How to take care of Street Dogs and Puppies?
Street dogs often referred to as stray dogs make up a major part of the Dog population in India.
Sadly, they are most often ignored and suffer from malnutrition. But, if you are the one who wants to take good care of these stray animals and provide them good nutrition and make their lives fruitful, then you’ve landed in the right spot. Here, we will share the basic things you can do to provide good care to street dogs and puppies.
What can you do to take care of the street dogs?
Street dogs require little to basic care from us to live a happy and healthy life. Here is a list of things that you can do to take better care of stray dogs.
The first and foremost thing that you can do to take care of any street dog is Deworming. As the name suggests, this is a process of killing all the infectious worms in the dog’s body.
Scheduled and proper deworming of stray dogs is a must as they mostly feed and sniff around garbage and get worm infestation easily.
Deworming can be done using both tablets and syrups that are easily available in pet stores or at pet pharmacies. If the age of the dog exceeds 6 months, then one dose every six months can be given to the dog without hesitation.
A question might arise now, “how exactly can I give a street dog a deworming tablet?”. Generally, this tablet can be given by mixing the deworming tablet in powdered form with water/milk.
Dr. Anirudh Mittal (founder at Pupkitt) also suggests another way. Take jaggery and heat it to make it soft. Now add a deworming tablet to the jaggery and make a ball of jaggery which you can directly feed to the stray dog.
Preventing Ticks with the help of “Ivermectin”
Ticks are blood-sucking parasites that attach themselves to a dog or puppy. Once attached to a host, ticks feed voraciously.
As they feed, ticks can transmit a large number of diseases, including Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, Q fever, and Lyme disease.
Ticks also release toxins that can harm their hosts. Skin wounds caused by ticks can lead to secondary bacterial infections and screwworm infestations. Severe tick infestations can lead to anemia and death.
Ticks are most common in street dogs as they roam mostly in tick and flea prone areas. Ticks generally tend to grow and multiply more in hot and humid weather (summer and monsoon season).
One common thing that can be done to prevent ticks in street dogs is to give them a dose of Ivermectin tablet (10mg) every month or once in 2 months during the time period from March-August.
But few thumb rules must be remembered before giving this tablet:
The dog should be older than 4 months
Dog Bodyweight must exceed 10 Kg
Ticks generally occur throughout the year but in hot and humid weather, they tend to grow and cause problems in dogs.
So, if you can give the Ivermectin salt in the mentioned time period, then you’ll be able to protect stray dogs from ticks.
Providing Water: The most essential fluid
If you have come this far, then I am pretty sure that you must be a pet lover and you've been already doing this.
Providing water is the most basic thing anyone can do to contribute to the welfare of the street dogs and those cute puppies. Street dogs most often drink dirty water from the puddles or the drains. This causes many water-borne diseases in them as well. Giving these dogs clean water is surprisingly a big gift for them.
Try to provide water in clay pots as it keeps water cool and fresh throughout the day. Remember, the water should be changed once every 6 to 10 hours for utmost hygiene.
Get them vaccinated & sterilized if you can
If your local animal expert or vet identifies some stray dogs that are of appropriate age to be vaccinated, don’t hesitate to get this done as it will help safeguard them from diseases that can lead to the death of a dog.
On the other side, Neutering adolescent dogs is also recommended and in fact, a mandate passed by the Indian government, as it greatly helps in population control and improves their health.
If you are not comfortable approaching a stray that needs to be vaccinated/neutered directly, then you can contact an NGO that provides care services for stray animals.
After a dog has undergone the required sterilization/neutering procedure, they may need five days of rest and medical care before being let back in the location from where he or she was picked up.
We as humans help injured people and take them to hospitals to provide medical help, but when an animal gets injured in an accident, no one cares or even thinks about the injured animals.
They are totally dependent upon us. They die on roads with unbearable pain or become disabled for the rest of their life.
And for this reason, reflective collars came into existence. The reflective collars which reflect light are visible from a long distance and thus makes drivers aware in the dark that there is an animal which reduces the chance of animal road accidents.
These collars can be tied to the neck of the dog but if the dog refuses to adapt to it, then please do not try to put it on forcefully.
Providing food to the stray dogs
Food plays a vital role in maintaining the nutrition of a dog. But in the case of a street dogs, they hardly manage to find the right and nutritious food. Due to the lack of good food, the stray dogs are forced to feed on the garbage and other leftovers found on the road where millions of germs and diseases lie.
And consequently, they suffer from dreadful ailments and malnutrition. But if they are provided with even the basic food, they survive to live a healthier and happier life.
Is it OK to feed street dogs?
It is absolutely normal to feed street dogs as long as you retain some points in mind.
Firstly, ensure that you just feed them at a dedicated time and make sure that they're far from any residential areas to avoid canine-human conflicts.
Secondly, try to choose separate spots and also limit the quantity of food fed to them so as to cut back their dependence on you.
Thirdly, watch out for any open wounds on the strays and get them treated to avoid more infections.
Last however not least – continuously make sure that you get the stray dogs spayed/neutered together with your local organization or personal vet hospital. Feeding stray dogs without sterilization is a call for participation in suffering and misery for the pups born from intact stray dogs.
As a dog lover, you need to do your best to make sure the population of stray dogs in your community is controlled through correct sterilization programs. It's conjointly essential to induce stray dogs to get an anti-rabies shot annually.
What can be given as food?
One thing should be kept in mind that dogs older than 1 year (adult dogs) require food only twice a day.
So, bread can accordingly be given, and a drink consisting of curd and water in the ratio 1:2 respectively can also be given.
In case milk is to be given, then a 1:1 ratio of milk and water should be maintained.
Providing such a diet once a day is more than sufficient as the dogs also manage to hunt by themselves from the nearby surroundings.
Prevent and report cruelty
If you happen to come across animal abuse, don’t just be a mute spectator. If you see someone beating or troubling a dog, take it personally and object to it. Try to educate them instead. Tell them that it is punishable by law to harm or relocate stray dogs forcefully.
Some people in your locality may not have the best of intentions for dogs. Keep an eye out for them and be prepared to solve any conflicts that may possibly arise. In extreme cases, opting for legal advice can prove useful.
Just like humans, dogs have rights too! For years, dog lovers have been fighting for a proper legal system that must be set in place against the unethical treatment of stray animals.
So it is important that you spread awareness about such laws within your community
A dog’s loyalty is one of its greatest assets, so ensuring their safety and security from unlawful activities will help increase the bond you share with them.