Pets Corner

Me and My Pet


Tips on Dog Care

“Tick season” will be upon us sooner than we know it, as early as April as the weather warms up. And ticks can pass on more diseases to humans than any other bug except the mosquito.

Small bugs with big bites, ticks are of course associated most with Lyme Disease, symptoms of which include fever, headache, fatigue, and a distinctive circular skin rash. Left untreated, infection can spread to joints and the nervous system.

Modern science has devised many ways to keep ticks at bay, most involving harsh chemicals with dubious safety records. Indeed, according to a report by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) USA, the majority of tick products on the market today contain toxins, known collectively as organophosphate insecticides (OPs), which not only kill insects but can also damage the nervous systems of pets and people.

Studies have shown that children exposed to OPs may face increased risk of health problems later in life, including cancer and Parkinson’s disease.

Is there a safe way to fight ticks?

Consider these ideas
  • Manage the habitat in and around your home to make it less hospitable to ticks. Ticks are attracted to humidity, so deep and infrequent watering of your lawn will let it dry out between applications.
  • Vegetation should be cut below ankle height, the brush along paths and roadways removed, and trees pruned to let the light through.
  • Because pets are frequent carriers, their sleeping quarters should be vacuumed frequently.
  • Wear light-colored clothing so you can spot ticks more easily if they do get on you. Search yourself thoroughly, particularly at the base of your skull, and wash clothes immediately afterwards.
  • Ayurvedic drugs have a distinct edge, as they are non-toxic. Indian Immunological has a spray that kills ticks and also acts as a deodorant. Dabur has a herbal liquid medicine, that is found to be effective. Veterinarians say these products can be used without fear of toxicity, in young, pregnant and even geriatric patients.

Some Pet Portals

http://www.kutta.com is a dog portal for dog lovers. The site addresses the issue of foreign breeds versus the Indian breeds. The site also offers a facility where you can find a mating partner for your dog. The site has many articles by Maneka Gandhi.

http://www.healthypet.com This is the homepage of the American Animal Hospital Association, an organization of more than 17,000 veterinary care providers. The site provides information on common health problems, the human-animal bond, nutrition and health, a massive electronic library of pet care tips, preventive care information, with guidelines on how to choose a veterinarian for your pet and links to related web sites. The site is well designed and colourful, and also includes an FAQ, an email newsletter, a colouring page for children, and a list of recommended books for people trying to bone up on pet care.

http://www.canismajor.com/dog/ An electronic guide for people who own a dog as a pet. The site has over 260 articles on responsible dog ownership neatly classified into subject areas like choosing the right dog, nutrition, breed profiles, manners and training, aggression and vacation stories. It is updated frequently with news articles and links to other pooch-related internet sites.

http://www.fanciers.com/general.html The site offers a huge amount of reference material for cat fanciers, including information on choosing a cat, colours and genetics, and cat care. A glossary of cat terms is included, and the site also contains links to related web sites.

http://www.lookd.com/cats/ Offers information on cat anatomy, breeds, diseases and much more, together with pictures of the most common breeds.

http://www.theaviary.com This is the site for information on different types of birds, bird feeders and houses, photography, bird art, bird care, breeding, books, videos, columns and links to internet resources.

http://www.petfinder.org/ Search for a pet to adopt (U.S only).

http://www.aspca.org That is the SPCA site. The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is an organization devoted to promoting humane principles, and preventing cruelty to animals. Among the things you will find on this site, is a list of animals available for adoption, an event calendar, and an online shop; a special Pet Care section tells you how to take care of your pet, and an issues section educates you on the burning issues of the day. And of course, the site also lists the names and addresses of animal welfare groups worldwide, together with links, and news on their activities.

Me and My Pet


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