Taming pets

What is a pet sitter?
A pet sitter is someone who is hired to look after animals whose owners have to go away either for the day or for a holiday or work. You can look after animals in their homes or bring them to yours. It is an interesting and fun job. You can schedule it round your family life and other commitments. You can start part time or full time or even hire a staff as orders come in. Yes, you will have to be completely honest and trustworthy because people are scared of letting strangers into their houses when they are not there. And if you take their dogs home then you must be careful about what they eat etc. You could start by being a pet exerciser: taking dogs out for a walk morning and evening. Many people have these jobs abroad.

There is a shop selling turtles here. The problem is I don’t know the difference between tortoises and turtles and I don’t know how to keep and feed either. But I want one?
Both turtles and tortoises are reptiles, have scales and are cold-bolded. The main difference between the two is their habitat and diet. Most turtles spend much of their time in the water, tend to have webbed feet and are omnivores. Tortoises are land-dwellers, have round, stumpy feet like an elephant’s and are herbivores.

It is illegal to keep either and the punishment is three years in jail and a fine. Give me the name and address of any shop selling them and I will inform the authorities to arrest him. Neither of these animals can be kept without a huge amount of fuss. The tortoise needs basking lights for energy, a fluorescent UVB bulb for processing vitamins and minerals, a heat pad for belly heat and aiding in digestion, and a large water bowl for drinking or soaking. The water has to be changed every day. He has to be soaked every day to keep him well hydrated and clean. The UVB fluorescent bulbs should be changed every 6-8 months. Food should be served in a shallow dish or bowl to help prevent any ingestion of bedding. The bedding differs from tortoise to tortoise as does the environment Tortoises will eat dark, leafy vegetables, as well as some traditional reptile food of fruits, crickets, insects, earthworms, and grasses. Calcium and vitamin supplements are also a must. Tortoises need a 40-gallon or larger glass terrarium with a screen top for ventilation, proper heating and lighting, substrate to line the bottom of the terrarium, artificial or natural rock or wood for a hiding area, a dish for food and a water dish for drinking/soaking their shells. Tortoises need a temperate, moderately humid or arid environment depending on the species.

To help measure the habitat’s temperature, you’ll need at least two thermometers to gauge temperature at both ends of the habitat and a hygrometer to measure humidity levels. Turtles need a large home (a 29-gallon or larger glass aquarium with a screen top) with proper lighting/heating for basking and aquatic requirements including filtration to help keep the habitat clean. Turtles need a varied diet including meat, live animals, prepared and fresh foods. And proper veterinary care. Neither can be handled or cuddled by children, or stroked. Frequent handling of turtles or tortoises can be stressful for them. They spread diseases to humans like salmonella.

Now you see how complicated it is to keep them. In their natural environments they can live to 50 or more years. But when someone buys and takes them home, they last less than a month.

All of them are endangered species and will soon be extinct if you allow people to sell and buy them. They are not pets, do not recognise human beings or interact with them.

Ham and Pork comes from killing pigs. Are pigs just stupid messy eaters?
On the contrary. I have a pig shelter with 380 pigs in it in Gurgaon. They are certainly not dirty. Pigs are fun and very clever. Considered by animal behaviourists to be smarter than three-year-old children, pigs enjoy listening to music, playing with balls, getting massages, and even playing video games. They are so closely related to humans that their parts are being used for human parts. So when you eat a pig you are eating a wonderful, intelligent creature who is related to you- that makes it cannibalism and that is why people who eat pig meat are in danger of all sorts of diseases.

Why are animals still in Indian circuses?
I have no idea. The Ministry for Environment passed a law two years ago that elephants cannot be in zoos or circuses. But they are still there because the Central Zoo Authority is too lazy to take them out. There are hundreds of petitions in the Ministry about removing all animals from the circuses and now it is only a matter of time before they go.

Send your questions to -
Next Story
Share it