Chewing helps pups grow strong healthy teeth
Q: I have a Lhasa-apso pup, who loves to chew—be it footwear, carpet or our hands. We are not able to train him. Mridula Kumar
Puppies chew while growing teeth, just like human babies, and footwear always are their favourite. You cannot train him into not chewing. However, you would be advised to let your dog chew on things like especial bones that are prepared with the very intention of helping a puppy pass through the chewing stage. Chewing is a healthy habit that keeps your dog’s gums and teeth healthy as well as exercising the jaw. By giving them good toys and chewing bones, you can turn their destructive tendency into a good one. But, be very careful while purchasing toys for your pet. Refrain from buying toys that are stuffed with synthetic fibre that the puppy might ingest and fall grievously ill. Do not give your puppy anything that it might swallow. You must also ensure to place a bowl of clean water when you give your pet its meals. After eating the food when it will drink the water, it will automatically rinse its mouth too. Many owners who give their pet commercial food, add water to it with the intent of softening. They generally think that the water that they have added is sufficient for the pet. However, it is not a wise practice as water acts as best mouthwash for pets and even puppies must be allowed to drink a little after meals.
Q: My Labrador bitch is behaving strangely. She tries to dig a hole in a corner of the bed and piles up sheets, then sits on it. Her abdomen also looks a little enlarged. She also howls at times. What could be the reason? Jaya Singh
Your pet is showing signs of false pregnancy or pseudo pregnancy. This is a phenomena specially characterised by bitches due to hormonal imbalances. In pseudo pregnancy, a bitch exhibits the same symptoms like in pregnancy: Abdominal enlargement, enlargement of breasts and sometimes milk can also ooze out from its engorged breasts. Abnormally nasty behavior and irritability are also some signs while sometimes it may show abnormal possessiveness with some animate or inanimate objects like some doll or toy. This pseudo pregnancy is exhibited after third and fourth week of heat period of menstruation cycle. Usually these symptoms disappear by the ninth & tenth week of menstruation cycle & no treatment is required. If the symptoms are aggravated, then it may require hormonal injections & medicines.
Q: My Pomeranian has turned quite bad tempered. For a small size dog, he is very ferocious and attacks not only strangers but even family members. Is it a symptom of some disease or is there another reason to his foul temperament? What should I do? Manav Agarwal
If your dog has suddenly turned ferocious, it must be suffering from some disease. In that case, you should contact a vet. You must ensure that no one is causing unnecessary tension to your pet. Don’t try to force it into compliance or start beating it when it attacks, if you do, it may grow even more ferocious. Your vet may prescribe some mood regulator medicines if required depending on the situation. Sometimes in male dogs surgery (castration) also helps to calm down and regulate the temperament of the dog.
Q: My pet- a female Labrador-has difficulty in passing stools. Otherwise she eats and behaves normally. What can be wrong with her and is there a treatment? Meenal Srivastava
Your pet could be suffering from constipation. Try to give her easily digestible home-cooked food. Her meals should be warm. Increase her intake of liquid. But first of all, take her to a good vet to rule out a possibility of an infection. It may be requiring deworming.