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Meet the pet parents

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People no longer see dogs as their pets — they consider them their children and treat them as one too

A report from the Indian International Pet Trade Fair (IIPTF) says that an average of 600,000 pets are adopted every year. Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, and Chennai are the cities with the highest rate of pet ownership. Some of the popular dog breeds are Beagle, German Shepherd, Labrador, Rottweiler, and Golder Retriever.

People no longer see dogs as their pets — they consider them their children and treat them as one too. From food to grooming, they want the best for their furry babies. So, if you are one of these dog parents, then you must already be familiar with the benefits that come with owning a pet. And if you are either a new dog parent or debating if you should get a pet or not, here are few things you should know.

Having a pet can improve your health

The morning and evening walks with your dog can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. And since walking is also an exercise, it also helps you stay fit and healthy.

Petting your dog or cat releases oxytocin, secreted by the posterior lobe of the pituitary gland. It can reduce anxiety, stress, and depression. Rishi, a proud dog parent of a one-year-old Golden Retriever, shares the story of how his dog helped him cope with his mental illness. “I have depression, anxiety and schizophrenia, and I have mental breakdowns very often,” he says. “There was this one time I was seconds away from a mental breakdown, and suddenly Jasper woke up, walked over to me, and began to cuddle in an attempt to calm me down."

Having a pet can also improve your self-esteem. A dogs’ love is pure and unconditional; it can help you improve your self-esteem and motivate you to become a better person.

“I want to work harder, so I can give Scarbro (her dog) the life he deserves,” says Lilly Singh, a famous YouTube artist and NBC Late Night Show host. And that is pretty much how every dog parents feel.

Before you get a dog

Remember, bringing a dog home is a big commitment. Never get a dog if you are not ready to deal with biting, nipping, getting woken up at ungodly hours and all other troubles that come with having a dog. Many people will get a pup and give it away after a few months because they couldn’t deal with having a pet. But this will affect the puppy’s mental health and could even cause depression.

Experts suggest to decide the ground rules before you bring home the pet, like if he or she is allowed on the bed or furniture, and which part of the house is off-limits. That way, it is easier to train them from day one.

Learn their body language

Unlike us, dogs cannot communicate through speech. We can train them to obey simple commands, but

learning goes both ways. So, sometimes we have to try to understand their body language too. It's your dog, so pay attention to how they behave.

Know the diseases and their symptoms

Just like us, dogs get sick too. Learning about the disease and their symptoms can give you a better understanding of their health and behaviour. Diarrhoea and vomiting are common during the stage of teething. However, if accompanied by changed behaviour, aggressiveness, bloating, and blood in stool, then they can be a red flag, and you should seek the help of a vet.

Some of the common diseases that affect dogs include heart worm, diabetes, and tumour. Though in most cases, heart worm does not show any symptoms until the final stage, your vet can prescribe a pill to prevent it.

Some of the common symptoms of tumour include lumps, swelling, sudden weight loss, and decreased or loss of appetite. And some of the common symptoms of diabetes include loss of appetite, excessive thirst, weight loss, vomiting, and increased urination. It's better to visit a vet if you notice these symptoms.

Before choosing a vet, do a little background check about the hospitals to see if they have all the equipment and experienced staff.

Vaccination

It is mandatory to vaccinate your pet with rabies vaccine within three months, followed by a second one within one year. And then boosters every three years.

Yes, you need to invest your money and time to train and take care of them. But at the end of the day, coming home to the excited greetings of these adorable fur balls makes it worth it.

swetha.krishnan@threebestrated.in

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Printable version | Dec 14, 2019 3:15:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/meet-the-pet-parents/article29813861.ece

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