In what promises to be a long, harsh and hot Indian summer, the mercury has begun to surge to new heights. The homeless bear the wrath of the sun at its worst hence we request all our readers to put out water bowls for the birds, cats, and dogs.
Before we head over to the tips to beat the heat, let’s understand how cats and dogs regulate their body temperature:
- Panting (Dogs regulate 80% of their temperature this way) and licking (cats)
- Heat exchange through the skin, ears, and fur
- Sweating via paws
The heat issues can get fatal very quickly, this handy list of easy tips by our in-house vet Dr Cat tell you how to keep dogs safe in summer.
How to keep dogs safe in summer:
1. Access to freshwater
Keep a filled water bowl near your dog at all times. While this may be obvious, it is an especially important step. If your dog finishes the bowl quickly, get a bigger bowl or get a few bowls.
You may also put out hanging pots like the one above to help birds.
2. Give your pet a haircut
Summer is the perfect season to give your dog a haircut, but you must consult your vet on the need for the fur before getting the clippers out. e.g. Shepherd dogs have a thick fur coat as an adaptation to effectively manage the sun’s UV rays.
3. Never leave your dog in the car unattended
During hot summer months, leaving a dog in a parked car can quickly become dangerous, even deadly. The temperature inside a locked car can rise to dangerous levels within minutes. Even on a mild day, the temperature inside a car can quickly reach dangerous levels, causing heat stroke, dehydration, and even death. Dogs are especially vulnerable to heatstroke as they cannot regulate their body temperature as efficiently as humans.
Ensure to leave the windows open for your dog and keep some water with you.
Cooling down the dog’s paws help to reduce their body temperature. Use a wet cloth to cool them down by applying the cloth under their paws.
4. Take advantage of the cooler parts of the day to exercise your dog.
Just as in the case of humans, prolonged exposure to the sun can elevate the risk of heat stroke and sunburn in dogs. Remember that your dog has a fur coat to manage and will heat up much faster than you would. Furthermore, the concrete and asphalt can get really hot on even mildly hot days so before you walk your dog on concrete or asphalt, try to check the ground – If it’s hot for you, it’s too hot for them!
5. Keep your home cool
Employ these ideas to maintain an optimum temperature indoors:
- Install sun-blocking curtains
- Turn off or unplug appliances you are no longer using. All electronic items generate heat.
- Remove the carpets from rooms to allow your pets relatively extended ‘cooler’ area to lie on.
- Leave the fans on for pets
6. How to detect Heat Stroke in Dogs?
Summertime comes with its own set of hazards, so please ensure that you identify the warning signs of trouble. When in doubt, call your vet right away.
If you see any of these signs, get your dog to a veterinarian quickly:
- Labored breathing
- Tongue color will change from dark red to purple
- Pulses will be fast
7. Add Yogurt to your dog’s diet – A great digestion aid, it’d also get rid of unhealthy bacteria in your pet’s tummy, replacing it with good bacteria.
Keep your dog free from external parasites and allergens during the summer. Groom regularly, bathe your pet with quality pet care products – and don’t forget shampoo and powder (for action against ticks, fleas, and lice).
Try to opt for products that contain natural ingredients like Neem, Hibiscus, and Eucalyptus to maintain your pet’s skin health and hygiene.
Over to you, let us know how you are helping your animal friends this summer?