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INTRODUCTION

Dogs have always been known as man’s best friend, but are very often not given enough care. From our experience, dogs are companions for a lifetime and we need to understand their needs before keeping them as pets. This manual will help you to understand them better and look after them for the whole of their lifetime. PAWS THRISSUR aims at providing a better and safer world for our companions to live in.

SELECTING A BREED

It is very important that you select a breed based on the space you have in your house and the members of the family. Small breeds can be maintained in a small area- eg Daschunds, Pugs, Cocker spaniels and Pomeranians. Larger breeds like Labradors, Rottweilers, German Shepherds etc, require space to run around, which gives them exercise. Lack of proper exercise can cause all sorts of ailments, obesity and even depression in dogs. If you maintain a large breed in a small compound, make sure you take them out for a walk every day. The native Indian breeds of dogs and mongrels are the easiest to manage and can adjust to any space, with ease. Dogs are by nature pack animals and need to be part of a family. If isolated in cages or tied up they can become morose and unfriendly.

Labradors are very gentle by nature and can be kept around children as well. Rottweilers and Doberman Pinschers can get aggressive if tied up too much, caged or ill treated. Invariably the nature of a dog depends on how it was raised as a puppy. No dog is born a biter, but circumstances can cause it to become one.
There are still several abandoned dogs around us. Why don’t you give them a space in your heart and home, rather than buying a dog?

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MALE OR FEMALE

It hardly makes a difference whether your dog is a male or a female, as either way, they will be a companion for life. People tend to prefer male dogs, especially when they do not have a secure compound wall around the house. This issue can be resolved if you sterilize your bitch after she attains maturity (8 months). This will prevent reproduction. In fact females can be more protective of the family than males.

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DOG AND PUPPY CARE

Dogs have always been known as man’s best friend, but are very often not given enough care. Below find the dog and puppy care tips.

What to feed

Puppies can be fed on cow’s milk which has been diluted.
0 to2 months-milk, biscuits- 5 to 6 times a day
2 to 6 months-milk, small quantity of rice , biscuits- 4 times a day
Above 6 months-milk, bread, rice, biscuits- 2 to 3 times a day

Avoid giving uncooked meat as it can cause a dog to become aggressive. Also the quality of meat available in the market is not very good and can cause all sorts of ailments. Cooked meat can be given, but it is not a necessity. Fish can be given as a source of protein, but dogs that are given only vegetarian food, can turn out to be equally healthy. If you give egg, avoid the yolk for older dogs which are over weight. If your dog is going to be a vegetarian, then make sure to give soya meal maker and dal, as a source of protein.

Avoid giving fish bones/chicken bones as these can get stuck in the mouth.
A pod of garlic in the food is good for digestion
Haldi can be added while cooking the food

  • Avoid giving grapes. Eating up to 8 grapes can even kill a dog
  • Avoid giving chocolates
  • Avoid oily and fried foods

How many feeds

0-2 months- 5 to 6 feeds a day
2 to 6 months- 4to 5 feeds, one or two of which can be solids like bread, rice or cereal.
Above 6 months- 3 feeds ( solid )
By one year of age, 2 good meals should suffice

Water

Always keep a bowl of clean water for your dog to drink. Dogs can be given only clean drinking water

Safety

Provide a safe environment and see that the pet is under supervision. Puppies need a safe environment, just as small children do. Check for electrical wires within reach, small objects that might be swallowed, bottles that they might chew on- medicines, pesticides, disinfectant solutions etc.

Training

Puppies and dogs are quick to pick up what you want of them. Spend time to train them and be patient. Repeat several times and reward when he/she does the trick rather than punishing when he/she does not. To toilet train, take the puppy to the designated spot or area, after it wakes up from sleep, after a meal and when it sniffs around looking for a spot to do the job

Bathing

  • Give your dog a bath only once a week or once in 10days and not more than that. Indian dogs have very short hair and do not require frequent baths. Increasing the frequency of baths can make the coat dry which can cause skin problems.
  • Do not bathe them regularly as pups as they can catch a cold. When they get dirty wiping own with a damp towel is sufficient.
  • Be very careful and ensure that water does not get into the ears of the dog while bathing as this can cause ear infection.
  • Wipe the face with water, do not pour water on the face.
  • Some breeds like Labradors love bathing and playing in water, but make sure to dry them well after bath

Grooming

Brushing them is very important to facilitate blood circulation and can prevent several skin infections. Do not use talcum powder that is used for human beings, it may smell good, but is not good for their skin.
Dip a towel in warm water containing a spoonful of soda bicarbonate, squeeze and rub your doggie down. This helps to remove any foul smell.

Vaccination and de worming

Vaccinate your dogs regularly. It is safer to give a booster dose every year. Keep safe, the vaccination chart we have provided and maintain record of this.
De worming to be done every 2 to 3 months, after checking the stool sample( if needed) and getting a doctors opinion. It is advised to change the medicine and not give the same medicine repeatedly

Toys

Puppies and dogs like playing with toys and can be given a rubber ball to play with. They like ‘fetching’. Avoid giving old slippers to puppies, to play with, as they will not learn not to chew on slippers or shoes. Keep footwear away from the reach of puppies as they very often tend to destroy them, unless they have been taught otherwise.
Avoid playing with tiny balls or toys which might get swallowed as these can block the intestines.

Dos and Don'ts

Spend lots of time with your companion

Avoid beating and never use a stick. Teach them to understand verbal commands and change in tone of your voice.

Praise when they have done something good

Never tie up or cage for a long period of time, just as we would also not like to be tied up or caged.

They need space, love and freedom

  • Play with them/ take them for regular walks.
  • Avoid table feeding and giving junk food and tit bits to eat.
  • From puppy stage, get them used to swallowing tablets by putting it down their throat. This will make it easy to give them medicines when they grow big also.
  • Get used to putting your hand in the bowl while they eat, from puppy stage to prevent their growling back at you when they are adults.
  • Never tie up for long or cage your dog as their temperament can become aggressive

Heat Period

Female dogs come on heat twice a year at an interval of approximately 6 months. Hormone levels are high in the male and female at this time. They tend to go off food and the males can get very possessive about the females at this time. Their nature can vary from dog to dog. If you do not plan to cross your dog, keep the male and females separate, if they have not been sterilized.

If you plan for your dog to litter, be sure to give her ample food supplements before and after littering, after consulting a vet. Keep the puppies for at least two months before selling or re homing them
Check for good homes for your puppies and not just the amount you are paid.
Ensure that the homes you send the puppies to, will keep them for their whole life.

Climate

The climatic conditions you live in are of utmost importance. Never select a breed with long and thick hair for a hot place. Eg, St Bernard is a very wrong choice for a place with tropical climate and it cannot be kept in an air conditioned room all the time. Dogs like to sleep on a mat or mattress. Provide this if you can, or at least a cloth or soft mat which is washed at least once a week.

Nights get cold during cooler months, so try not to expose them to direct cold, if they are kept outside at night. Provide some shelter from the cold and rain (in rainy seasons).

Never abandon, tie up or cage

Remember that your dog or any animal that you keep, is a companion for life. Smaller breeds might live longer (up to 16 years). For larger breeds, 13 to 14 years is very old. One dog year is equivalent to 7 human years. A one year old dog is actually 7 years of age. You may have to relocate or shift house, consider all this when you decide to get a pet. Consider your age and the fact that you need to live longer than your dog, as it will otherwise be unable to survive, if there is no one else at home to look after it.

Many people have resorted to abandoning their pets when they are sick or old. Please understand that you may do this to avoid seeing misery, but your pet who has grown up in a home atmosphere will never be able to survive on the streets and will die of starvation or might just get hit or run over by a vehicle as they are not street smart and do not know how to defend themselves or even cross the roads. We have several facilities for treatment of animals in our veterinary hospitals. A list of veterinary hospitals/ clinics/ dispensaries has been given. Any living creature is bound to fall ill or grow old. The same happens to human beings as well. Abandonment is not what we do, is it? We look after people in our family and remember that these companions also come to you to be with you for their whole life and not to be abandoned when it is inconvenient for you to look after them. You would not want abandonment to be your fate at any point of time in your life, would you? Then why would you do it to your companions? Make use of the treatment facilities that are available in our district.

In every way, our very own Indian breeds and non descript mongrels are most adaptable to our households, be it a small or large house with a compound or without. They are as lovable, faithful and un questioning of you, as would be any other breed. Give a stray puppy a space in your heart and home!

Recent Rescues