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PURRFECT PAWTRAITS

Pet-traits was born out of a passion for drawing and a love for animals, says Meghna Amonkar, who works with you to capture your pet’s personality to deliver a completely bespoke work of art!
TEXT: TEAM BUDDY LIFE

Pet lovers everywhere know that paying tribute to your furry friends can be the ultimate way to show how much you love your four-legged companions. No wonder some of Instagram and Facebook’s most followed accounts actually belong to animals. Meet Mumbaikar Meghna Amonkar, who helps you take your love for your four-legged to a different level altogether. She works with you to capture your pet’s personality to deliver a completely bespoke work of art! The pet-traits, as she prefers to call her work, start at Rs 8,000 and come in three sizes (8×11 in, 16×24 in, and 25×36 in). They are based on photographs of your pet and lovingly created into stunning artworks. “Pet-traits was born out of a passion for drawing and a love for animals,” says Meghna. “I’ve grown up in a family of dog lovers and got my first dog, a small Lhasa (who I believed was a lion) when I was 8.” When it was time to choose a career, however, she took up the science stream because she wanted to become a vet. “When I was in Class XI, I visited the animal hospital and could not bear to see the plight of so many sick animals. I cried for days and felt that I was not strong enough to handle it as a career. I completed my 12th, but decided to switch to Fine Arts as nothing else interested me. In 1996, I graduated from Sophia Polytechnic, Mumbai, after completing a Diploma in Applied Art.” Talking of her professional journey, she says right after college, she landed her first job with Tata Interactive Systems (an e- Learning company that was a part of the Tata group) as a visualiser. “I found the idea of working in a digital medium very exciting. My journey in the corporate world began there and continued for 22 years till I reached the position of VP Communication Design,” she informs, adding, “I loved every minute of my long and satisfying career, but felt that I needed a new challenge. By then Taco, a rescued Indie, had entered into my life. We adopted Taco when he was five months old. He has challenged me and taught me so much; not just how to be a pet parent, but also how to slow down and be more patient in general.” She says Taco does not trust humans easily (with good reason) but gets along extremely well with other dogs, especially other Indies. “Because of him I started spending a lot of time with the community dogs around our place, observing them, understanding their unique personalities, their pack dynamics, their body language and just how much they communicate without saying a word,” Meghna tells us. “My love for animals had grown greatly because of him. I took a week off from work to figure out what to do next. My family was not in town so I had a lot of time to analyse and reflect. With some SWOT analysis techniques and a lot of soul searching, I decided that I had to do something that combined my two passions and that’s how Pet-traits was born.” She credits her husband, Nikhil, for always standing rock solid behind her for everything she decided to do. She says, “He supported me completely even when I was having second thoughts. I was going to give up a well-paying job to go into a completely uncharted territory with no real preparation. I had graduated with illustration as my major subject in college, but that was decades ago and I had never worked as an illustrator in my professional life.” Meghna submitted her resignation with nothing other than an idea and the domain name ‘pet-traits online’. “One week after my resignation, while I was serving my notice period, I spent a Saturday afternoon painting a watercolour of my muse Taco. That was my first pet portrait and it gave me the assurance that I still had it in me,” she informs. Now, she’s close to the half-century mark. “Each one is unique and close to my heart,” she says. “Each portrait, or pet-trait as I like to call them, has given me the opportunity to get to know a new animal… look deep into their soul. I don’t feel satisfied till I capture its personality, that special look in the eyes that is unique only to that animal. I feel privileged.” Her claim to fame, however, remains the pet-raits of the Bombay House dogs. “In August 2018, when I read an article about the kennel especially created for the dogs sheltered at Bombay House, I did something impulsive and wrote a heartfelt letter, to Mr Ratan Tata thanking him for everything he did for the streetiest. I had also heard about the animal care hospital that the Tata Group was building and expressed my desire to be associated with the initiative if they felt that my skills could be of any use,” she recollects.

“I never expected a reply, but got one saying that they would reach out to me if there was an opportunity. A few months after I launched Pet-traits, I reached out to them again and got a chance to meet with Shantanu Naidu, who was managing the animal care hospital project. That’s when the idea of the Dogs of Bombay House series came up.” Meghna says she felt that the Bombay House dogs, especially Goa (who was already a poster boy in his own right) would be perfect to spread the message of ‘adopt, don’t shop’. “I spent a few hours taking pictures of and getting to know the Bombay House pack. Shantanu and his colleagues also spent time patiently answering my questions about each of the dogs which helped me decide on how to compose the portraits,” she says. “The highlight of this was when Mr Tata agreed to visit Starbucks to see my series! That was a dream come true and a memory that I will treasure for the rest of my life. He even signed my portrait of Goa. Someday, I hope to auction it and donate all the proceeds to an animal NGO.”

“The highlight of my Dog od Bombay House series was when Mr Tata agreed to visit Starbucks to see it! That was a dreamcome true and a memory that I will treasure for the rest of my life.”

She says one interesting aspect of being a pet portrait artist is to get to see the amazing bond that people have with their fur babies. Meghna says, “I feel like I’ve found my tribe. I love hearing stories that people share about their pets: how they came into their lives, things they do, their pet’s favourite people, activities, spots in the house, things like that. In terms of demands, I’ve never really had any unreasonable ones. I make it quite clear that my portraits have to be about the pet.” She prefers not to paint humans and on the rare occasions when she has agreed, it was only if she felt that there was a strong sentiment behind it. “I always want the animal to be the hero of my portrait,” she reasons. “I also make the process of picking the right pose very collaborative, so people know and understand what would make a good portrait. I think I’ve been very lucky to meet some really nice people in the form of my clients (maybe people who like animals are nicer by default).” She says she would absolutely love to meet every pet that she gets to paint but it isn’t always practically possible and even more so with the current situation. “I ask a lot of questions…I ask people to share as many photographs, videos, and stories that they would like to about their pets, and most people oblige,” she says. “If I feel that the photographs don’t do justice to the pet, I have on some occasions clicked pictures myself or given specific instructions on how to take pictures. Meghna says she likes to add a lot of detailing in her portraits, so she asks for close-up pictures to make sure that she captures details accurately. “If I, for instance, have to get the eye colour right, or if there is a specific pigmentation on the nose or paws that I want to show, I have to sometimes refer to multiple pictures,” she says. Most of her work is created digitally, using a professional stylus and tablet, and printed on canvas. “A digital painting is still completely hand-drawn; the only difference is that you are holding a stylus in place of a brush and you don’t have to wait for the paint to dry. I work with brushes that I’ve customized in Photoshop.
Most of these are for oils,” she explains.

“Digital art gives you the freedom to mix media quite easily, so I use some watercolours too in the background. Some people mistakenly think that digital art is about the software doing all the work for you, but that could not be further from the truth. Each silky strand of hair in my portraits is hand-drawn.” Meghna says she’s often deeply engrossed in painting a whorl of fur with her head tilted in the direction of the part, completely oblivious to the world around. “If this happens for too long, I get a wet nose reminder from Taco under my desk, telling me to give my eyes a break,” she laughs.

But does she restrict herself to simple portraits, or draws creative ones, like adding elements of the pet’s personality and likes into the work? “I don’t really agree with the classification of simple and creative based on the addition of external elements,” she avers. “To me every portrait is about bringing out the pet’s personality. I feel all animals are absolutely stunning just the way they are naturally.” Their coats have so many colours, she says, and even within the same breed, no two animals look exactly the same. “I have seen some work where artists paint animal heads on human bodies to give them different personalities. But personally, I dislike the idea of trying to humanise them. I never pick images of dogs wearing outfits because I feel my portraits should be about celebrating their natural beauty,” she reasons. Meghna says it’s mostly been word of mouth publicity for her except for the first time when she launched Pet-traits by putting up a stall at the adoption event organised by World For All in 2018. “This was to get a sense of what people thought of the concept and I was very happy to see the response,” she informs. “Also, Taco was adopted from World For All, so it always holds a special place in my heart. After that event, I have not marketed my work anywhere. My display of the Dogs of Bombay House series at Starbucks got a lot of attention and really helped in those initial days. Now all my leads come from word-of-mouth or through my social media pages,” she adds.

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Bring it on!

An intelligent and dependable companion that forms close human bonds, a Bulldog is a social and cheerful addition to any family with early socialisation and consistent leadership TEXT: TEAM BUDDY LIFE

The very name ‘Bulldog’ conjures up images of a large dog with a grumpy face and a tough persona. However, it is not so, for the Bulldog is a big ‘softy’ and behind all those wrinkles and gruff appearance is a gentle dog waiting to shower its love on its humans. In other words, the English\ Bulldog is one of the most amiable of all breeds. Despite his gloomy mug. But before you decide to adopt a Bulldog, you should know what living with a British Bulldog would be like. Not to be mistaken, this one is nothing like other breeds.

All kinds of Bulldogs need special care and are slight variations of one another in many ways. In short, having a Bulldog requires the utmost time, patience, and care. Our desire for cuteness and the popularity of shorter, flatter faces – known as brachycephaly – has resulted in dogs who struggle to breathe? In our pursuit for extreme body shapes and dogs with shorter, flatter faces, we’ve created generations of dogs who struggle to breathe, struggle with heat regulation, are chronically tired and can’t exercise without collapsing, and dogs who have to sleep with their head propped up on a pillow or with a toy in their mouth, just to help them breathe. Excessive soft tissue causes obstruction in their airways and their abnormally narrowed nostrils and windpipes leave them gasping for air. And it’s not just breathing difficulties that affect flat-faced dogs. Eye problems are common due to the shape of their heads as well as skin problems from excessive wrinkles and painful back conditions caused by very short corkscrew tails. Recently a landmark ruling in Norway found the breeding of British bulldogs and Cavalier King Charles spaniels breached their animal protection laws. If upheld, this will have a significant impact on the way in which these dogs can be bred in the future, and will worry those in the UK who breed these dogs. So instead of buying a puppy, we’d suggest adopting an adult dog from the shelter. The good news is Bulldogs are super cute at any age! Plus, if you adopt a young or adult Bully instead of a puppy, you’ll be more likely to know what kind of personality and health issues you’re getting, which you can’t see fully or at all in a puppy. Also, you won’t have to worry about puppy messes, puppy training, and puppy chewed up shoes!

Back to the breed profile, an intelligent and dependable companion that forms close human bonds, a Bulldog is a social and cheerful addition to any family with early socialisation and consistent leadership. But Bulldogs weren’t always “softies” and their rich history shows them as stocky, sturdy dogs with a solid, foursquare stance and a face that says: Bring it On! Bulldogs are one of those breeds humans were pretty nasty to before we came to our senses. Initially bred for bull baiting in the 1300s, these dogs were developed specifically to be brave and muscular. The breed transitioned from bull-baiting to the sweet, household companion that it is known for today. As its name indicates: bull-baiting means fighting a bull in the ring. The early English dogs were bred to have a certain height, weight, and even a specific temperament to help them fight aggressively and breeders carefully selected the dogs to fit this mould. Bulldog breeders wanted these fighter dogs to have a short height so it would be difficult for the bull to spot them in the ring. After all, the bull could easily lift and toss the Bulldog in the ring. As a result, the Old English Bulldogs were shorter than the ones we see today. Fighter bullies also had shorter noses compared to the modern Bulldogs. This could help them get a convenient grip on the bull’s face without their nose getting in the way. Often, the nose had to be set back from the muzzle and also turned up so the dog could breathe while it maintained a grip on the bull. The wrinkles were also a distinctly necessary feature for the bull-baiters; they directed the flow of the bull’s blood away from the dog’s nose and eyes.

With a heavy, thickset, low body and massive head, the modern Bulldog originated in England after the elimination of bull baiting in 1835. The Old English Bulldog was crossed with the Pug to create a more docile and affectionate family pet. The Bulldog retained its protective and fearless nature, but aggressive and ferocious tendencies were removed from the breed. Moving on, Bulldogs are famous for their gentle nature, fondness of children, and clownish antics. They are cool, brave, and polite, opposite to their ancestors. They are trustworthy dogs who are obedient to their families and are quite playful. In basic nature, they are amicable and caring. A pet Bulldog is going to be an enthusiastic, playful puppy to have around the home. But living with an English Bulldog will be quite a babysitting as they are not athletic by nature anymore. Since they weigh about 40 lbs for females and around 50 lbs for males, they need constant exercise not to get obese. All over the world, these are considered to be lazy and, basically, couch potatoes. Bulldog puppies are frisky, rambunctious and rowdy, but adults are quiet and rather phlegmatic, spending much of the day snoring on the sofa. But the reality as we told you is different. Due to their face and nasal area structure, the English Bulldogs face certain issues in breathing. While doing heavy physical tasks, they may get heated very quickly due to constriction in breathing. It may tire him or her earlier than other dogs. They are thus misconstrued as lazy. Since the build of an English Bulldog is bulky, you need to keep a check on its dietary intake and an exercise regime must be followed. All brachycephalic breeds gulp air when they eat, and that air has to go somewhere, after all. However, commercial diets make flatulence worse by including fibrous or hard-to-digest ingredients. Bulldogs who are fed a homemade diet of real meat and vegetables have much less trouble with gassiness.

Though not a barking watchdog, his blocky build and his rolling, shuffling gait give intruders pause. It takes a tremendous amount of serious teasing or threatening to provoke this sweet-natured breed, but once aroused, he can be a force to reckon with. His tenacity and resolve mean that it’s difficult to change his mind once he decides to do something. Usually peaceful with other pets, some male Bulldogs may engage in a battle of wills (or jaws) with other males. Despite their sweetness, most English Bulldogs are very stubborn. You must show them, through absolute consistency, that you mean what you say. On the plus side, once Bulldogs mature, they seldom get into real trouble.

Because of the shape of their face, they go through life snorting, snuffling, wheezing, grunting, and snoring loudly. Some people find these sounds nerve-wracking; others find them endearing. Also, most people are not prepared for how much English Bulldogs slobber and drool, especially after eating or drinking.

As for their health issues, it’s been said that if you feel like supporting your vet with great chunks of money, get an English Bulldog. They suffer from hip problems, heart problems, and skin problems. Their respiratory system is compromised, so it’s even risky to anaesthetise them for dental cleanings. In hot weather they should be kept in an air-conditioned environment and supervised during outside activity so they don’t over-exert themselves and become overheated. Much of what you can do to keep your dog happy and healthy is common sense, just like it is for people. Watch her diet, make sure she gets plenty of exercise, regularly brush her teeth and coat, and take her to the vet at the first sign of an emergency. Be sure to adhereto the schedule of examinations and vaccinations that the vet has recommended for her. Build her routine care into your schedule to help your English Bulldog live longer, stay healthier, and be happier during her lifetime.

  1. Supervise your pet as you would a toddler. Keep her out of trouble and away from objects she shouldn’t put in her mouth.
  2. She has low grooming needs. Brush her coat as needed, at least weekly.
  3. Bulldogs often have serious problems with their teeth, so you’ll need to brush them at least three times a week!
  4. Clean her ears weekly, even as a puppy.
  5. Her deep wrinkles need to be cleaned and dried often to prevent infections.
  6. As an adult she can have a tendency to be lazy, so you must ensure she receives adequate exercise by providing a daily walk.
  7. She is sensitive to temperature extremes; avoid any prolonged exposure and be very alert to the sign of heat stress.
  8. Keep your dog’s diet consistent and don’t give her people food.
  9. Feed a high-quality diet appropriate for her age.
  10. Exercise your dog regularly, but don’t overdo it at first. We cannot overemphasise the importance of a proper diet and exercise routine. Any abnormal symptom could be a sign of serious disease, or it could just be a minor or temporary problem. The important thing is to be able to tell when to seek veterinary help, and how urgently. Many diseases cause dogs to have a characteristic combination of symptoms, which together can be a clear signal that your Bulldog needs help.
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WSAVA Supports NORWEGIAN BREEDING BAN

WSAVA supports breeding that promotes traits providing robust animals with good function and health
TEXT: TEAM BUDDY LIFE

The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA ) shares the concerns recently expressed by a Norwegian court regarding the breeding of English Bulldogs and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. It confirms its support for the efforts of Animal Protection Norway and the Norwegian Animal Welfare Act, which states that “breeding should promote traits that provide robust animals with good function and health.” In a new position paper, WSAVA has called for a much greater focus on health screening of breeding animals and educating the public. This should include encouraging them to ask breeders for veterinary documentation of pre-breeding health screening results on the parents of puppies and kittens before they buy them. It urges that the selection of breeding dogs and cats should avoid extreme conformation that predisposes to disease and poor welfare.

The WSAVA ’s response to the Court ruling has been led by its Hereditary Disease Committee (HDC), whose members include world-leading veterinary geneticists, with the support of the WSAVA ’s Animal Wellness and Welfare Committee (AWWC). The Chair of the HDC, Dr Jerold Bell DVM , a practising veterinarian and Adjunct Professor of Genetics at the Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Massachusetts, USA, explains: “We recognise the serious welfare issues that exist in relation to brachycephaly, as well as other extreme anatomy and hereditary diseases in dogs and all purposefully-bred animals. We believe that health focused breeding and husbandry practices are the means to improve the health and welfare of these animals. This is effectively ‘health quality control.’

“The public’s affection for these popular breeds demands a greater focus on education around healthy breeding and welfare because altered public demand will encourage the breeding practices that produce healthier pets and, over time, create real change.”

Dr Bell added: “The WSAVA HDC and AWWC are already working on a number of educational initiatives for rollout later this year and we are keen to engage with other veterinary stakeholders on this issue to increase momentum and the pace of change.”

The new Position Paper supports an earlier WSAVA Position Paper, calling on veterinarians and breeders to ensure that criteria used for the selection of breeding animals include the ability to reproduce naturally and exclude anatomical characteristics that predispose to hereditary disease and poor welfare. This Paper also urges breeders to utilise pre-breeding health screening to select animals that are likely to produce healthy offspring.

The WSAVA:

  1. Prioritises the breeding of animals that focuses on their health and welfare
  2. Supports Animal Welfare Laws that reduce the suffering of animals and enhance their good welfare
  3. Encourages kennel clubs and cat registries to adjust breed standards to address and avoid extreme conformation and disease predisposing anatomy
  4. Encourages kennel clubs and cat registries to establish breeding guidelines that include breed-specific pre-breeding health screening to avoid genetic diseases, disease risk from exaggerated anatomical features, and monitoring buyers with official documentation of health screening
  5. Encourages future pet owners to consult with a veterinarian before buying a purposely bred dog or cat, to assess their health and the health of their parents.
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Zoetis All The Way

There’s growing need to focuse on animal healthcare and one such organisation wich has been working to ensure the best care for animals with its medicines and vaccines in Zoetis

Humans, wildlife, pets and livestock depend on each other and on the global environment. Today, every species is threatened by climate change. Diseases that were once found in tropical regions have migrated in northern areas. In Africa, the outbreak of Ebola in humans has been linked to the large numbers of deaths among gorillas in nearby areas. Even the Arctic-dwelling species are facing new threats every day. All these stories hint toward the growing need to focus on animal healthcare. And one such organization which has been working to ensure the best care for animals with its medicines and vaccines is Zoetis. The company was a subsidiary of Pfizer but with Pfizer’s spinoff in 2013, the firm it is now a completely independent company.

Zoetis is a global animal health company dedicated to supporting customers and their businesses in ever better ways. “Our name, Zoetis (zO-EH-tis), has its root in zo, familiar in words such as zoo and zoology and derived from zoetic, meaning “pertaining to life.” It signals our company’s dedication to supporting the veterinarians and livestock producers everywhere who raise and care for the farm and companion animals on which we all depend,” says

Mr. Y. Hari Prasad, Managing Director – India and BNS (Distributor Markets) at Zoetis India.

The company develops and manufactures animal-health medicines and vaccines for companion animals, dairy and poultry. For companion animals, Zoetis products cover therapeutic areas of Anti-Infective, Ectoparasiticides, Endoparasiticides, Nutritional and Vaccines. In the dairy sector, the company has products for Anti Infective, Hormone, Parasiticide and Vaccine. Thirdly, Zoetis also works for Poultry with its products such as Anticoccidials, Anti-Infectives, Disinfectants, MFA, Toxin Binder and Vaccines. Today, the company has over 300 product lines globally, operating in more than 100 countries.

In addition to producing vaccines, parasiticides, anti-infectives, medicinal feed additives and other pharmaceuticals, the company’s complementary businesses include diagnostics and genetics, as well as services such as dairy data management, e-learning and professional consulting. Zoetis experts also provide customer service, technical education and business support to help those who raise and care for animals manage their businesses more effectively.

As the world’s leading animal health company, Zoetis is driven by a singular purpose: to nurture our world and humankind by advancing care for animals. We believe that our products and services should be the most valued by all and our core belief is that our colleagues make a difference and we are customer obsessed, so at every step, we are dedicated to produce quality, result-oriented products.” says Mr Hari.

Going forward, the company plans to develop more preventative vaccines and aims to continuously work for the betterment of animal healthcare across India. “We are driven by a mission that our products and services should be the most valued by all and our core belief is that our colleagues make a difference and we are customer obsessed, so at every step, we are dedicated to produce quality, result-oriented products,” concludes Mr. Hari.

Mr Yethirajyam Hari Prasad is the Managing Director – India and BNS Markets, Zoetis, for the past one year and three months. He started his professional career from Glaxo Animal Health in 1988 and joined Pfizer Animal Health in December 1989. He started as veterinary Service officer, and worked as Key Accounts Executive, District Manager, Product Manager, Manager – Field Force Effectiveness & New Products Development, Zonal Sales Manager, Sales Manager, Marketing Director APAC Region based at Shanghai , BUD Poultry, BUD Poultry & CA Business, Interim GM & Managing Director – India and BNS (Distributor Markets) from May 1, 2020, in a career journey of over 31 years at Pfizer/ Zoetis.

Career’s highlight & achievements: In his journey from frontline to MD, he has worked in 15 APAC countries in his regional marketing role at Shanghai (2010 to 2012 Aug). He is a well-known animal health colleague in the Indian Animal Health Industry.

Family members: His wife Sumana, M. Sc (Physics), is a homemaker and has two daughters Manjushree (MS Business Analytics & B. Tech Computers) and she works at Thermo Fishers, Boston; while Deepthishree is pursuing her M. Sc Digital Marketing at Kings’ College, London.

Hobbies: Travelling & meeting different people

Extracurricular activities: Watching Movies

Career goals: To Take Zoetis to next level in India

Website: www.zoetis.in
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Read before you feed!

WSAVA’s updated Global Nutrition Toolkit helps vets inform pet owners on optimal nutrition

The World Small animal Veterinary Association’s (WSAVA’s) Global Nutrition Committee (GNC) has updated its Global Nutrition Toolkit which helps veterinary healthcare teams educate clients on optimal nutrition for their dog or cat. The first update is a revision to its ‘Selecting a pet food’ tool. While many owners regard the ingredient list as the most important factor in choosing a pet food, a list alone gives no reassurance as to the quality of the products used, nor does it give an indication as to whether a fully qualified nutritionist was involved in the food’s formulation. The revised version points out the most useful advice to be found on the label and highlights the importance of the manufacturer providing contact details so that follow up questions can be asked. It also reminds veterinarians and owners of the benefits but limitations of Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) adequacy statements.

With ‘raw feeding’ growing in popularity, the GNC has also created a new and engaging infographic to illustrate the potential risks of the use of raw foods in pet diets. Commenting, Dr Marge Chandler, WSAVA GNC Co-Chair, said: “Owners want the best for their pets but there is so much confusing or simply wrong information out there that it can be hard for them to navigate their way. Veterinary healthcare teams should, of course, be the first port of call for advice on nutrition and, we hope they will find that the educational resources we have created in our toolkit, together with the WSAVA’s Global Nutrition Guidelines, give them the confidence to engage proactively with owners on the subject of nutrition and put them on the right path to feeding their pets an appropriate and well-formulated diet.” The WSAVA’s Global Nutrition Committee promotes the importance of high-quality nutrition for companion animals and recommends that veterinarians perform a nutritional assessment on every animal at every visit. It also advocates the inclusion of nutrition as a component of all veterinary and veterinary nurse/technician curricula. Fully independent in its work, the GNC is co-chaired by Marge Chandler and Gregg Takashima DVM, owner and clinician at The Parkway Veterinary Hospital in Oregon, USA. The Committee’s members, who are based around the world and hold different roles within the profession, lecture and publish widely on all aspects of nutrition for companion animals. The WSAVA represents more than 200,000 veterinarians worldwide through its 115 member associations and works to enhance standards of clinical care for companion animals. Its core activities include the development of WSAVA Global Guidelines in key areas of veterinary practice, including nutrition, pain management and vaccination, together with lobbying on important issues affecting companion animal care worldwide.

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Why Brush Dogs’ Teeth and How Often?

Problems Caused by Insufficient Dental Care

Proper dental hygiene will help prevent your pet from developing a wide range of dental health complications, such as periodontal disease caused by mouth bacteria accumulation. These bacteria produce a film over the teeth called plaque. They become calcified by the calcium in the saliva as the bacteria die. Tartar is considered as the calcified plaque, and it can ultimately lead to gingivitis, which can lead to an inflammation of the tooth’s root. The tissues around the tooth are damaged in the late stages of periodontal disease, and the socket that keeps the tooth in place erodes, which makes the tooth loss. Broken teeth are another common dental concern. It can break your dog’s teeth by chewing on rough toys and bones. A broken tooth, which is very painful for your pet, can expose the tooth’s nerve. In addition, the exposed nerve can become infected and cause your pet even more problems. The tooth will need to be removed at this stage.

The Right Choice For Your Pets

As veterinary dentistry can dissolve built-up plaque, which is why pets must go in for periodic dental cleanings. There are a few things you can do at home, however, to help keep the teeth and gums of your pet safe as well. Brushing their teeth is the best thing you can do with your pet’s oral health. Tartar and plaque build-up can be avoided by frequent brushing.
You can start brushing your pet’s teeth slowly by buying pet-specific toothpaste and either a normal or finger toothbrush. You’ll want to continue in a way that makes it easier for your dog to get used to brushing. Enable your pet to lick off the brush with some of the toothpaste. This helps them get used to the toothpaste’s taste and the brush’s feel. Only brush the fronts for the first few days. As time passes, you can start brushing all their teeth if your pet feels more relaxed. For a little reward, follow the brushing with a treat.
You can also buy oral products with liquid and foam that help kill some of the bacteria in your dog’s mouth. There are also toys and treats that can help clear the build-up of plaque and tartar from the teeth of your pet, but not all of them. Dental treats and dental toys also work. Thus, dental care will definitely improve your dog’s overall health in the following ways by preventing:
– Tooth loss
– Bad breath
– Oral pain
– Organ damage
– Worsening dental disease
Get your pet the best treatment and secure their health for a lifetime!

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Spaying & Neutering – How Essential is it For Dogs?

What is spaying and neutering:

One of the most important health choices you can make is to spay or neuter your dog, whether you’ve just adopted a pet or you’re considering it. Spaying is the removal of a female dog’s reproductive organs- ovaries and uterus. It’s a veterinary operation that needs limited hospitalization and provides health benefits for a lifetime. Neutering is removing your male dog’s testicles that will significantly enhance your pet’s behaviour and keep him within boundaries. Many states and counties have built low-cost neuter/spay services that make surgery readily available and affordable. 

Here’s a list of reasons to spay/neuter your dog if you haven’t already:

  • Health benefits: In addition to eliminating unnecessary litter, testicular cancer is avoided by neutering your male dog.
  • No heat: Although cycles can vary, during the breeding season, female dogs typically go into heat four to five days every three weeks. They’ll yowl and urinate more often in an attempt to mate, often all over the place!
  • Longer and healthier lives: In about 50 per cent of dogs, spaying helps avoid uterine infections and breast cancer, which is lethal. The best protection from these diseases is given by spaying your pet before her first heat.
  • No roaming far away from home: To find a mate, an intact male can cross limits. That involves digging his way under the fence and letting himself escape from the house. Plus, he risks injury in traffic and battles with other males until he’s free to roam.
  • Better behaviour: Cats and dogs that are neutered focus their attention on their human families. On the other hand, unneutered dogs can cause a havoc by spraying strong-smelling urine all over the house. By early neutering, many aggression problems can be prevented.
  • Fit pets: Spaying or neutering does not make your pet fat. A deficit of exercise and letting your pet binge-eat will cause your pet to pack on the extra pounds. As long as you continue to provide exercise and track food intake, your pet will remain fit and trim.
  • Pocket-friendly: The cost of spay/neuter surgery for your pet is much less than the cost of having and taking care of a litter. In cases when your unneutered dog escapes and gets into fights with the neighbourhood stray, it also beats the price of treatment!
  • Benefits the community: In many parts of the country, stray animals pose a real problem. They can prey on wildlife, cause car accidents, harm local wildlife and scare children. In reducing the number of animals on the streets, spaying and neutering is a real boon.
  • Reduces overpopulation: Millions of cats and dogs of all ages and breeds are euthanized or suffer like strays every year. The peeking stats are due to a poorly estimated litter that could have been prevented by spaying or neutering.

Get your dog neutered now! One of the most important choices you make to affect your long-term health and your wallet could be the option to spay or neuter your pet!

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Homemade Food for your Paw Baby – the Puppers

An all-round meal for your puppy:

It takes a certain amount of effort on your part when you want to feed your puppy home-prepared food. Make sure you have the time to prepare the food on a regular basis. Dogs have unique caloric needs, much like humans, and need some vitamins and minerals to remain healthy. In order to grow at a reasonable pace and thrive, puppies have much more unique needs. It must be full and compatible with the food you feed your puppy and support their development.

Prepare a healthy platter:

Puppies usually require about twice as many calories a day as their adult counterparts. Make sure their meal has a proper balance of:

  • Proteins like fish, chicken, turkey, and lean beef
  • Carbohydrates like pasta, rice, potatoes
  • Vegetables like green beans, peas, carrots
  • Fats like vegetable oil
  • Vitamins and mineral supplements

Use your best ingredients and prepare a wholesome meal for your pup. Set up a regular weekly schedule, allowing them some treats every now and then. Don’t forget to increase portions as your puppy grows, and their appetite increases.

Try out these innovative homemade recipes:

When it comes to creativity, there are plenty of dog food recipes available! Some of them are:

  1. A tasty salmon meal for your puppers along with some cooked and crunchy salmon skin make a delicious dish. Add broccoli stem, peeled carrots, and squash to make a bite-size meal on the go!
  2. An easy and inclusive meal made of brown rice, turkey/chicken, and veggies like baby spinach, carrots, and zucchini
  3. Turn the above dish into a delicious stew for a soupy treat
  4. Meat and veggie mash 
  5. Meatballs for a fun and interesting meal. Add a portion of pumpkin puree and the oat bran to ensure effective digestion
  6. Food cakes made with a combination of ingredients above, including a dash of peaches, plums, and pears
  7. Meat cakes and meatloaf
  8. Homemade crunchy kibbles made with whole wheat or oat
  9. Scrambled spinach and salmon- the perfect mix of health and taste for your puppy
  10. Veggie bowl- mix up some mashed sweet potatoes, black beans, brown rice, and spinach stems
  11. Chicken rice balls- all of your pup’s favourites: meat, sweet potatoes, and eggs
  12. Mini omelettes
  13. Chicken casseroles

To ensure that your puppy maintains good health, make sure you weigh your dog regularly. Before beginning the homemade diet, take your dog to the vet so that your doctor may decide their optimal weight. Customize the diet of your puppy, appease picky eaters, combat problems of food allergies, and embrace just the bond-building enjoyment of preparing your pup a home-cooked meal.

Whichever approach you prefer, remember that every pup is different and ensure to attend to the customized needs of your puppy!

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7 Ways to Train a Dog With a Feisty Temper

Is your pet often showing these signs of aggression?

Occasional aggression in your pets is expected, however, needs to be checked if it’s getting out of control. A feisty temper usually begins on a passive note, but can ultimately lead to attacks, causing everyone to stay yards away from you and your pet. Here are some signs that your dog is aggressive:

  • Constant growling
  • Rigid posture
  • Snarling and showing teeth
  • Threatening barks
  • Jumping at every human insight
  • Light or repetitive biting
  • Snapping without leaving a mark
  • Bruising

Why your dog gets aggressive

There are multiple reasons for your dog to lose temper, which include environmental, territorial, possessive, protective, and defensive factors. An exception to these reasons may be pain or abuse, which calls for a visit to the vet as soon as possible. Irrespective of external factors, identifying the reason for your dog’s temper and bringing in gradual changes in their environment is the key to improvement. Once you cross that hurdle, you can customize their training and personalize it.

Here are 7 steps to bring your dog’s feisty temper under control:

  1. Identify the reason for aggression:

Once you’re aware of what triggers your dog and who he is abusive towards, it’s time to consult with a licensed dog trainer. Always, consult your veterinarian for a recommendation if you’re not sure who to employ.

  1. Don’t ignore symptoms of aggression:

A bad temper is always undesirable. When your own dog shows these characteristics, it’s best to take it seriously as soon as possible. Pet parents often overlook these initial signs, and may end up unintentionally encouraging these paw babies. 

  1. Never punish your dog:

Dogs do not understand discipline naturally, and when punishment is used, they are more likely to act out or act more aggressively. The easiest way to train violent behaviour is to encourage good behavior with incentives. Often your dog will need a little reminder that you are in control, but eventually, through reward-based training, he will react best to reconditioning.

  1. Teach them to impulse control:

It is important to train a dog’s impulse control and develop their tolerance of frustration. Here are some tips and tricks to change the way your dog reacts. Teach them to:

  • Wait at the door instead, and let them be patient before bolting out
  • Sit and wait for a command to enter the car
  • Wait for the food bowl to come to them
  • Whining and barking won’t get them attention
  • Reward split seconds of calm behaviour
  1. Change little patterns that can make a big difference:

Stop your dog from chasing cars, chewing, eating stool, excessive digging, excessive guarding, jumping, and leash pulling.

  1. Use hacks to calm them down:

Give a brisk shake to the fur under their ear, called a ‘scruff shake’. You can also gently push them over to their side and lean over them, to remind them of who the boss is.

  1. Say no:

This helps as ignoring your dogs can make them conscious of their actions.

Above all, remember, do not handle aggression with aggression. Treat your baby with love & care while being firm instead of just plain strict. 

Try these tips and let us know the changes you witness in your dog?

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Beware! Ticks Can Make Your Dog Sick

New Delhi, February 18, 2020: Tick bites in dogs are a common problem but a serious one. For they can irritate your pet and transmit disease, it’s important to give your dogs flea and tick preventative medications, check them for ticks after they’ve been outdoors and remove any ticks that have become attached.

Types of ticks
Blacklegged deer tick. This tick species is well-known for carrying Lyme disease, which can be transmitted to both dogs and humans. However, it can also cause canine anaplasmosis.

Lone star tick. The lone start tick, along with the American dog tick, carries a pathogen that causes tularemia. This tick species can also transmit Ehrlichiosis in humans and dogs and, in humans, southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI), which has symptoms similar to Lyme disease.

Brown dog tick. The brown dog tick has been known to transmit the organism that causes canine babesia — a mild infection of a dog’s red blood cells that can be more severe in young animals.

All tick bites. Tick bites can cause irritation and sometimes become infected.

Checking for ticks
Tick prefer to attach themselves in areas that are warm, protected and have thinner skin, but they can be found anywhere on your dog’s body.

Common attachment locations include:
Between back legs (groin)
Under front legs
Around eyes
In and around ears, including the small pocket on your dog’s ear flap
Under collar
Between toes
Around tail
In between any skin folds
How to remove a tick from your dog
Once you find a tick on your dog, remove it immediately to prevent the spread of disease. Follow these steps:

Use a pair of fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the pest and pull upwards with firm, consistent pressure. Be careful not to squeeze the tick too hard when removing it as it could regurgitate potential pathogens into your dog through the bite site. Additionally, don’t apply anything to the tick before removal, including oils, petroleum jelly, heat or fire, paint or nail polish remover.

After the tick is removed, double-check the bite site on your dog to make sure you didn’t leave part of its mouth behind, which could cause infection. Completely sterilize the wound left behind at the bite site. Use a match to burn the tick, smother it with mayonnaise or freeze it.