Millennium Post

The curious case of barking

The curious case of barking
Why does my dog sometimes bark at thin air?
If your dog persistently barks at nothing for lengthy stretches of the day, compulsion could be the root cause. Other examples of compulsive patterns in dogs include running after their tails, immoderate licking and circling, to start. A lot of different factors can lead to these behaviors in dogs, from bullying by other household pets to insufficient interaction with humans or fellow animals. By barking into thin air, your dog could unwittingly be conveying his deep feelings of angst.

Attention is also a major cause for barking at nothing in dogs. If your dog wants you to take notice of him, whether to give him treats, play or anything else, he might bark right up until he attains his goal – and that’s you approaching him, talking to him or even just glancing over at him for a while.

Barking into thin air often denotes a dog who is feeling unwell. If you can’t ever figure out why your dog is barking, a prompt veterinary appointment is the way to go. Your dog could be dealing with anything from a cut on his foot to intense arthritic pain.

If your dog is barking and all is quiet and no one’s knocking at the door, his reasoning could be as straightforward as pure tedium. 

Barking might be your pet’s way of releasing all of the pent-up tension in his life. If you think that your canine’s persistent barking might indeed be related to boredom, it’s time to do something to change that: the dog needs more exercise and mental and physical stimulation.

Dogs occasionally bark out of mimicry. If your dog picks up on the noise of a pooch a couple houses away barking, it might inspire him to start doing so himself. Canine hearing is a lot more sophisticated than human hearing, so it may be possible that he can hear a dog barking even though you can’t hear anything.

Is it legal to kill or relocate stray dogs to control their population?
No, it is absolutely illegal to kill or relocate stray dogs for population control. Both of these acts come under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 and they have strict punishments for the acts. The courts have ruled that dogs have to stay in the place where they stay.  The only population control measure that is legal is the sterilisation and immunisation of street dogs and after that, the dogs are to be left in the same place where they were before. This is clearly mentioned in the ABC dogs rules 2001 rule 7. It also clearly states the process of capture, sterilisation, immunisation and release of such dogs.

 Can dogs get sunburn? What should I do to prevent and treat it?
Dogs that are most likely to suffer from sunburn are white dogs, hairless dogs, thin haired  and dogs with light colored fur. Their risk of dog sunburn and skin cancer in dogs is increased if they are not properly cared for by putting sunscreen on them. Just like us, dogs can get sunburned, too, and suffer from pain, peeling and skin cancer. Certain breeds can be particularly susceptible including Staffordshire Terriers, Boxers, Bull Terriers, German Shorthaired Pointers and Pit Bulls, to name a few. 

Put a dog sunscreen on before your dog goes outside — especially if your dog will be spending a lot of time out in the sun. It should be applied on your dog’s nose, belly, ears, and groin. Any spot that is normally “pink” on your dog.  Avoid using dog sunscreen around the eyes. If your dog does happen to become sunburned, 100% pure Aloe Vera gel is the best way to quickly and easily soothe your dog’s skin.
I have bird feeders in my garden but the squirrels keep taking away all the food. What should I do?
Use a squirrel proof feeder – This is probably the most effective way to keep a squirrel out of your feeders. Many of the best squirrel proof feeders are weight-sensitive, so that if a squirrel tries to sit on them, the feeder closes and the squirrel cannot get at the food. Other squirrel proof birdfeeder designs include feeders that are surrounded by a metal cage. 

These allow smaller animals, like birds to get through, but not larger ones. The metal cages are not quite as effective as the weight sensitive due to the fact that squirrels can and will wiggle their way into anything.

Use a squirrel collar – Putting a cone-like collar on the post that the birdfeeder sits on or on the chain that the birdfeeder hangs from can help to deter squirrels from your bird food. But squirrels can find a way around this if they have a location nearby where they can jump from onto the birdfeeder.

Use a slippery post – If your bird feeders are sitting on wood posts, consider changing them to a metal or PVC pole. These materials make it hard for the squirrel to climb and, therefore, the squirrel will have a more difficult time getting to the food. For added protection, grease the pole with vegetable oil to make it extra slippery.

Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, MP & Union Cabinet Minister, also an eminent animal rights activist and environmentalist answers Millennium Post readers queries related to animal welfare issues

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