can be told that tying an animal all through the day is in violation of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. One of the sections of the act states that confining an animal is punishable under law. One should talk to the neighbour about the disadvantages of tying the animal like:
• Biting and aggressive behaviour.
• Wild behaviour on the leash.
• Instant over-the-top excitement when the dog sees something moving, from inside the house.
• Obsessive attention to things going on outdoors.
• Excessive barking.
• Hyperactive behaviour, especially when restrained.
2. Can I take the street puppies near my home and keep them in a shelter?
Animal shelters are a place to treat animals that are sick, diseased, injured or needy. Animal shelters will never be able to provide the puppies with freedom that streets give them. They won’t be happy. They have been scavengers since the very beginning and restricting their freedom won’t be a great idea. A street is the rightful place of a street dog, and displacing them would not do any good. One may try and get them adopted or raise them as community pets.
3. My dog is missing, how do I look for him/her?
To find one’s pet missing is a cause of great distress. Following steps can belooked into while finding one’s pet:
• Get flyers printed with your dog’s photo on it and a cash reward for the one who finds it.
• Look in for him at nearby places where he used get small treats at. For example: a friend’s home.
• Think of places your dog can be at. Like, nearby parks, markets, etc.
• People who find such animals may take them to vets, animal shelters or to animal protection organisations. Contact all of them and check with them. Also leave your contact details with them in case, they find your dog in future.
4. How do I become friendly with a street dog?
Dogs are kind and friendly animals. You need to be calm and gentle with the dog. Sit and approach them. Wait for them to come near you. Feed them. Patthem gently, but not on their heads because when you try patting them over their heads, they can’t see where you hand is going and they become alert. This way, one should be able to get friendly with a street dog. Patience is often the key to befriending them.
5. How can one avoid dog bites?
Dogs bite can be avoided by not ill-treating the dogs. Dogs usually attack when they are provoked. If one is scared of dogs, one shouldn’t panic or run away. This will make the dog chase you. Safe distance should be maintained and one should be calm and kind near dogs to avoid any hassle.
6. How can one know if a dog has rabies or not?
Rabies can go on being undetected for several days and months. During this period, animal appears to be healthy and shows no such signs of infection. There are no symptoms for a few days. But, within 1 to 3 months of the infection, the virus migrates to the nerves near the site of infection and spreads to the central nervous system. In another 12 to 180 days, the infection spreads to the peripheral nervous system too. After this, the dog usually dies within the next 4-5 days.
The animal shows the following symptoms during the various stages:
The early symptoms of rabies tend to be subtle, last 2 to 3 days, and include the following:
• Change in tone of the dog’s bark
• Chewing at the bite site
• Loss of appetite
• Subtle changes in behaviour
They may show the following signs:
• Craving to eat anything, including inedible objects
• Constant growling and barking
• Dilated pupils
• Erratic behavior
• Episodes of aggression
• Facial expression showing anxiety and hyperalertness
• No fear of natural enemies (e.g., wild animals may not be afraid of people)
• Trembling and muscle in coordination
The third and final phase of infection usually lasts for 2 to 4 days. Initial symptoms include the following:
• Appearance of choking
• Dropping of the lower jaw (in dogs)
• Inability to swallow, leading to drooling and foaming of saliva (i.e., “foaming at the mouth”)
• Paralysis of jaw, throat, and chewing muscles
7. My pet dog has ticks/ fleas, what can I do to?
Insects like ticks not only can cause swelling at the site, but can carry diseases. One should exercise great care while removing a tick. Using a spray on the ticks directly and letting the tick die before removal. A tweezers or a tick scoop can be used to grasp the tick by the head and pull straight up. But, one should be careful while removing the tick out as it should be pulled out by its body or else it may release bacteria into the blood.
Dogs that suffer from flea allergies can be treated by using a flea comb.
8. I suspect a dog has maggots, what can I do?
Maggots are insects that eat into the flesh and organs of animal, like calf, a cat, a tiger or a dog. When flies lay eggs into any untreated open wound on the animal’s body, a maggot infestation is triggered. The larvae that come out of these eggs keep multiplying, as more flies keep sitting on the wound which is growing bigger by the minute and as a result, the maggots double every 5-6 hours, feeding happily on the flesh of the animal whose body they have made their home in.
While maggots can’t be seen moving around the animal’s body like ticks, they can be seen inside the wound. To treat the animal, pour a capful or two of medicinal turpentine oil into the wound. Then just let it act over the next 6-8 hours. As the medicine takes effect, maggots will be seen popping out of the wound on the floor or large chunks of glued insects/dissolved and held together like blobs of pus coming out of the wound. Then with the help of a sterile tweezer, remove the dead maggots from the wound.
9. How often do dogs need to be do-wormed and vaccinated?
Puppies should be wormed every two weeks until twelve weeks of age, then monthly until six months of age. After six months all dogs need to be wormed every three months for effective protection. At 6-8 weeks of age puppies should receive their first vaccination; this is temporary and needs to be followed up with another one at 12 weeks. Dogs should be vaccinated against diseases like Parvovirus, Distemper, Hepatitis, Canine, and Cough. However, consult your dog’s vet for a vaccination schedule.
10. How can I deal with a heat stroke in dogs?
Heat Stroke in dogs should be treated immediately because, they can turn fatal. At once move the dog out of the source of heat, preferably into an air-conditioned room. Take his rectal temperature every 10 minutes. Mild cases may be resolved by moving the dog into a cool environment.
If the rectal temperature is above 104°F, begin rapid cooling by spraying the dog with a garden hose or immersing him in a tub of cool water (not ice water) for up to two minutes. Alternatively, place the wet dog in front of an electric fan. Cool packs applied to the groin area may be helpful, as well as wiping his paws off with cool water. Monitor his rectal temperature and continue the cooling process until the rectal temperature falls below 103°F (39°C). At this point, stop the cooling process and dry the dog as further cooling may induce hypothermia and shock.
11. How can I improve the behaviour of my rescued dog/cat?
The key over here is to be calm and patient. One can contact a behavioural expert for some help. Also, one needs to be highly affectionate, gentle and kind with rescued animals. The animal should be dealt with love and care and in time one can notice significant changes in their behaviour.
12. Can I give a dog an all vegetarian/vegan diet?
Yes dogs can be an all vegetarian/vegan diet provided that this diet is given from a very early age. Old dogs won’t be able to adapt to it. There is a common misconception of dogs being a carnivore where as they are omnivores. They can happily survive on an all vegetarian or vegan diet provided they are fed with all the nutrition that their body requires. However, this is highly subjective, and can waver from dog to dog.
13. What food items should not be given to companion animals?
The following food items should not be given to companion animals:
• Chocolate- It causes diarrhoea in the animals.
• Coffee/tea- It contains caffeine which causes diarrhoea and is toxic to heart and nervous system.
• Bones from fish/poultry or other meat sources- It causes obstruction in the digestive system
• Citrus oil extracts- It causes vomiting.
• Milk and other dairy products- Some adult animals may develop diarrhoea if given in large quantities.
• Mushrooms- It can contain toxic and even lead to death by affecting multiple systems in the body.
• Onion- Contains sulfoxides and disulphides which can damage red blood cells and cause anaemia.
• Garlic- Contains sulfoxides and disulphides which can damage red blood cells and cause anaemia.
• Raw eggs- Contains an enzyme which leads to decrease in absorption of a B vitamin which in turn causes skin problems.
• Raw meat- It may contain bacteria which causes diarrhoea and vomiting.
• Sugary foods- It can lead to obesity and dental problems.
• Yeast dough- It can produce gas in digestive system causing pain in the stomach.
14. How do I introduce my newly adopted dog to my old pets?
Adopting a new dog should be a carefully thought over decision. One should not prefer the new dog over the old because while the new one is settling in the new place, the old one is getting accustomed to the arrival of a new one. Try and make the two dogs meet in a place other than your house because, it is an established territory of your older dog and it might exercise control over it. Take the new dog on a round all about your house while the other dog is out so that he gets familiar with the surrounding. Ensure that the first meeting of the two dogs is rather calm and playful. Try and provide your new dog with its own are of sleeping and eating until you are sure that it won’t cause conflict between the two. Take them for walks together and allow them to interact freely. Keep in mind that these interactions don’t turn aggressive. Also, reward them for their good behaviour.