Here are a few common problems faced by pets and some practical remedies.

Dogs sometimes succeed in wriggling out of their collars by walking backwards and slipping their heads out. If your pet does this on walks, consider using a harness that wraps gently around the chest, along with the leash and collar..

Cats need to sharpen their claws regularly and derive great joy out of the process. But if you’d like to keep chair legs off limits, offer them a corrugated coir mat. Even if you can’t access or afford a store-bought scratching post, your cat will be delighted with an unused jute or rexene folder. Territorial pets on streets might sometimes display aggression towards your dog, or vice versa. If you cannot find a different route, carry a bottle of cool water with you during walks and use it to dispel fights if they erupt. Never use sticks that might hurt either pet. Make sure your dog’s vaccinations are up to date, so he is protected in the rare event of a bite.

Pets sometimes exhibit feelings of insecurity / jealousy in multi-pet households. If you find that your pets are being hostile to each other, explore the reason. They must always have separate food bowls and sleeping areas. If they are dogs, get another family member to help take them out for a long, daily walk (separate leashes, separate humans) to tire them out and reduce aggression. If one pet is significantly more powerful than the other, do not leave them together unsupervised.

Dogs must respond to their owner’s request to ‘sit’, ‘stay’ and ‘come’. Log on to aspcabehavior.org and train your dog yourself using positive reinforcement. This strengthens the bond between you and your companion animal and uses a method that does not cause fear or resentment.

SRIYA NARAYANAN  

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