Fresh guidelines on pet care soon

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Qatar is all set to formulate fresh guidelines for pet care. The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Urban Planning (MMAUP) has appointed an international expert in the field to asses the situation in Qatar and submit a proposal.

Dr Safwat Ali Hassan, the Hamburg-based Veterinary expert told The Peninsula that he will submit the preliminary report within one week. Before submitting the report, Dr Ali Hassan would visit pet homes and meet various individuals and associations involved in the pet caring in Qatar. He would also make a study on the gravity of the stray dog menace in the country.

Dr Ali Hassan said Qatar’s pet population has increased many folds during the last several years due to the heavy influx of foreign nationals. The Ministry has asked him to take care of all the aspects of the issue before finalising the report, he said.

Dr Ali Hassan, who dismissed the theory that pet caring and grooming are against Islamic teachings, said the GCC region must develop a culture of pet care in the region in view of its fast changing demography.

In the western world, trained pet dogs offer great services to the society. A Guide Dog can provide mobility and independence to the visually-impaired person. The most common breeds used in assisting the visually-impaired are Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers and German Shepherd Dogs, he said.

For a person who is hearing impaired, the feeling of vulnerability and isolation can be overwhelming. A trained Hearing Dog can alert his master to important sounds, such as the sounds of a baby’s cry, the telephone ringing, a knock at the door, a kettle whistle, in addition to such danger signals as the sound of a smoke alarm, burglar alarm or even the rustling of a prowler.

Therapy dogs are used for the benefit, both physical and emotional, of people in hospitals, senior citizen’s residences, nursing homes, day care centres, special need schools, psychiatric hospitals and many other places where people may be restricted from having pets.

The medical professionals has widely acknowledged that stroking and petting animals can have a calming effect, lower blood pressure and relieve tension, he said.

There are specially trained dogs that can identify low blood sugar in humans. The dogs, are trained to smell changes in a diabetic’s body chemistry when blood sugar levels dip. Latest studies have proved that trained dogs can help early detection of cancer. The trained dogs can detect if someone has cancer just by sniffing the person’s breath. Ordinary household dogs with only a few weeks of basic “puppy training” learned to accurately distinguish between breath samples of lung and breast cancer patients and healthy subjects, he added.

Dr Ali Hassan is currently the Surgeon Specialist at Small Animal Center Merkurpark in Hamburg, Germany.

http://thepeninsulaqatar.com/Display_news.asp?section=Local_News&subsection=Qatar+News&month=February2009&file=Local_News2009021765849.xml

Fantastic, ILQ has been a supporter of QAWS for a long time now and this is great!