Five dogs best suited for life in a metro (Feature)

New Delhi, July 5 (Calcutta Tube) It might wag its tail and wolf down its food, but if the dog you’ve kept in your city home could talk, you might not hear a happy tale.

Not all dogs are suited for life in this metro. Extreme climate, space constraint and specific dog nature are major factors that determine which dog comes into your home.

Delhi-based veterinary surgeon Vivek Arora told IANS: ‘Space and time are factors which should be looked at before adopting a pet. Our family life is also very important in deciding what pet you adopt.’

Former banker Sanjeev Kumar, who ended up opening a chain of pet stores called Pet Bytes, lists four factors to keep in mind while selecting a dog:

-The most important factor is climatic conditions.

-Nature of the dog. It should ideally be friendly.

-Your requirements. Do you want a lap dog, family dog or guard dog?

-Space constraints. If the other factors fit the bill, ignore these.

So now which are the five dogs best suited for life in Delhi?

Number one on the list is the commonly found street dog. As Mark Twain once said: ‘If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.’

Kumar said: ‘Street dogs are sturdy, don’t fall ill, they are used to the climatic conditions, they make good family and guard dogs…and adopting a street dog is also a good thing.’ And the price? Free, free, free!

Second on the list is the Labrador Retriever.

‘Even though not the best guard dogs, they make excellent family dogs. They are very friendly, good companions and are extremely intelligent,’ he said. They cost anything between Rs.5,000 and Rs.15,000.

Tenzing Wangchuk, originally a resident of Darjeeling, who has been in Delhi for the last 18 years and owns a Labrador, told IANS: ‘They are good family dogs and playful with children. When you come home from work and play with the Labrador, it’s a great stress buster.’

Next on the list comes the Beagle. It falls in the hound category and requires a lot of exercise. But the advantage is it has short coats, can adapt to the climate and is quite small (approx 14 inches) and so it does not require much space.

Beagles also make good family and guard dogs. They come for anything between Rs.15,000 and Rs.25,000.

Then comes the Dalmatian. Again, a friendly dog with a short coat and very adaptable to city life. The price ranges from Rs.7,000 to 13,000.

Fifth on the list of dogs to keep in Delhi is the Boxer.

Contrary to name and reputation, Boxers make good family dogs, are very protective of children and also make excellent guard dogs. They come for Rs.7,000 to Rs.15,000.

Does size matter? Depends. There might be just enough space for you and the Saint Bernard in your two-room apartment. If it’s a pair of German Shepherds, then the question doesn’t arise.

As Kumar said: ‘It’s about a place in your heart and a corner in your house.’

‘All dogs require a lot of exercise, a good diet, but the hunter breeds and guard dogs do require some more space,’ Kumar said.

If you have a dog in your city home, seeking advice on it from a vet from time to time is a must.

‘You need to groom your dog and take him for walks twice a day. Make sure you bathe the dog once a fortnight and regular visits to the vet and vaccination are necessary. You also have to take care of his daily ration needs,’ Arora said.

There are, however, some dogs which are rather unsuitable for the average Delhi home. These are the Saint Bernard, Siberian Huskies, German Shepherds, Pit Bull and Rottweiler.

Some of these dogs are basically suited for cooler climes and in some cases, well, their bite is much worse than their bark.

As actor-comedian Jimi Celeste had remarked: ‘I have a great dog. She’s half Lab, half Pit Bull. A good combination. Sure, she might bite off my leg, but she’ll bring it back to me.’

(Ajay Khullar can be contacted at ajay.k@ians.in)

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