Choose the right pet for you

Choose the right pet for you

Choose the right pet for you

Homeless, the gorgeous golden retriever was provided shelter by members of an informal network of animal welfare workers who scour localities to save abandoned pets before putting them up for adoption.

Cookie is among hundreds of pedigree dogs who often find themselves abandoned on the streets because of the inability or unwillingness of owners to care for them. “People take on pet dogs to please their children without realising the huge responsibility,” says Sanober Bharucha of Compassion Unlimited Plus Action (CUPA), an organisation dedicated to rehabilitating dumped canines.

CUPA’s programmes also provide support and information to help people find homes for abandoned dogs instead of surrendering them to a shelter system. “Many people buy or adopt pups because of peer pressure. But after the puppies grow up, they realise that it does not fit into their lives,” says Dr G Pampapathi, a veterinarian who has encountered many “impulsive dog buyers”.

Experts recommend choosing a dog that matches the lifestyle of the owner: “For instance, if you live in an apartment and plan to confine the dog’s activities within the four walls of your house, you must go in for smaller breeds like Pugs, miniature Pomeranians and Dachshunds,” the vet suggests. Bigger breeds like Great Danes, Dobbermanns, Labaradors, Boxers and German Shepherds are more suitable if a garden or large open spaces are available.

Some breeds are more demanding than others - Shih Tizu, Poodle and Scottish Terriers are cases in point. “These breeds require a lot of time to be spent in coat grooming and shine. Owners who have limited time on their hands should not go in for such breeds,” says Pampapathi.

Family breeds like the Labrador Retriever and the Golden Retriever are also demanding in their own way. They require a lot of love, affection and time. “They sink into boredom which can be destructive to their mental and physical health,” cautions Pampapathi.

Sanober warns against adopting certain foreign breeds for which Indian climatic conditions are unsuitable. “Dog enthusiasts take great pride in owning rare breeds like Lasapso, St Bernard and British Bull dogs. But it is an injustice to the dogs as he has to survive in a climate that he is not suited to,” she says.

Experts suggest that is important to make an informed choice before buying a dog which will fit into your home and lifestyle. Otherwise, there is the risk of a mis-match that could land the pets on the streets.