Welcoming A Pet Home

Keeping a pet is a very big responsibility. It is as good as adding a family member in your home and heart. Having a pet becomes especially challenging as the poor animal can’t speak our language. One has to be completely prepared – financially, psychologically and physically.

The first step before bringing you welcome a pet home is to completely sanitize the house to avoid infection. Infants are most vulnerable and need special care during their growing-up years. If you have a back or front yard with plants, you must control pests both inside and outside the premises.

For a dog or cat, you can build a kennel or cage. In apartments, the balcony or any cool place can serve as a resting place. You should place a small bedding, quilt and feeding bowl for food and water. Please consult a veterinary doctor regarding pet hygiene, accessories required like soap, shampoo comb etc. This is very important.

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If there is a kid at your house, special efforts must be taken to introduce the child to the pet. Please consult a pediatrician because some children are prone to respiratory problems caused by the hair of a cat and dog.

Personally, I advise small flat owners not to bring home pets because animals need enough space to walk, run and exercise. Dogs often bark and disturb neighbours. In bungalows, the interference with other is less comparatively.

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Birds need spacious cages while turtles or fish require tanks. One must take care not to step onto a little one as this can cause fractures. In case of small creatures like turtles, fractures are very difficult to heal. Rabbits, guinea pigs, roasters and white mice can be caged and left in house for some time.

Understanding the pet’s psychology requires a lot of patience and maturity. Show dogs can be genetically tested for karyotyping. This is once-in-a-life test for chromosome abnormality. Certain disorders specific to breeds can be discussed with a vet or animal geneticist. Routine blood check and testing for parasites is another important aspect.

Nowadays such facilities are available at veterinary clinics too.

Love for animals since childhood was the main motivation to study veterinary science for Dr. Sheetal S. Panchala. She has over ten years of experience and has worked in Surat, Gujarat and Mumbai. Dr. Panchala now runs a clinic ‘Pets N Vets’ in Vashi, Navi Mumbai. She likes to travel and dance when free. She pens a monthly column ‘Pet Care’ on various issues related to animals and their well-being.

Readers can write to her at drsheetalvet@gmail.com

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