Winter Care For Dogs In India

Every year when the winter comes around, we all feel the need to stay bundled up and warm. No one enjoys the chilly weather, shivering and feeling uncomfortable. If you feel this way, so does your dog.

Many pet parents in India have the misconception that due to their thick fur, dogs don’t feel cold in the winter, but that isn’t true. Of course, this also depends on the weather – a slight cold like the Mumbai winters wouldn’t be as bad for your dog, but in places like North India during peak winter months, you must ensure to take a little extra care of your fur baby.

Our pets are used to the warm indoors and can get distressed if not properly taken care of during the chilly months. Here are some winter care tips for your dog that can help you ensure a safe and happy cold season for your four legged baby, no matter which part of India you live in!

Create a cozy spot

Most of us love cuddling in bed during the winters and love feeling warm and fuzzy. If your dog is allowed on the bed, then you know this is the best time to snuggle with your doggie! Ensure they have a cozy spot to rest and sleep on as the floor will be too cold for them to sit or lie on.

Use a dog bed, blankets and pillows to create multiple spaces for your baby to rest in the house. For instance, if you live in Delhi, a thick mattress or fuzzy bed is preferable for dogs as opposed to a thin sheet which is sufficient for Mumbai winters. For areas where it rains a lot, cold may not be a problem, but the moisture in the air and the constant getting wet of paws can cause fungal issues. So ensure your dog’s spot is always kept dry and you wipe your dog down after each walk.

Outdoor time and exercise

If it is very windy or cold outside, it is ideal to wait for the sun to come out, so your dog can enjoy their time walking and playing outside. While some dogs like playing in the snow or rain, others aren’t a fan, which is why you must understand your dog’s comfort level of going outside and how much they can take.

In peak winter months, some dogs may also benefit from wearing a winter coat that can help them keep snug during walks outside.

Take care of your dog’s paws and snout

During the winter, even humans get dry skin and cracked heels that require constant moisturising or it can be painful after a while. Similarly, dogs also require extra care when it comes to their paws and snout. There are many paw and snout balms available in the market that can help soothe the dryness and provide relief to your fur baby.

Some good Indian brands include –

Home Remedy – A great home remedy for dry paws and snout is Ghee or coconut oil. They are both natural, so you know it’s safe and nothing will happen if your doggie licks it!

Nutrition and hydration during winters

Just as in the summer, staying hydrated is important in the winters as well. Make sure there is always a clean bowl of water available for your dog at all times. If your dog isn’t getting a lot of time outside to walk or exercise, their diet needs to be adjusted accordingly and the calorie intake needs to be changed so your pet doesn’t put on excess weight.

Take special care when it comes to food as keeping warm requires extra energy, and thus an adequate diet is necessary. Home cooked meals are a great substitute for dry food (which is a high-carbohydrate diet) and can help give your dog a well nourished meal. In the winter time, our pooches need lesser carbs and a richer diet with more moisture to help their organs function properly.

Simple additions to home cooked meals during the winter can help keep your dog happy and healthy –

  • Warm chicken soup or vegetable soup is a great addition to meals for dogs to keep warm.
  • Adding a little Haldi or Turmeric in their meals also helps build immunity.
  • Coconut oil adds medium-chain triglycerides, which are good fats, and they have various benefits like better digestion and immunity, as well as healthy skin and coat.
  • Add some vegetables like spinach, beetroots and carrots as they provide vitamins, minerals and fibre, and are also rich in antioxidants.
  • Berries such as cranberries, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, acai, and raspberries make for great snacks and are rich in vitamin C, antioxidants, and bioflavonoids.

If you are looking to buy meals, treats and supplements, Canine India is a great brand in the country that provides species specific food. They have various treats, meals and supplements that can help keep your dog healthy.

Raised Dog Feeder by Chota Pakoda

Special care for older dogs

Senior dogs need special care when the winter comes around as it can be hard on their bones and can exacerbate present medical conditions they may have, specially arthritis. If you have an adult dog, make sure to keep them comfortable and not put too much pressure on their joints. Getting an orthopaedic bed for dogs or a raised dog feeder for eating food comfortably can greatly help make the cold and harsh season much easier for your baby.

Our dogs are our best friends and we must take care of them when the need arises. Winter care for dogs isn’t difficult but it is necessary. So, keep these tips in mind and keep on snuggling with your pet this winter!

Pawfessional Dogs At Work – Dogs have better job options than you!

For most of us, our dogs sit at our feet, laze around all day, play and cuddle with us. But did you know these smart four legged animals can do much more than just that! While we love to spend time playing and snoozing all day with our furry pets, there are many dogs out there who are trained at a certain skill and have everyday jobs, just like us humans.

It is well known that dogs are amazing as our companions and best friends, but we do sometimes forget just how extremely exceptional these animals are. They have some extraordinary canine capabilities that help us humans in many fields.

Here are just some of the incredible jobs that dogs do!

Service Dogs

Service dogs are trained to assist people with disabilities and go with them everywhere. It’s a full time job! These special dogs work with people who need mobility assistance, medical assistance (such as with seizures), guides dogs for blind and even hearing dogs for deaf people.

Service dog for the blind.
Source

Police and Military Dogs

These tough four legged soldiers and officers are a huge part of the military and police in every country. Due to their amazing sense of smell, they can detect and sniff out substances that humans can’t and thus dogs make great detectors, trackers and scouts for things like bombs and drugs as well. They are trained to assist in the line of duty, and can chase as well as catch suspects running away.

Indian Army Dogs performing yoga with their handlers.
Source

Zanjeer was a part of the Mumbai Police Dog Squad and assisted in the 1993 bombings in the city. He helped in detecting more than 3329 kg of RDX explosives, 249 hand grenades, 600 detonators, over 6000 rounds of live ammunition, and prevented 3 more bombs from blasting.

The heroic Mumbai police sog, Zanjeer.
Source

Therapy Dogs

Dogs who help with therapy usually visit schools, nursing homes, hospitals, etc. and work with sick or injured people, providing emotional support and therapy. They are said to be able to sense and smell fear, anxiety and sadness. We all know how comforting it is to have our furry babies around in times of distress, and thus trained and certified animals are helpful in a medical patient’s therapeutic journey.

Therapy dog at a children’s hospital.
Source

One of the most famous dogs in therapy is Smoky, who was the first recorded therapy dog and also a celebrate WWII war dog!

Smoky, the first recorded therapy dog.
Source

Herding dogs

Herding dogs are basically Managers who oversee other livestock! They are raised to herd livestock such as cattle and sheep and keep them in line.


A border collie herds sheep.
Source

Rescue dogs

These dogs are highly trained for searching and rescuing people in hard to find situations. These dogs possess skills like agility and exceptional smelling and hearing, and help in different fields such as avalanche rescue, tracking missing people, specialised searches, and cadaver location.

After the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centre, about 300 dog/handler search teams were sent to the site and they helped find numerous survivors.

Riley helped in rescuing survivors after the 9/11 WTC attacks.
Source

Social Media Influencers!

Just like us humans, dogs also have their celebrities! We are all crazy about some lovely furry friends that we follow on Instagram or Facebook and we’re all fans of ‘social media influencers’ like Mochi (@1570fgemma), Doug the Pug (@itsdougthepug), and Jiff (@jiffpom), among others.

Doug, a social media celebrity.
Source

A life without dogs just seems incomplete, not just because our pets are a big part of the family, but also because without the dogs who provide the above services, humans would not be be able to get things done easily.

Adopt a dog and save a life, you never know your furry baby might grow up to be a soldier or celebrity one day!

Facts About Breeding Of dogs In India

…and why you should adopt

“The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated”

Mahatma Gandhi

Bringing home a dog is a big deal – it is a commitment that requires you to take care of and look after a living being. But getting home a dog is also one of the happiest moments of your life, because you are bringing home a little being who will always love you unconditionally!

Some of the most popular dog breeds found in Indian homes are Labrador, Pug, Golden Retriever, German Shepherd, Doberman and Pomeranian, but off late foreign breeds such as Husky, Great Dane, St. Bernard, Pit Bull and such have also become common. While each and every dog in the world is extremely cute, it isn’t humane or safe for some of these breeds to be brought to India.

Popular dog breeds in India

For most dog lovers, breed is not a factor that comes into play when they think of bringing a puppy home but there are many people who believe in only getting high pedigree dogs and feel anything less than that is ‘dirty.’ This idea of owning an expensive, high pedigree, award winning dog is a craze in the country as people feel it elevates their social status.

Hard Truth #1 – Do you know how dogs are treated by breeders?

In India, there are plenty of pet parents and dog lovers but for most of them the idea of bringing home a dog also means getting a pure breed dog. Because of these ‘breed conscious’ people, there is an excess of puppy mills and bad breeding practices, as well as mistreatment of dogs. There are hundreds of unregistered breeders, using intensive and inhumane breeding practices just to make easy money by selling puppies.

Breeders do not care about the health and happiness of the dogs that are producing the puppies and these poor souls are kept in deplorable conditions. Kept in a cage all their life, female dogs are mated early, always tied to a short leash, barely fed and raped by equally mistreated male dogs repeatedly until they can produce no more. And then they are left to die somewhere alone.

Hard Truth #2 – Mistreatment of pedigree dogs

Foreign breeds like Husky and Saint Bernard are not meant for the Indian climate and bringing them into the country just because you think the breed is cute, is just cruel.

Think about what would happen if you brought an Eskimo from Antarctica and asked them to live in Delhi, especially in the summers. Do you think they will be able to adapt to the extreme heat and humidity? Similarly, think of a Husky who is supposed to stay in only cool climates, being brought to the humidity of Mumbai just because the pet parent is breed conscious and wants to show off.

Doesn’t it seem unfair?

More over, dog abandonment is also on the rise, because people are unable to take care of these pedigree pets. Their medical needs are higher, and so is their maintenance, making it an expensive ordeal to own a pure breed dog.

Do you still want to pay thousands of rupees just to get a pedigree puppy, and endorse an industry build solely on the exploitation of animals?

Top: Female boxer abandoned because she couldn’t produce anymore
Bottom left: Family abandoned St. Bernard
Bottom right: Owners left Labrador on the streets because he was sick

Why not consider adopting our Indian dogs?

Instead why not consider Indian breed dogs that can be found all around the country, from the busiest streets to the quietest villages. The most common Indian breed dog is the Pariah Dog, and there are many others like Mudhol Hound, Rampur Hound, Rajapalayam, Gaddi Kutta and Indian Mastiff.

These Indian beauties are extremely cute, resilient and accustomed to the climate and surroundings of India, and in many cases are even stronger than pedigree dogs. They adapt easily, are prone to lesser medical conditions, are super loyal and are known to be some of the best guard dogs!

Top left: Mudhol Hound; Top right: Rampur Hound
Bottom left: Rajapalayam Bottom right: Kombai

Unfortunately, people shun these dogs and everyday we hear horrible cases of cruelty against animals on the streets. Hundreds of puppies and dogs on the streets are neglected, killed, beaten or abused in some form just because people believe they are ‘stray’ dogs.

While there are hundreds of animal abuse cases all over the country every single day, a recent incident in Mumbai got a lot of media attention. On 24 July 2019, Lucky, a street dog in Worli went to take shelter in Turf View society from the heavy rains and was beaten ruthlessly with sticks by the watchmen because one of the society’s residents, Mr. Bhatia, wanted to teach the dog a lesson.

Lucky was already a malnourished dog just looking for some shelter, but was beaten so badly that he went into a coma and had severe internal injuries. Even after animal activists tried to save him and got him medical help, he unfortunately passed away

News coverage of the animal abuse case in Mumbai

The word ‘stray’ simply means someone who doesn’t have a home, so why not ADOPT and bring home a homeless puppy instead of BUYING one? They are no less than pedigree dogs. They also deserve love and do not deserve to be neglected just because they weren’t born a certain breed.

In fact, there are many Bollywood celebrities who support these street babies and have even adopted a few! Madhuri Dixit recently adopted a puppy and has named the pup Carmelo Nene. John Abraham too adopted Bailey from a local NGO. Other celebrities who adopted an Indie dog include Sonakshi Sinha, MS Dhoni, Raveena Tandon, Sidharth Malhotra, Imran Khan, Soha Ali Khan and many more!

A ray of sunshine – new laws for breeding of dogs in India

After years of campaigning and working towards a better world for animals by animal welfare activists and NGOs, the Ministry of Environment and Forest has put draft rules in place to regulate dog breeders in India and to stop animal cruelty. The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Rules, 2017 were notified into law in May 2017.

  • Registration mandatory for dog breeders –

Every dog breeders must be over 18 years old and has to register with the State Animal Welfare Board of their state. They must meet requirements related to the animal’s health, housing and conditions for sale. The breeder should know the required facts and information about reproduction, nutrition, wellness, and care of dogs and puppies.

Breeders must submit any information regarding the breeding practices, veterinary health checks and records asked of them, and inspection of the breeding premises is mandatory. The license issued to the breeder is valid for a year and must be renewed on time. The board can refuse the issuing of license if the breeder doesn’t comply with the rules, or is previously convicted for animal abuse or mistreatment.

If a breeder is found in violation of the rules or is breeding without a licence, court proceedings can be started against the breeder.

  • Ban on import of pedigree dogs –

Indian breeders cannot import pedigree dogs from outside the country, and it is only allowed for defense and police forces. This ban will prevent import of breeds unsuitable for Indian climate, and also help reduce suffering of animals. The excess import of puppies also leads to pet abandonment and a rise in street dogs.

  • Proper health conditions for dogs –

Only healthy, mature female dogs over the age of 18 months can be mated and there should be a certified health check done by a vet 10 days before breeding. The dog cannot be forced to breed in 2 consecutive breeding seasons and must be mated only once a year, and no more than 5 times during her entire life. They cannot be mated after they are 8 years old as well.

Male dogs too need to to be over 18 months, healthy, and have to be certified by a vet 10 days before mating.

  • Change in breeding practices –

Only Out Breeding and Line Breeding is allowed in India, and Inbreeding or Incest Breeding is completely banned. Breeders need to keep a complete record of every puppy produced by the dog, along with their vaccination records.

There is now also a strict ban on tail docking, ear cropping or any other kind of mutation of the puppy, which is commonly seen for breeds such as Boxer and Doberman.

ADOPT DON’T SHOP

The need for only buying pedigree dogs and ignoring our Desi dogs can only lead to the improper treatment of animals, forced breeding and wrong pet ownership practices. We as a society need to change and stop the breeding of animals. Breeders are only here to earn money and the practice of buying a dog needs to be curbed because why bring more puppies into the world when there are so many already waiting to find a home? Adopting these sweet babies from the streets will not only give them a loving home, but also reduce the animals on the roads.

Dogs do not differentiate between our race, colour or status in the society, they love us unconditionally regardless. Why can’t we do the same for them?

Why You Should Never Declaw Your Cat

Cats look innocent and cute but their claws are as sharp as a sword’s edge! They use their claws instinctively in defence and also use them for balance and walking around. Scratch marks are a way of marking their territory and cats claws also help them in stretching.

Scratching is a part of their behaviour and cats scratching furniture and rugs is a common sight in pet houses. This can leave many pet parents frustrated at the state of their belongings and many of them unfortunately take the drastic step of declawing their cat, which may seem like a simple procedure but it isn’t.

Moxie, no!

What is declawing?

Declawing may seem like it’s just clipping the nail, but in fact it involves the cutting of the bone at the tip of the cat’s toe. It’s a crippling and barbaric practice that changes the cat forever and can even lead to long term health problems.

Scratching is a healthy and necessary behaviour for cats and helps them relieve stress and feel comfortable in their surroundings. By declawing your cat, you will eventually create more problems than just damaged furniture!

Painful

Imagine if someone cut off the tip of your toes? Wouldn’t it be painful to walk? Declawing is a surgical amputation of 10 toes, and that’s only if you declaw the front paws. Imagine the pain. This intrusive surgery takes a long time to recover from and can also lead to many complications for the cat.

Limits mobility and exercise

After declawing, cats need to learn how to walk again because they are digitigrade, which means they essentially walk on their toes. Declawing will alter their walking, and in the long run cause health problems such as arthritis in the hips and leg joints. The ability to climb on trees or jump from high places will also be reduced.

Behavioural problems

Cats may start to exhibit new behavioural problems after declawing that may be worse than scratching furniture. Due to the removal of claws, they cannot bury their waste in the litter box as it will be painful and can burn. This leads them to relieve themselves in other places as they may start associating the pain with the litter box.

They may also get aggressive since their mode of defence is no more and that makes them insecure. Some cats may even resort to biting.

What can you do instead?

Declawing is inhuman and is even rightfully banned in some counties. There are other, easier options apart from declawing your cat for solving the scratching problem in your home.

Clip their nails – clipping your cat’s nails on a routine basis can help reduce the sharpness and keep them maintained.

Scratching post – buy them scratching appropriate accessories such as a scratching post so that they spare your rugs and furniture. Teach them to use the scratcher by sprinkling catnip or using your cat’s favourite treats to entice them!

Be stern – Train your cat to not jump on or scratch furniture by being disciplined from the beginning. It is important to train them to understand which is a scratch acceptable surface, and which isn’t.

Pets are as delicate as a baby and one must embrace the wildness in them. Rather than being frustrated with them, learn to understand them with patience – all they do is what is natural to them! They are harmless if you treat them right and make your house more habitable to them. Stop Declawing and spread the news to your friends and family. It is an act of violence.

5 Things To Know Before Getting A Cat Home

Many people crave the idea of having a furry best friend but are seldom able to get one due to work commitments and housing issues. When it comes to dogs, pet parents need to consider a lot more points, than they do for cats. Relatively lower in maintenance, cats can be a constant source of happiness and purring around the house!

Once you’ve finally decided to bring a new kitty home, you should prepare for your cat to be comfortable and safe. Having a cat as a pet requires less attention, grooming and exercise, but there are certain essentials you should be ready with.

Veterinary visits

The first thing to do when you bring a cat home, is to book an appointment with the vet. This is necessary as the kitten needs to be dewormed and vaccinated at an appropriate age. An early check up can also help you determine the overall health of the cat and eliminate any diseases or medical problems. The vet may even prescribe certain vitamins and syrups that can help the cat grow stronger.

Food, water and litter

Food and water are basic necessities for any living being and thus having a permanent spot for both at home is a good idea. Instead of just bowls, think of investing in raised feeders for cats that can provide more comfort while eating. Choose a variety of dry and wet cat food daily, and make sure to keep your kitty hydrated!

Get your kitty used to the litter box from day 1 so that they don’t dirty other areas of the house. Find the litter best suited for your cat and also make sure to find the best way to dispose off the litter. There are some flushable litter brands available, which are easier to dispose off.

A safe space

Cats like their alone time, so make sure you’ve create a safe space for them to just chill and rest. A quiet corner in your room or balcony, an unused bathroom or even an empty cupboard make quiet corners for cats. Buying a cat house or a cat tower is also a good way to let your cat feel safe and entertained. We all know how much cats love jumping in and out of enclosed spaces!

Scratching necessities

Cat’s claws need to be sharpened and so to avoid ruining your furniture, get a scratch post for your kitty. Never ever go in for a claw removal surgery as it is painful for cats and their claws are a necessity for them. Instead, you can trim their nails regularly.

Indoor or outdoor?

Many pet parents struggle with the decision of whether their cat should be an outdoor one or indoor one. Depending on the area you live in, make sure it is safe for your cat to wander out alone. If there are many stray dogs and hostile cats near your house, or you live too close to a main road, it may be wiser to keep your cat indoors so as to avoid accidents.

If you decide to keep an indoor cat, secure all open areas in your home, such as the windows and balconies. Put a grill or net so that the cat doesn’t fall out or accidentally jump off after a bird. Always keep a collar on your cat so people know it is a domestic cat incase it gets out of the house.

Getting a new kitty home can take a little adjusting to, but it will definitely be worthwhile! All the unconditional love and affection that you’ll receive will more than make up for the little time your new cat will take to adjust to their new surroundings. So stay patient and make sure you’re doing everything you can make your baby comfortable.

CHOTA PAKODA- Indian Pet Furniture store

What happens when two engineers implement their skills to build a world padded with love and soft fur for your pets? Chota Pakoda is the love child of such two individuals with active right brain hemispheres.

cp_logo_circle_v4

Chota Pakoda is a start up that aims to fulfill the wishes of loving pet owners to provide comforting niches for their pets to rest, to sulk and …of course, to click unbelievably cute pictures. The USP of Chota Pakoda is that they make hand-crafted products with raw materials sourced from all over the world. They make products that are sensible to your pet’s needs. For instance, cats are tree climbing mammals who prefer to sit at heights, whereas dogs like to have a safe, quiet and secure place to sleep, rest and hang their tongues out. Chota Pakoda not only understands these nuances, but swirls around with them in ways that result in cute, colourful and comfortable homes for your furballs. They make homes of all sizes for your “chota” and “bada” pakodas.

Inception of Chota Pakoda

Gaurav Singh, an aspiring aerospace engineer turned mechanical engineer, pursued his MS in Thermal Science from the University of Arizona, USA. He later went on to work as a material R&D employee for a defense company and returned to India in search for a right path for his career.

Shruti Gotarkar also pursued an engineering degree but always had the heart to begin her own venture, and so she pursued her MBA from IIM Kozhikode with specialization in marketing.

This project began when Shruti and Gaurav sat down with a hot mug of coffee, pizza and their pet’s pictures on their phones. When they met, they fell in love with each other’s ideas and then with each other. It was just as organic as falling- effortless. They realized self-fulfillment comes only when one decides to walk with their hearts even if that means walking against the tide. The seed for creating a space for compassion and learning was planted. They walked on together to teach children, to upcycle discarded material and many more ways. While all of this was going on, they decided to build on the idea that got them together- love for their pets. And Chota Pakoda was born. 

Social Media presence

Chota Pakoda  has their own website:  www.chotapakoda.com 

Instagram handle:  @chotapakoda

Facebook  link

If you’re reading this article and you don’t own a pet, I URGE you to go ahead and adopt one. Why, you ask? Because despite the humongous advancements in technology and machinery today, our lives are meaningless without animals in them. Even the Mahadev needed his bull, Nandi, to take him places, the great Maharana Pratap’s horse saved his life more than once.

Even if the livelihood of people living in the concrete jungle does not directly depend on animals/ nature, they find balance in their lives by adopting pets. How? I can give you numerous reasons, but right now we will settle for discussing the two major ones.

  • Pets improve mental fitness by decreasing stress, anxiety, depression. Pets do not judge you and love you for who you are, therefore, inspiring us to do the same with others. This way animals are therapeutic.
  • Pets make you adventuresome and therefore promote socialization. The extra exercise will lower your blood pressure levels and control your cholesterol. Thus, animal care improves physical health.

Now that pets give us so much by simply existing, the least we can do is take care of them and provide them with a personal space to live in. Even though domesticated, animals are still animals . Many a times in an animal’s life, they undergo mood swings which they don’t have a control over and in times like these, they prefer to be in places that are suited to their comfort. And that is precisely the need Chota Pakoda caters to!

IMG-20180324-WA0001