Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Irritation, depression, obesity, sleeplessness and poor access to medical care are major problems pets are facing due to second wave of corona-induced lockdown in the city.
The pet owners said that curbs on movement have forced them to cut on the routine exercise of pets. Packaged food and medicines for pets are not available as markets are closed. Besides, meat and chicken shops are shut, depriving them of non-vegetarian diet. Veterinarians are also not easily accessible. Free Press talked to pet owners to know the difficulties. Excerpts
Shibani Sharma, social activist:
“We have a one-and-a-half-year-old Indian cat Remo. He has been living with us for a month. Before lockdown, he was independent. But now he clings to us and does everything to draw our attention. Remo is sad if we do not take him on our lap. He is not taking proper diet and has become irritable.
Earlier, we used to give him a particular brand of medicated cat food but it unavailable. He doesn’t like what we give him. Recently, he didn’t take food for five days. We can’t take him to a hospital because doctors refuse to examine them. I gave him ORS after taking doctor's advice on phone. Since he is not having food, we surfed cat lovers’ sites to check how to take care of cats.”
Aadya Shrivastava, student:
“I have four dogs of Labrador, Dachshund and Shih Tzu breeds. Earlier, I used to take them for a walk for at least one kilometre every day. On weekends, we took them to Kailasot or other picnic spot. Now, the daily walks have become shorter and the long drives are out of question. That has made them irritable.
Also, the medicines we need for them are not available, we are facing problems getting them vaccinated. Vets are unwilling to examine them unless there is an emergency. I used to feed boiled chicken and eggs to my pets. But all meat and chicken shops are closed now.”
Atharv Khare, social worker:
I have a Labrador and a Siberian Huskie besides four dogs of Indian breeds. All of them are irritated and depressed. I used to walk them everyday, Sunday walks were longer. Now, they have short walks around the house.
Due to lack of exercise, their diet has reduced. Their diet chart has got disturbed. Earlier, all of them were friends. But now they bark at each other and sometimes also get into fights.”
Geetika Kakde, student:
“I have Orio, an Indian cross-breed. It is much less active now. It gets worked up easily. Earlier, it used to get out of house at least five times every day. But now, it is not more than once a day. We didn’t know that a lockdown will be imposed and extended.
So, we did not store food we gave them. Now, shops are closed. I tried to buy dog food from online stores but they are only selling essential items.”
Dr Mukesh Tiwari, veterinarian:
“Curbs on movement of people are bound to affect pets. They are getting less exercise and that may lead to problems like uneasiness, obesity and irritation. In any case, skin infections and loss of appetite are common among dogs in the summer season.”