Summer is a season full of joy, life and hot flashes that often takes a toll both us and our pets. Many are unaware, that summer’s effect is felt by animals especially the dogs in large doses. Dogs cannot cool themselves, and their fur adds to the problems. Dogs with lighter fur absorb less heat than dogs with darker hair, and overweight dogs are susceptible to heat strokes and dehydration. Snub-faced dogs such as bulldogs, pugs, and others are that not efficient in cooling down via panting.
Come summer; it is crucial that your pets receive the best care as a little oversight can be fatal to your little one.
Here are some tips for handling your pets this summer:
In summer, the best time to walk your dog would be early morning or evening before the sun has risen or set. This practice will save your pet from those harsh heat of the summer. Don’t take your dog out for a walk during the day mainly from 11 AM to 4 PM as the sun will be in its peak. Walk at a slow pace and carry water with a disposable cup to keep your pet well-hydrated. To protect your pet from heat stroke, have a wet towel in hand. Wrapping them in the towel will reduce the risk of the stroke.
In case, you are unable to take your dog out when it is cool, then ensure that you have protective padding for their paws. The ground can be hot which will in turn crack, burn and hurt their paws.
Give your dog easy access to clean, cool and fresh water. At the same time, include water supplements such as electrolytes, buttermilk(without salt), frozen treats, coconut water, and fruits. Pets might have an increased/decreased appetite during summer so include buttermilk, curd, and broth as part of their meal routine.
Since dogs don’t usually sweat, regulating their body temperature is an impossible task. Panting is the only cooling mechanism a dog has in summer. Watch out for the following signs to know if your pet is suffering from dehydration:
- Difficulty in breathing
- Excessive drooling or panting
- Bloodshot eyes
- Highly restless
- Increased heartbeat
- Change in attitude
- Reddened gums
- Breathing trouble
- Passing little or no urine
- Blood in stools and vomit
Once you notice any of these symptoms, it is imperative that you cool them immediately. Use fresh water not cold or iced
water to lower their temperature. Spray them with cool water, wrap them in wet towels or use fans to cool them down. In case, your pet’s body temperature is 1030 C, then visit your veterinarian immediately to prevent any fatalities.
Tip! If you have an air conditioner, leave it on so that your pet will be comfortable during the day
Don’t’ leave your pet in a parked car:
The car’s interior retains more heat than outside temperatures even if you are parked in the shade. This will escalate your pet’s body temperature and lead to severe heat stroke. Also, warm weather is a breeding ground for ticks and fleas. So, it is crucial that you check your pet at regular intervals for fleas and ticks. Contrary to popular belief, don’t shave your dog’s fur in summer as it harms them more than benefit. Trimming the long hair is a better option for summer because the fur will protect the dog from heating and sunburn.
These tips might seem overwhelming, but taking precautions never hurts. Observe and use your common sense to do what is best for your four-legged companion. When in doubt, consult your vet! Happy summer.