Summers are both, pain and fun. We enjoy cool refreshing drinks, vacations, cook outs, pool parties, etc, and beat the heat too in the process. While we may beat the heat with ease, it is our pets who feel the real heat in this weather. It is especially bad for the furry friends. When the temperatures rise, we have to be extra cautious about the health of our pets. The onus to save them, from the dangers of summer heat, lies on us. The following tips may be useful for you.
Dangers and Precautions
Mornings and evenings are the best time to play outdoors, even your pets love it in summers. But, when pets are enjoying summer fun, they get exposed to ticks. This can be dangerous for their health. Ticks carry many diseases like Lyme disease. Once hit by this, pets show symptoms like tiredness or fever. Dogs are more vulnerable to ticks than cats. Many medicines and powders are available which save your pets from ticks. So do not foget to see your vet, once your pet gets ticks.
Like humans, pets to suffer heat stroke and dehydration. So it is better to keep your dog inside, when the sun is at its peak. In case you are travelling, do carry a water bowl. Never lock them in a car, heat and suffocation may be fatal for your pet. Pets, especially those with thick coat of fur (mainly dogs) are at higher risk, and are more prone to heat stress. Pets hit by heat stroke or suffering from dehydration show signs dry gums, decreased urination and skin elasticity, low appetite, excess lethargy or sunken eyes.
We resort to pool parties during summer to escape heat, but chances are that your pet does not like this. Cats and rabbits do not like water, some dogs too like to stay away from water. Pets may not know how to swim, so don’t force them. The solution could be a floating device for your four legged friend. In case your pet enjoys water, remember to rinse it after a pool party as chlorine, salt and bacteria in the pool or lake can be harmful for the pets. If you decide to take along your pet on an extended outing, make sure there are areas with shades, water and food for the pet. Avoid giving them food which you are cooking for your BBQ, as some food items can be unhealthy for your pet.
Summers and monsoon are fun time for many bugs and bees. These insects are dangerous for our pets too. Bug bites can lead to infection while a bee sting generates curiosity in our pets which turns them into investigators, and this may lead to death in some cases. So be careful, especially in the evening.
Even in the evening, cemented pavement or pathways remain hot. So avoid taking your dog or cat for walk in these areas, go for grassy patches instead. The heat can harm their paws. Avoid rough pavements too, and always walk in shade.
Pets’ fur, especially of a dog, comforts them in cold weather but this fur can create problems for them in hot summer months. So taking proper care is important. Grooming, brushing and cleaning of the fur is assumes greater importance in summers. You can even get your dog a haircut to get rid of excess fur, this will make him look cool, and stay cool.
Keep Pets Hydrated
It is very important to keep your pets hydrated in summers. This saves them from heat strokes, heat stress and dehydration. Always keep their water bowl full, change water and fill it with clean as often as you can. Always carry a water bowl while travelling.
Pets with thin or no fur or pink skin are susceptible to sunburn. It is important to protect them from heat and sun rays. Sunscreen is the best way to do it. However, you must consult your vet to find out safest sunscreen for your pet. Use sunscreen as practice in summers. Be careful with the products that carry the message ‘not designed for pets’, as the chemicals in them can lead to complications like excessive thirst, drooling, vomiting, lethargy and diarrhea.