CHENNAI: You’ve finally decided to bring home a pet. Congratulations are in order! However, hopefully, you have given enough thought before getting into a lifelong commitment to take care of another being.
Factors like monthly budget, compatibility with your lifestyle, challenges and lifestyle adjustments, making time for walks/exercise are factors you should be considering and not just which breed or age you should go for.
Always adopt and never shop. Educate yourself about the inhumane and cruel practices of breeders. Talk to new pet parents who have abandoned their pet just after few weeks because he/she can’t ‘adjust’ or the dog is not ‘trainable’.
Go to a shelter. Educate yourself by talking to experienced adoption facilitators. Understand that you are looking at a responsibility and not just a playmate. The lack of proper groundwork is the primary reason why so many dogs are homeless today.
Bringing home a pet should always be a practical, well-thought out decision, and not an impulsive or emotional one. Though the general craze is always for foreign breed dogs, who, in most cases, are not suitable to our climatic conditions, do consider our own Indian dogs.
Despite the prevalent mindset fueled by ignorance, misconceptions and age-old beliefs against our own Indian dogs, they still remain the most suitable dog to adopt.
The Indian pariah dog, or Indian native dog, is the aboriginal breed of the Indian sub-continent. They are often erroneously referred to all urban Indian street dogs, who are not pure indigenous dogs but mixed breeds, especially those found in the present urban landscape.
From the Anglo-Indian word pye or paë and Hindi pahi meaning ‘outsider’, it is sometimes referred to as the pye-dog or desi dog, and an Indie dog.
Pariah dogs are extremely alert and social. They make excellent watch dogs and are very territorial and defensive of their pack/family. They do well with families and children. They are highly intelligent and easily trainable. The pariah dog is a natural dog breed, and for this reason, they are particularly suited for Indian and Asian climates, where temperatures can vary from — 10 to 50 degrees celsius.
Many breeds cannot adapt to this climate and require extra care, for example, the Saint Bernard and Husky. These breeds don’t do well in the summer when temperatures are greater than 40 degrees. Breeds like the Dalmatian and Doberman can’t tolerate the cold. Pariah dogs, on the other hand, have the advantage of being well-adapted to the extreme weather of the Indian subcontinent.
Though every homeless dog deserves a home, Indie dogs are actually the most suitable of the lot. I, myself am a pet parent to four dogs — a Labrador-mix boy, a Labrador girl and two Indie sisters. Of my four, I have had experienced health problems only with my ‘pure foreign breed’ Labrador girl till date, while my two Indie girls and my Lab/Indie mix have been healthy.
This personal experience, along with my extensive rehabilitation and re-homing experience of seven years, has helped confirm the view that Indies are the most suitable breed to adopt, especially for first-time pet parents or with those who have a paucity of time and experience. Most Indie dog families will tell you that adopting an Indie has been their best decision.
The first and foremost point is that they are low maintenance, unlike most pedigreed dogs. Next to nil maintenance, just regular vet visits and you are done. This is so because unlike foreign breed dogs, Indies are native to our country and they are immune to weather changes. They adapt quickly, and homemade food is ideal for them.
Being a naturally evolved breed, they have very few health concerns and thrive with minimal maintenance, especially in tropical weather. The fur needs very little grooming and the dogs themselves are relatively clean.
Indie dogs are not prone to major health issues and only require routine vet visits. Their good health is a big plus for owners who are not capable of taking their pets in for frequent grooming or additional health checks. Indie dogs have a short, coarse coat, and no undercoat, so they shed very little. You will rarely find fur in their living space. They do not require regular brushing or grooming either. Monthly baths and regular brushing are sufficient.
For any breed, the question is never if they are ‘good’ pets, the query should always be what type of pet can you handle, take care of and live with? If you want a pet, understand your living space, monthly budget and other factors, and then adopt one — be it desi or any other breed.
Indie dogs are healthy
Indie dogs are not prone to major health issues and only require routine vet visits. They have a short, coarse coat, and no undercoat, so they shed very little. You will rarely find fur in their living space. They do not require regular grooming either. Monthly baths and regular brushing are sufficient.