Hot summer days, monsoon rains, cold winters - these are hard times for those animals, particularly dogs & cats that live on our streets. In India, there is a huge population of puppies and older dogs, sick animals who can succumb to these natural adversities. Providing shelter to them is a small way to help them. Temporary shelters using cardboard boxes, plastic or polythene sheets, etc can be useful and keeping them a little distance from houses and buildings can prevent human-animal conflict.
Always keep a list of local stray animal centres in your city to house them when in crisis.
Dogs & cats that live on the streets or stray animals as they are called, normally scavenge for food in dustbins and dumpsters, and hunt on the streets. A lot of human food is not safe for dogs and cats, and garbage consumption can lead to digestive problems and other health issues.
When feeding strays,
- Be mindful and give them nutritious and easy-to-digest food. Use commercially available dog food or cat food or plain rice with vegetables, egg/chicken and curd.
- Have consistent feeding times and a dedicated feeding location. Ensure to have back up feeders to not let the stray animals get hungry if you are not available at any time.
Many local animal welfare organizations, animal NGOs and stray animal care centres collaborate with veterinarians and vaccinate stray dogs and cats in different localities. At the very least, ensure that their anti-rabies vaccinations are up to date to keep both dogs and cats, as well as the people of the area, healthy and safe from rabies.
If you are a stray animal feeder, deworming them is easy. Stray dogs and cats are prone to intestinal parasites and increased worm load as their surroundings are contaminated with faecal matter. Additionally, poor drainage systems around urban areas increase their chances of getting infected. Consult a veterinarian to get the right deworming medication and dosage, which you can then mix with the food they are given daily.
Get your stray dogs & cats neutered, by castrating or spaying them as required. This keeps the stray animal population in check and increases their quality of life by preventing overcrowding, territorial behaviours and a lot of hormonal diseases and cancers that affect the reproductive systems. Additionally, pregnancy and birth are hard on stray dogs and cats since they do not get sufficient nutrition during the process, leading to poor survival rates in stray puppies and kittens.
Talk to people about the difficulties faced by the stray animal population of your city. Raise awareness on taking care of stray dogs & cats, as well as laws to build a pet-friendly society. Find a stray animal centre near you for additional resources.
Rescue & Adopt
Dogs and cats with collars or leashes are generally lost or abandoned. Make efforts to spread the word in your city through social media and local rescue groups and animal care centres to reunite these animals to their families or find them new forever homes.If you have any questions comment them down below or use a link in the bio to chat with a vet.