|Choosing your Puppy|
|Different breeds will have certain characteristics for which they were bred. Ask breeders at dog shows and look them up in breed books for further information. You must consider several things before deciding on a dog:|
|1.||How much time can you spend with it?||
|Dogs are social creatures. They will not be happy left out in the back yard alone. If you are serious about taking care of your dog, You must be committed to spending several hours a day with it.|
|2.||What space can you provide for it?|
|If you live in a small apartment, you must take this into consideration: many dogs will not do well unless you spend a good deal of effort in meeting their needs. Don't be fooled by size into thinking a dog will be OK in a small apartment -- A terrier for example requires a lot of exercise. Conversely, many Mastiffs are content to just lie on the floor and do nothing at all while you are gone.|
|3.||How much money can you set aside for it?|
|Even if you get a dog from the shelter or otherwise inexpensively, you will have to buy food, pay for veterinary checkups, vaccinations and routine medical care over the lifetime of the dog. Not to mention replacing anything the dog may damage or destroy, or money for medical emergencies. Do you have the financial resources for taking care of a dog?|
|4.||How much exercise can you give it?|
|If your time is limited, you should look for smaller or less active dogs that can obtain enough exercise in your home or from short walks. Note that not all small dogs are less active or larger dogs more active.|
|5.||How much training can you do?|
|Regardless of the dog you get, training will make your dog much more compatible with you and what you want to do. A trained dog can go to more places with you without disruption, and can be more easily a part of your life.|
|6.||How much grooming can you do?|
|How much hair are you prepared to have in your home? You should give serious consideration to these factors: some dogs shed little and require no grooming (clipping, stripping, etc); others shed little but require more grooming; others shed but do not require grooming; and still others both shed and require grooming. Do note that just about all dogs will require some nail clipping regardless of conditions. If you get a dog that requires regular grooming, are you prepared to pay for its grooming or learn to do it yourself and to do either regularly?|
|7.||Which sex do you want, male or female?|
|There are pros and cons to either sex, all of which are generalities and may or may not apply to a specific dog. By all means, if you have a preference, get the sex you want. If you are not sure, it really doesn't matter.|
|8.||What characteristics do you want in a dog?|
|Different breeds have been bred with specific purposes in mind. Dogs bred for scent, for racing, for retrieving, etc, will exhibit these traits. Consider which characteristics you would like and which will annoy you. Reading up on dogs in breed books (some are listed below) and talking to breeders will give you some idea of these kinds of characteristics. This also may be a reason to choose a purebred: characteristics in purebreds appear more reliably because of their consistent breeding. Do recognize, however, that dogs show individual personalities, and variety exists within each breed. Breeds are only a general indicator of what to expect.|
|9.||Some questions to ask yourself|
|What sort of exercise do I want to do with the dog? Walking? Jogging?
Do I want a dog that is bouncy and ready to go, or more relaxed?
Am I prepared for a dog with some protective tendencies?
How about a dog with possible dog-aggression (because of its background or breed)?
Do I want an indiscriminately friendly dog or one that is more reserved?
Will I want a dog that readily accepts other animals (e.g., cats, rabbits, etc.)?
Am I interested in: obedience, agility, hunting, herding, coursing, showing, etc. with this dog?
|10.||Mixed Breed or Pedigree?|
|While you can enjoy showing a dog with a good pedigree, in the show circuit, mixed breeds make equally lovable companions and are in fact said to have more resistance to infections and they are freely available for adoption. But if you have decided on a breed, take the advice of people knowledgeable about the breed, choose a breeder whom you think is responsible and for heaven's sake don't buy the puppy just because it is available nearby or it is cheap!|
|Whatever the dog or puppy you choose to buy, please try not to buy them from "Puppy-Mills". In India, the sudden spurt in demand for puppies has led to a major problem - PUPPY THEFT. So please try to get your puppy either from good homes, reliable owners and breeders, or adoption centres.|
Taking care of your Puppy
In general, effective immunity is established 2-3 weeks after vaccination. During this period the dogs should be protected from undue changes in the weather, over-strenuous exercise and kept away from other dogs and cats to ensure safety against natural infection. In order to assure continued high level of immunity against all above mentioned diseases annual re-vaccinations are recommended. It is not possible to guarantee the response of an individual to a vaccine. It is also recognized that some animals cannot be successfully immunized and a very small percentage of dogs and cats may even fail to respond to a particular vaccine. It should be remembered that no vaccine produce 100 % immunity.
Important: Sick animals, animals in poor stage of health and those with severe acto and endo-parasite infestations should not be vaccinated.
|Common Problems Faced By Dog Owners In India|
|Tick Infestation: In India, the most commonly faced problem is external parasitic "infestation by ticks". This leads to other medical problems and diseases transmitted by the tick itself. More than that, it becomes a problem to the entire household because the ticks reproduce very fast. There are many chemical preparations available in the market which can be applied externally and injectable formulations to combat external parasites. Please ask your vet for advice and follow these basic steps:|
|* For Mild Infestations:|
|Apply the recommended medicines externally after a thorough bath.( be sure to tie the mouth to avoid the dog from licking the medicine). Allow the Dogs coat to dry completely. Search and remove the ticks by hand-picking and put them into a bottle of kerosene. Destroy them later by burning, because ticks can exist without water and food for even up to a six month period.|
|*For Heavy Infestations:|
|When the infestations is too heavy to be controlled in the above manner, take the advice of your vet and use injectible drugs that will control parasitic infestations.If you can afford it, buy a Anti-Tick collar and change it according to the manufacturers recommendation.Usually, a regular check weekly, and bathing once a month ( or less frequently according to weather conditions) will ensure that you will not face such problems. Frequent bathing will remove the natural oil and sheen of the coat.|
|* The housing quarters of the dog and all the places where the dog sleeps or uses should be sprayed with pesticides as advised by the Vet. This has to be done simultaneously while treating the dog.|
|Worm Infestation: Hook worm and round worm infestation is the most common problem faced by Dog owners. Sometimes, even with the utmost care in Cooking the dogs become infested with the ova, and the adult worms that develop cause many problems. The dog loses weight or develops a pot-belly. This health loss can be prevented by simple means, such as regularly de-worming the dog. Take your Vet's advice and de-worm you dog once in two to three months. Hook worm infestation particularly can cause a loss of blood. It is not unusual in an untreated case to see a huge ball of worms inside the stomach if the dog is operated on.|
|Mange & Other Skin Infections; Demodectic Mange and Sarcoptic Mange infections are quite common in India. The Demdectic Mange is found in small numbers in a normal health dog itself, but cause a problem when the dog becomes sick or if there is a disorder in the immune system. They result in bald inflammed patches of scaly skin, please take your vet's advice in treating this condition. Taing care of your dog, regular grooming and keeping the dog clean usually avoids the problem.|
|1. Canine Distemper:|
|Also known as Hard Pad Disease, this is a highly contagious, systemic, viral disease of dogs and is the leading cause of infectious disease deaths in dogs worldwide. It is most common in unvaccinated puppies prior to 3-8 months of age, because these puppies have lost the protection of Maternal antibodies.|
|Etiology & Symptoms: Canine Distemper is caused by Paramyxovirus, closely related to Measles virus. It has a special affinity for attacking epithelial cells|
|1st Stage: Begins with fever, loss of appetite, listlessness and a watery discharge from eyes along with diarrhoea. Dog continues to run a fever, gets better for a day or two and then seems to get worse.
2nd Stage: 2-3 weeks after the onset of the diseases some dogs develop signs of brain involvement - attacks of slobbering, head shaking and chewing movements followed by epileptic seizures.
Hard Pad: This is a form of distemper in which the virus attacks the skin of feet and nose, causing a thick horny layer to form on the nose, and callus like pads to form on the feet.
Treatment & Prevention
This is directed at limiting secondary bacterial infection. Antibiotics, Electrolyte solutions, dietary supplements and anti-convulsants are used. Prevention is the best approach by using Modified Live Vaccines from 6-8 weeks of age.
|2. Canine Hepatitis:
This is caused by Canine Adenovirus Type I and is a highly contagious viral disease transmitted only to dogs. Ingestion of saliva, urine or faeces of infected dogs is the main route by which the infection is spread. Recovered dogs shed the virus in their urine for over 6 months.
Clinical Symptoms: Vary from slight fever to death. The first sign is fever (biphasic) followed by anorexia, thirst, conjunctivitis and serous discharge from the eyes and nose.
Treatment & Prevention:
Extensive fluid therapy, broad spectrum antibiotics and symptomatic treatment is given. But the disease is best prevented by modified live vaccines.
This is one of the most dreaded diseases in dogs, as the onset is rapid, and the morbidity and mortality are very high. It is an enteric (intestinal) disease, caused by the Canine Parvovirus, which mostly affects puppies because it has a special affinity for rapidly dividing cells. But dogs of all ages can be affected, but puppies less than five months are most prone. There are 2 forms of the disease.
Enteric form: Severe depression, loss of appetite, vomiting, tucked up appearance, high fever followed by profuse diarrhoea which is usually bloody.
Cardiac form: Muscles of the heart are affected in puppies less than 3 months of age. There could be sudden death.
Treatment & Prevention:
Treatment may be successful or not depending on the severity of the disease and the age of the dog. Fluid therapy with electrolytes is usually combined with antibiotics and symptomatic therapy. A vaccination schedule including a series of vaccinations given to young puppies with the advice of your vet can prevent this deadly disease. Annual vaccinations are required to maintain the immunity.
4. Corona Virus Entiritis:
This is a highly contagious disease worldwide. It is very similar to Parvo, but less severe. It spreads rapidly and the severity depends on the condition of the dog. The mode of infection is through the infected faeces.
Symptoms:include vomiting, diarrhoea with soft faeces that maybe yellow or mixed with blood. the disease is more severe in puppies though it may affect dogs of any age. Some veterinarians feel that Canine Corona Viral enteritis is under diagnosed because the symptoms in the dog closely resembles that of parvo and also there may be an actual concurrent infection by parvo virus. It should be suspected whenever there is rapid spread of gasdtrointestinal disease among dogs.
Treatment & Prevention:
Fluid therapy, electrlytes and antibiotics are used to treat the symptoms. Prevention is by the use of Modified Live vaccines.
This is caused by L. Coanicola and L. Icteohaemorrahgiae, it spreads by the urine of infected animals. The dogs get infected either by a break in the skin or when it drinks water or food that is contaminated by infected urine. Most cases are mild. Though it affects many organs the kidneys are most affected. A hunched gait because of pain in the kidneys, formation of ulcers in the mouth and tongue, bleeding from the mouth, passage of bloody stools and severe thirst with increased urination are the main symptoms. Sometime the liver is involved causing jaundice. This disease is relatively rare these days.
Treatment & Prevention:
Treatment is by fluid therapy and broad spectrum antibiotics. It is found that dogs which have been vaccinated still get affected sometimes.
Parainfluenza and Canine Adenovirus-2 are highly infectious diseases of the respiratory tract. They are transmitted by air, and readily cause localized infections. The disease itself is mild, but secondary bacterial infections cause a more severe manifestation. Coughing of various intensity and frequency, along with fever is the common symptom. The dogs usually recover within 3-7 days. There is no specific anti-viral treatment, but antibiotics are used to control the secondary bacterial infection.
One of the most feared diseases, rabies is an acute viral encephalomyelitis (affecting the brain), that particularly affects carnivores and insectivore bats although it can affect any mammal. Once the clinical signs appear, the disease is almost invariably fatal.
Many countries have managed to become free of rabies through successful eradication programs. Transmission is by the introduction of the virus laden saliva into the tissues. The incubation period maybe prolonged and variable.
After entering the muscle cells, the virus replicates itself, and travels via the peripheral nerves to the spinal cord, and ascends to the brain. From here it once again travels through the peripheral nerves to the Salivary Glands. Rabid animals of all species exhibit typical signs of CNS disturbance. The most reliable signs are unexplained behavioral changes and paralysis. Clinical disease has 3 forms.
Prodromal Stage: Lasts for 1-3 days. Typical signs are vague CNS symptoms progressing rapidly.
Furious form: This is classical Mad Dog Syndrome. The animal becomes irrational and with the slightest provocation, viciously and aggressively uses its teeth, claws (and horns or hooves in the case of other animals). The posture gives an appearance of alertness and anxiety with dilated pupils. Such dogs when allowed to roam, frequently attack people, or any moving object. They chew the wire and frames of their cages. Muscular in-coordination and seizures develop. Death is the result of progressive paralysis.
Paralytic form: This presents with paralysis of the throat and muscles of the jaw, with profuse salivation and inability to swallow. The lower jaw drops down. The paralysis progresses to all parts of the body and coma and death follow in a few hours.
Features of the various Anti-Rabies vaccines used currently.
(a) Modified Live Vaccines (MLV)
(b) Killed Vaccines
(c) Subunit vaccines
Modified Live Vaccines:
Micro organisms used in the vaccine are altered in such a way that they are no longer virulent to the majority of host species. But they still retain their antigenic properties to stimulate a protective immune response.
Strong systemic immunity and local immune response are produced by local administration of certain MLV vaccines.
MLV must replicate after inoculation to produce enough antigen to induce interferon in the next few days after immunization, providing early protection against some virulent viral infections.
Certain MLV can induce immune-suppression, may be shed into the environment and may revert to virulence or cause vaccine induced disease.
|Safer than MLV
To induce a protective immuno response, killed vaccines require a large antigenic dose, multiple immunizations and use of an adjuvant.
More costly than MLV
Local and systemic vaccine reactions may occur
Provide a strong immune response and a long duration of immunity.
Killed vaccines work by using more antigen (since killed products cannot grow in the body of the recipient) and contain an adjuvant which mimics a live replicating vaccine by releasing the antigen slowly over a period of time and by stimulating WBC's to produce a better immune response.
World Innovator in Canine and Feline Health Nutrition
|A Guide to Health Nutrition|
|Extracts from The Book of Nutrients by Prof. Dominique Grandjean, Royal Canin, 2006|
|Nutrition and Health|
|1 Veterinary nutrition is a science that aims to identify, determine the role and most effective dose of nutrients essential to the health and well-being of animals. It is a field where we are constantly acquiring fresh knowledge.
Every year a whole new batch of pet foods and nutritional formulas appears on the market, containing, besides essential health-sustaining nutrients, natural elements to prevent a number of risks of diseases and protect the body.
In the last 30 years, the food prepared by the major pet food manufacturers has had a positive effect on the living conditions of our cats and dogs. It is estimated that the life expectancy of dogs, for in-stance, has increased by 3 years in the last 15 years. From mere "survival", giving the minimum required for the animal to stay alive, the concept of "diet" was developed, making for more beautiful and active pets. We have now moved on to the concept of "nutrition" thanks to an ever more thorough knowledge of how the body functions and to the study of the benefits that our natural environment can contribute to health (plant extracts, certain minerals, different kinds of proteins, etc.).
Nowadays, animal rations can be formulated according to specific needs, well-identified deficiencies to be prevented or other specificities discovered by ongoing research.
Scientists and the major pet food manufacturers now acknowledge that dogs should be fed differently depending on whether they are puppies, full-grown or old, and on whether their size is small, medium, large or giant!
|As to cats, we have now identified their different nutritional needs according to age, but also according to their lifestyle, sensitivity and even breed (Persians for in-stance).
Thanks to constant new developments in scientific knowledge, the concept of diet has developed into that of prevention-nutrition and, when necessary, health-nutrition or treatment-nutrition by preventing or curing certain diseases.
The cruel time when dogs were fed with food scraps and cats had to drink milk (cow's milk at that, not at all suitable for them!) is over.
|But our pets are threatened by another danger: human ignorance, compounded by man's natural desire to do "what's best". The apparent "closeness" we feel between our four-legged friends and ourselves leads us to believe that we know how they "function." But such an anthropomorphic view merely reveals our lack of knowledge and we forget that they are carnivores. We project our own desires and lifestyle onto them without a thought about how different from us they actually are.|
|The size and shape of a carnivore's organs are very different from ours|
|Human beings are omnivorous, have a sense of taste, enjoy variety and attach a lot of attention to their food. It follows that it is quite natural to think we are doing the right thing by giving our cat or our dog a diet close to ours.|
|Wrong! Even nearly 10,000 years of domestication have not changed these carnivores into omnivores!
The size and shape of a carnivore's organs are very different from ours.
|Jaws made for cutting and not chewing, no predigestion with saliva but a disproportionate stomach to digest "preys" swallowed in a gulp, very short bowels (the larger the animal, the shorter the bowels) ill-suited to digesting most cereals, such are the characteristics of cats and dogs.
Originally very active, these animals draw their energy from fat and have no so-called "cholesterol" problem, but they can suffer from obesity (and its dire consequences involving the heart, joints, diabetes) if we do not manage to provide them with suitable diets or rations.
With dogs, food regulates behaviour: the same food, served in the same dish, in the same place at the same time is a guarantee of psychological equilibrium. Cats, however, being solitary hunters by nature, require a self-service system, their eating pattern consisting of about 20 very small meals in the course of the day (and night).
It is easy to see that it is impossible to feed our pets adequately with food not very different from human food. It won't be cooked enough; it will be too rich in carbohydrates, and ill-suited to their condition or morphology.
The same applies to all those small pleasures we so much enjoy and want to share with them.
A piece of chocolate (a poison for dogs in high doses!), a sugar lump, a sliver of cheese (30g of Gruyere cheese represents a third of a small dog's daily energy requirements!), a piece of bread and so on, all those little titbits ruin the perfectly balanced ration calculated by an animal nutritionist. An imbalance can lead to intestinal disorders and gradually impair the animal's health.
To spoil one's cat or dog definitely has a double meaning...
So, does this document intend to thwart your desire to prove your love to your furry companion? No, of course not, quite the opposite! But our love for a pet must not entail unnatural dietary behaviour. This guide endeavours to enlighten you on the subject of nutrients and what they do for cats and dogs in terms of an actual source of health and well-being, an enlightenment that appears to be increasingly necessary.
Every day, feed your pet with food that contains nutrients adapted to its size, age and physiological stage
Knowing some tips and tricks can thus help you choose the diet best suited to your pet's real needs, tips that this document provides in the form of answers to the legitimate questions raised by many pet owners.
Having a dog or a cat at home entails responsibility for its well-being and health, which in turn implies we must learn to understand it ... really.
|2 Thanks to scientific and veterinary research, the traditional concept of nutrition, i.e. developing, sustaining and providing energy to the body, now has a preventive and, in certain conditions, a curative dimension. This new dimension marks the birth of health/nutrition. Nutrition has four objectives:
1 - Body development and maintenance :
This is what proteins, minerals, trace elements, vitamins and some lipids do.
2 - Providing energy :
This is done by lipids and carbohydrates.
3 - Food as prevention :
This is achieved with specific nutrients incorporated into food rations (antioxidants, clays, etc.). Nutrients can contribute to the prevention of renal infections or digestive disorders, and have an anti-ageing effect. 4 - Feeding also means curing: Certain nutrients added to food support the therapeutic or convalescence process, helping pets recover from a number of ailments.
The nutritional approach means combining in one single food a complex jigsaw of just the right amount of about fifty nutrients needed to satisfy these four nutritional objectives and meet the real needs, precise and specific, of each body.
The "Ingredients" approach, on the other hand, merely consists of a simple list of visible elements (namely dietary raw materials) entering into the composition of a food prepared with no consideration for a balanced nutritional content. It is therefore less accurate and less respectful of the animals' needs.
True respect for animals, rule no. 1: having domesticated cats and dogs, the duty of humans is to feed them according to their real specific needs and not according to men's anthropomorphic projections.
3 Making a balanced food is like making a complex jigsaw including about 50 pieces, each piece containing a nutrient indispensable to the animal, all the ingredients being formulated in adequate proportions and complementing one another to contribute to a small or larger piece of the Jigsaw.
|4 A dog is not a person; a cat is not a small dog!!
The basic physiological and dietary differences between humans, cats and dogs call for specific nutritional requirements. But even then, you don't feed a small dog or a giant dog, a Persian or a Singapura cat in the same way!! Let's not allow our instinctively anthropomorphic reactions, detrimental to the health of our companion animals, to get in the way. The table below explains all these differences.
|5 Cats and dogs being carnivores, their body is adapted to meat.
They swallow their food without "tasting" it. The food reaches the stomach in the form of chunks. Digestion is fast and foodstuffs not adapted to a carnivorous diet are rejected in large quantities.
All the necessary nutrients for the different organs of the dog
|All the necessary nutrients for the different organs of the cat|
All the phenomena by which the body breaks down food to absorb and use it for the purpose of development and survival in a given environment.
Nutritional balance in food
- provides the energy constantly required by the body, - provides the materials needed to permanently build and renew organs, - provides small amounts of those substances that are essential to the smooth functioning of the biological phenomena permanently occurring in the cells.
Organic compounds essentially used to provide energy, some of them maintaining a structural role while others help keep the digestive tract clean. Carbohydrates are divided into two groups according to their composition: - simple carbohydrates, also called "sugars" (glucose, fructose, saccharose, lactose, etc.) found in fruit, honey, milk, sugar and derived products, - complex carbohydrates, including starches (energy source) and dietary fibres (for overall hygiene of the digestive tract).
The main component of fat, lipids have a high energy content in a small volume (fats, oils). They also play a functional role in the body by means of the vitamins dissolved in them (vitamins A, D, E and K) and the presence of essential life-sustaining lipid molecules (indispensable or essential fatty acids).
A vitamin is an organic substance needed by the body, with no energy value of its own, and that the animal cannot synthesize in sufficient amounts to function normally. Therefore, an adequate daily supply of it must absolutely be provided by the diet.
In a food, everything organic matter or water consists of rock salt. Collectively they are also referred to as ash. According to their level of incorporation in the food, one calls them "macro-nutrients" (eg. calcium and phosphorus) or "trace elements" (iron, copper, zinc...).
Protids or proteins are the only substances in the body that contains sulphur. They provide life-essential elements: amino-acids, which are the building blocks of the cells that make up the body. They have a number of vital functions allied to growth, reproduction and immunity to name but three. Proteins are also required to manufacture the enzymes that trigger chemical reactions in the body.