Our four-legged friends
The love it has for me is simply unparalleled, more than any human’s in this world,” says renowned singer Kumar Basnet of his pet dog.
Keeping pets has fascinated many. Apart from giving a good dose of joy and love through their companionship, they are often lifesavers under unprecedented circumstances, not to mention their immense positive effect on your psyche.
Adds noted music video director Alok Nembang, who’d stuff 10 ladoos in your mouth if you’d let him speak about his pets, “Their presence is very therapeutic. The welcome I get after a hard day’s work simply can’t be put in words. This may sound crazy, but I talk to them and they understand me very well. I’m very emotionally attached to them.”
While dogs still rule the roost as pets in the country, people have in recent years also shown a liking towards other animals and birds. “The number of people keeping guinea pigs, white rats, among others as pets has shown a good rise,” says Dr Saroj Yadav of Mt Everest Kennel Club.
“However, proper awareness vis-à-vis pet health and care is still not up to the mark. Many people keep pets just like that and as status symbol often neglecting their well being. They also fail to act quickly on their sickness and giving full treatment in case of sickness should be emphasised,” he adds.
Agrees Nembang, “I really get dejected when I see the inhumane treatment of animals. They need our love. Those who don’t like them should at least not bother them. I have a wish to build a big shelter for all the neglected animals.”
He is proud to have adopted two street mongrels “Spicy and Salty” as he calls them. He was unable to withstand the pitiable state they were in.
“They also brought me immense good luck — with Spicy came a promotion for me at work, and since Salty came into my life I have been earning much more than before. They also understand my every mood, and no matter how much love I give them, mine will never match theirs,” he adds.
Basnet also says, “Once they know that you are their master, they actually are ready to die for you. I used to travel a lot before through forests, and many times they have saved my life. They also caught a thief who broke into my house in my absence. Understand them and you have no problem.”
It seems breed consciousness has also risen among pet owners.
“Since the last 10 years or so, people have become more conscious of the breed of pets they keep. We get demands for breeds,” says Him KC, director of Royal Kennel. He is happy with the way pet owners have been showing interest in the way they treat pets.
“People now want to know more about their pets. They take them to vets more often, vaccinate, bathe, and have a better understanding on how to keep their pets healthy,” he adds.
Giving small pets as gifts on special occasions like birthdays and marriages is also getting popular, says Dr Yadav.
Pets are one of man’s best friends and the one thing we can hope for them is — let them never see a bad master.
How to treat them well
• Most of the time, they are sick if — they stop eating, are less mobile, have a dry nose, dirty anal region and dry eyes.
• Take them to good doctors and give full treatment. Also, vaccinate them at appropriate times.
• Be careful on the food you give. Ghee, over spicy food, sour, sweet things like chocolate should not be given. Carrots, peas, barley, soyabean, green cabbage, wheat, corn, lard, pasta, rice are very good for your pets. You can also treat them to chicken, eggs and some amount of salty and oily foods.
• Give them a bath once a month during summers, and once in two-three months during winters ideally. Too much bathing may negatively impact their skin glands. Brushing them regularly with little antiseptic in water is beneficial. Soap, conditioners, oils meant for them may be used.
• Develop a good hygiene from early stage like cutting their nails, brushing teeth, eye cleaning, and ear cleaning. These are, however, sensitive parts and you need to learn the techniques from a good doctor before doing this.