Bareilly (UP), April 24 (IANS) The Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) has said that prolonged confinement to home during lockdown could adversely impact the health of pet dogs.
Scientists at IVRI said that the sudden change in the normal routine affects most dogs psychologically. Experts said many pet dogs are finding it difficult to adjust to reduced exercise.
Abhijit Pawde, principal scientist and in charge of the Centre of Wildlife, IVRI, said, “The dogs habituated to go on long walks, are now unable to do so now. They are the worst-hit. These dogs are developing gastric problems and loss of appetite. Reduced intake of food has become a matter of concern among many pet owners. Things get worse when a dog throws up after a meal. Besides, halitosis (bad breath) among dogs is also a common complaint among owners.”
He said since a sizeable population lives in high-rise apartments, restricted activity in the flat is making dogs sluggish, obese and irritated.
“A healthy dog, especially the big breeds, requires a run or a long walk at least twice a day. Long periods of confinement also make many dogs irritable,” he added.
R.K. Singh, director, IVRI, said, “Due to the corona crisis, some pet owners are unable to access the kind of food a dog is used to. The reduced physical activity, coupled with a change in diet, is also adversely affecting the dogs.”
He said that pet owners should make an extra effort to play with their pets and keep them engaged in one activity or the other, especially if they have children at home.
“Dog owners must take their pets for a walk during non-curfew hours and also ensure their grooming at home,” he said, adding that care must be taken not to overfeed the dog which would lead to obesity and cause problems at a later stage.