Keep your pets cool this summer. The temperatures soar to a whopping 40 degrees in Mumbai now. The heat is not only taking a toll on you but also on your beloved pets.
Unlike hoomans, pets can only sweat through their paw pads and by panting. You obviously can’t keep them in air-conditioned quarters 24×7. Here are 6 quick tips to know to ensure that your pets stay cool this summer.
Hydration is Key!
The first and foremost rule is to ensure that your pet is drinking plenty of water. A good way to do that is by putting a few ice cubes in their bowls. Carrying a portable water bowl on long walks is recommended.
Dr. Sachin Bhaviskar, veterinary doctor, says, ‘Once you bring your dog back home after his walk, let them rest for at least 15 – 20 minutes before you give them water. This will ensure that they don’t take large gulps of water at one go. Drinking water in a hurry may lead to bloating or their stomach becoming upset’.
Avoid taking them out in the heat
Restrict your pet’s walk timings to the cooler hours of the day. A hot pavement or cemented road could easily burn your its paws. In fact, your pet could even get sunburnt if exposed to the sun for long periods.
Dog breeds with shorter snouts like pugs and bulldogs could have difficulty breathing, so don’t overexert them during this time. It’s preferred to walk on grass or areas with ample shade.
Never leave your pet in the car (This rule applies all year round!)
Even if it’s just for a few minutes or the windows are rolled down and the car is parked in a shaded area, NEVER ever leave your pet alone in a car. It could not only suffocate them but could prove fatal as well.
Temperatures inside cars tend to be higher than outside and your pet could suffer a heat stroke within minutes.
Trimming isn’t always the answer
If you thought that shearing your dog or cat during the summer is keeping them cool, you may be wrong! In reality, the layers on your pets may protect them from sunburn. Always consult your vet before getting them trimmed during summers.
Dr. Bhaviskar says, ‘Fur is like insulation. When dogs are subject to the heat of the sun, their fur coat protects them from it. During summer, an average of 3-4 dogs get a heatstroke every day. You need to immediately cool down their body by putting the air conditioner on or by giving them a cold water bath. Black Labradors, Saint Bernards and other heavy breeds are more prone to heat strokes.’
Look for signs of stress
Some of the most common symptoms are excessive panting, heavy drooling, increased water consumption and disorientation. Try to cool them down by applying cold water packs or a cool towel to their head. If they still continue to show these symptoms or in extreme cases, fall unconscious, immediately consult your vet!
Dr Bhaviskar adds, “If your pet shows any of these symptoms, please do not panic. On seeing you in stress your pet will be even more anxious and its situation might get worse.”
Homemade frozen treats for the win!
There’s nothing like a cool homemade popsicle on a hot summer day. Mix some fresh fruit with yogurt and freeze. That’s it! Your pet will definitely enjoy these chilled treats.
P.S. – If you’re an animal lover, do lookout for the strays in your area. You can do your bit by providing them with fresh water at regular intervals.