When I come home in the evening I find that my dog has gone to the bathroom in the house. I shout at him and show him the spot and even drag him to smell it, but he does it again?
If your dog is potty trained, he himself does not want to defecate in the house. But you have probably not given him any option. Either make sure that someone in the house takes him out at least once a day after his meal so that he has the opportunity to defecate outside, or if there is no one at home ask a neighbour, or leave the dog with him/her during the day. Regarding shouting and scolding the dog, there is no use doing this hours after the event as the dog has no idea what you are shouting and punishing him for. All correction has to be done immediately and in this case the fault is entirely yours.
My cat will not drink milk. Is there something wrong with him?
The idea that cats drink milk is a myth. Most cats are lactose intolerant which means they cannot digest it. This will result in diarrhoea and, over a period, death through malnutrition. Give him other food immediately.
Can I leave my young kids with the dog unsupervised?
It’s the dog that will be in danger not the children. As long as the children know not to hurt him — and themselves — by pulling his ears or tail, slapping him around or being rough or putting something into his mouth or eyes, that is fine. They should also be taught to recognise the signals that a dog gives when he wants to be left alone.
My dog loves rummaging around in the garbage. As long as we clean up his face and he doesn’t smell, is that OK?
I can’t think of anything more dangerous. Thrown away food is as dangerous for dogs as it is for humans. The dog can get food poisoning or some bacterial infection that finishes his pancreas, liver or kidneys. Thrown away food can contain fungus and moulds which are toxic enough to cause vomiting seizures and death.
What kind of bones should I give my dog?
Chewing bones can injure the teeth, tongue or mouth. Bone fragments can stick in or puncture the windpipe or digestive tract which will involve surgery. I don’t think any bone should be given — they have no food value either.
I want to feed my dog what I eat but everyone says that giving him table scraps is not good?
Much of what you eat has a lot of salt in it, which is not good for his health. Lots of vegetables give him gas and could cause torsion of the intestines. But most importantly, giving him scraps will make him a beggar at the table and he will disturb your meals. If you give him some food, make sure it falls in the safe category and give it to him after your meal and away from the table.
Maneka Gandhi responds to queries raised byanimal lovers across the city.
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