KOCHI: A House with a backyard is not always possible for city dwellers. That’s why many opt for flats or apartment complexes. And in this fast-paced life, peace, entertainment, companionship and even friendship will be difficult to find. That’s where pets help.
Having a dog or a cat may help ward off loneliness.
However, it is not that easy to take care of pets in apartments. So here are some things to keep in mind.
Can you keep pets in flats?
In India, it is legal to keep pets in flats and apartments. And resident associations or others cannot prevent one from doing so. However, it is the responsibility of parents to make sure pets don’t disturb other residents.
Consult a vet
According to Dr Sonika Satheesh, the most important thing is to consult a veterinarian before adopting a pet. “Each pet has different characteristics. You have to make sure, your lifestyle suits the pet. For example, a labrador is a big breed, however, they are very friendly. They require a lot of exercises, plenty of food etc. Only if you can meet their needs should you adopt a lab,” she says.
Don’t tie them up
When leaving for work, your doggo or the kitten will be alone at the flat. However, don’t tie them up. It affects their wellness. And according to Dr Sonika, especially, never leave pets on balconies.
“Due to increased exposure to the sun, they might get dehydrated. Heatstroke is another issue,” she says. Also, if you have dogs such as huskies, make sure to leave the AC on as much as possible.
Spend time with them
Before and after leaving for work, spend enough time with your pets. Take your dogs out for walks, and walk with them to explore. “Pet your dogs and play with them. Dogs are very susceptible to depression. So, make sure they never feel abandoned,” Dr Sonika adds.
Cats don’t need to be taken care of like dogs. However, they also need regular petting. Brush your furry friends twice a day.
Leash is must
When you’re living in flats, make sure that your dogs always have a leash. You have to be mindful of the safety of others.
Enough food and water
When you leave the home for work, keep food and water for your pets. In the case of adult dogs, water is a must, even if food is not. “But, it is better to leave some snacks in case they want to nibble on something,” says the doctor. Also, don’t leave things like medicine where your pets can reach.
When you keep indoor plants, make sure they are not toxic for pets. Pets love to explore, sniff and nibble on stuff. “Some common indoor plants like snake plants are toxic for pets,” cautions Dr Sonika.
Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine
It’s important and must to vaccinate your pets. Not just the regular rabies vaccine, immunise them against
tick fevers and other infections too. Dr Sonika says, recently there is a spike in such cases.