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Keep them safe while you recover

Health experts have safety recommendations to help us deal with Covid-19. 

Published: 27th April 2021 01:18 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th April 2021 10:11 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Many animals have suffered since Covid-19 broke out last year. With a lot of misinformation, they heartlessly abandoned their pets fearing that the disease would spread through them. Now, with the second wave of the pandemic and almost every household reporting positive cases, boarding houses and kennels are stepping up and helping pet parents by looking after their pets while they recover. 

Prerana Jha, animal communicator and founder of Bellyfills Pet Food and Boarding, Nadergul, says after getting multiple requests, they opened their doors for all dogs, even for those whose parents are down with Covid. Their home-like AC boarding facility accommodates four to six dogs at a time. Their prices start from Rs 750/day and they provide home-cooked food.

“We have been boarding cats belonging to those who’ve tested positive ever since the first wave hit us,” says Ekta Bhatia, owner of Purry Vibes Cattery, Attapur. The home-based cat boarding service offered at Rs 500 per day includes food and litter; currently, they have one cat from an affected family. Each cat gets their own room, and this, “Helps in curtailing the spread of any possible infections or viruses from one cat to another,” she adds.

A canine behaviourist, who owns Pawtopia Boarding and Training in Madhapur, Akhila Madireddy Kandadai, started boarding dogs three weeks ago. “We keep aside one kennel specifically for a Covid-19 family, and this is for free,” she says. She has looked after two such pets, one of which was taken back two days ago after the family tested negative, she said. Prices start at Rs 450 and vary according to the breed. 

Ashwin who runs the Benzi Cattery in Gachibowli has looked after 15 cats since last year and currently has three under his care. He, however, only takes cats of known clients. He says, “Honestly, cats can be managed at the client’s home itself unless the client is terribly ill and is unable to look after them.”

Maintain distance from your pet if you have Covid 

Panneeru Teja, canine behaviourist and owner, Scoobies pet services, Cherlapally feels that if a person is in quarantine, they should not interact with their pets. Teja has looked after 80 pets of Covid parents since last year and presently has five pets under his care. They charge Rs 700/day which includes food, shelter and medicated baths.

“Even as people are affected with Covid-19, psychologically pets also go through depression and trauma. Pets are sensitive and require to be taken care as much as a human being during these times,” comments Mantravadi Chandra Sekhar, owner, Progressive Canines, Hayathnagar. His open boarding space with space for pets to move around has boarded for 65 pets since last year and currently has eight pets. The pricing is between Rs 500-Rs 1,000 depending on the size of the pet, food intake, activities and care, etc. 

Archana Rao of Bhairav Camps Dog Boarding Facility, Yapral, says, “The main issue with having dogs at home is taking them for walks, preparing their food etc. Either they have to get someone to do this or put the pets in a safe boarding house until they recover.” Archana has been helping with pets since the end of last year and currently has two such dogs in her care. 

Don’t want to take responsibility

“A lot of people bought dogs last year because their kids wanted one or since they were WFH and bored. However, they forget that owning a pet comes with a lot of responsibility. They are no less than a newborn baby. Unfortunately, many buy dogs and then either abandon them, put them up for adoption or board them forever since they are unable to manage,” says Rishi Singh, founder, Gods Own Dog boarding, Nallagandla. Every day, they receive four calls saying they are unable to manage and want to give their dogs away. “It breaks our heart to see such things happening,” he shares. They currently have four dogs from families infected by Covid. 

How to care for your pets if you test positive for Covid-19

Every pet owner has to be prepared for the worst, while they’re still healthy. Write down a list of the pet’s walking and feeding schedules, medicines, preparation methods if on home food, etc

Keep a bag ready with at least 20 days worth of dry food and medicines, treats, a set of leash and collar, toys, etc. in case the pet has to be sent anywhere in the event of your hospitalisation

Speak to boarding places, friends or relatives who are ready to take care of your pet if you fall sick and make a list of them with numbers for ready reference

Speak to boarding places, friends or relatives who are ready to take care of your pet if you fall sick and make a list of them with numbers for ready reference

If you’ve taken a test, make sure you hand over the walks to the dog walker, with all safety measures such as a separate leash and sanitiser kept outside your home for their use. If a dog walker is unavailable, alert the boarding facility/a friend

Usually, dogs also recognise that their parent is sick and will try to comfort them, but as lovely as it is, this can also add to the dogs’ stress. It is advisable to have your other family members cheer up the situation by engaging the dog with a little bit of tricks training, puzzles, and other engagements. Scent games and providing items to chew on, such as bones, nylabones, Kongs and other chew toys would keep the dog calmer

-Vinod Poyilath, certified canine behaviour consultant & trainer, founder, Woof Buddies Dog Boarding Home

— Tamanna S Mehdi

tamanna@newindianexpress.com  

@tamannamehdi



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