BEFORE WELCOMING DOG INTO YOUR HOME

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Ranjita Bastola
B.V.Sc. & A.H. 8th semester
Agriculture and Forestry University, Chitwan

“You may be ragged and have no name.
Your dog will love you. Just the same.”
-Fred. B. Mann
Dogs are the best companionship for humans. We not only bring a dog to home but also love, affection, happiness and respect and security along with it. While mentioning about dog as a pet animals, we all are familiar with the warmth it brings to our life. George Elliot in 19th century remarked that, “Animals make such agreeable friends- they ask no questions, they pass no criticism”. Well it cannot be derived into words about the benevolence, honesty, loyalty and security, a dog can bring in our life! We are always overwhelmed with this member in our family and in return we care for it. We are ready to make commitments regarding all those future bearings like health management, nutritional management and accommodation along with complications, in consideration of our own family safety. What I mean here is, we bring a dog home only after we are confirmed about the safety of our family after bringing the dog to home. So every individual must be aware of dangers of this new member to home before having a pet.
It is very important to be aware of the risks a pet can impose to family. There are few risks it can cause or invite to the family in contrast to the benefits of bringing a pet to home. Major risk a pet can impose is zoonotic diseases. Zoonotic diseases are those diseases which get transmitted to humans from vertebrate animals. So your dog can give you certain diseases if there are no proper preventive measures like vaccines, immunization and de-worming.
Rabies
Cryptosporidiosis
Giardiasis
Influenza (H1N1 and H5N1 )
Leptospirosis
Lyme Disease
Methicillin-Resistance Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
Salmonellosis
Ringworm and Hookworm
Toxoplasmosis
Scabies
Echinococcosis
Risk group: children, grandparents and immune-compromised family members
After enlisting the names of diseases here, I suppose you are curious enough to go through about the diseases once and how dangerous these diseases can be!
Well these are the diseases your dog can contract you provided that you are unaware of preventive measures to apply. These diseases currently cause the death of millions of people each year. In present context, the passion to keep dog as pet animal is increasing among Nepalese people. Not only the indigenous breed but attraction towards exotic breeds of dogs is becoming popular. This implies we are introducing foreign pathogens to our home.
Hugging your pet only is not giving care to it! The first step to care for your pet is by maintaining its sound health for which one must provide proper quarantine. Quarantine measure is crucial means to assure healthy environment for both pet and human beings. “Quarantine” means the process to confirm any animal, animal products or animal production inputs whether diseased or not and put such animal, animal products or animal production or inputs in isolation in specific place, together with or separately for a period of time as prescribed for their inspection. (Animal Health and Livestock Services Act, 2055 (1999))
In other words, quarantine means isolating the animals for specified period of time to inspect and observe for any abnormalities or pathogenic conditions like diseases, before introducing to farm. Quarantine is most effective preventive measure for such zoonotic diseases. It also assures the sound future of animals as well as environment associated with them. The disease in its incubation period might show clinical signs. The diseased animals diagnosed during isolation can be subjected to further treatments and management, transportation stress can be released which is meticulous for a animal to undergo succeeding inspections, the behavioral study can be made during isolation and finally the safeguard of animal-human relationship can be maintained strictly. The inspector must be well trained veterinarian. Regarding the quarantine of pet animal, a dog, the quarantine certificate papers must be their while buying the pet from the pet shop. The pet shop must follow the rules and regulations according to Animal Health and Livestock Services Act, 2055 (1999), for bringing dogs from foreign countries. The quarantine period usually covers 14 days for diseases of veterinary interest. During this period the dog is subjected to screening for diseases and parasites, de-worming, spraying or dipping and immunization against diseases which are not present in the land/country from where it is brought but which are present in the new country/territory. Thus quarantined pet animals are safer to humans, free from threatening diseases and can secure healthy future and a happy living. Hence as an owner it is mandatory to look for real quarantine certificates before buying a dog from pet shop.
While adopting stray puppy, you can do quarantine by yourself. Observe the pup for 14 days for any abnormalities, disease signs or behavior under the guidance of Veterinarian. for having no any evidence of pathogenic conditions, it would be safer to welcome the new member to home.
Disease is not the rule but an exception. So it is always better to follow strict preventive measures to keep your companion and family protected and has good ownership of your companion. Giving good life to your pet is the best you can do for it. Following vaccination schedule prescribed by Veterinarian, maintaining good hygiene at home, around dog house, proper sanitation and good nutrition will always keep you and your pet away from any complications.

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