Its only March but already the mercury is rising! Just as we humans suffer, so do our furry friends. Only difference being that we can communicate our feeling, as well as our discomfort. Sadly our beloved four-legged friends can’t. They can suffer from heat strokes and dehydration just as we can. So let’s ensure that they stay cool and healthy this summer.
Never Ever Leave Your Pet Inside a Car
We cannot stress on this enough! Please NEVER EVER leave your pet inside a car with the windows rolled up. The temperatures on a hot day inside a closed car can reach dangerous levels. There have been multiple instances where many dogs, especially those with flat noses (pugs, boxers) have died after being left unattended inside a car while the pet parents make a quick trip outside. If it is excessively hot outside we suggest you leave your pets in the cool comfort of your home, while you run those quick errands.
You might notice that as the temperatures increase, your pet might tend to drink more water. This is their way of keeping their internal body temperatures in check. If the water bowl is emptied more often, you should consider yourself lucky that your furry babies are drinking enough. On the other hand if your baby hardly touches their water bowl, you can entice them by adding buttermilk or broth to their water. Ice pops made with broth or veggies and meat are also an excellent alternative to ensure they remain hydrated. Watch out for excessive panting, lethargy and heavy breathing. These can be signs of dehydration and you should plan a vet visit immediately.
Walk Them During Cooler Hours
Simple adjustments to their daily routine can help them stay cooler in the scorching days. Walks taken earlier in the mornings and later in the evenings will be much better suited to them. This is especially crucial for dogs that have thicker and longer fur. Many a times these poor fellows have more of a chance of heat strokes and dehydration. Imagine walking in 40 degree weather with a thick sweater on! That’s what it’s like for them. Walking them in the cooler hours of the day will thus ensure that they still get the exercise they need without the risk of overheating their bodies. Imagine walking bare-feet on footpaths and pavements in the summer. Would you be able to do it without burning your soles off? The same goes for your pooches. As much as you can, avoid walking them in the sweltering heat.
Avoid Heaty Foods
Red meat as well as too many eggs can be too heaty for their systems in the summers. So switching to lean meats like chicken and fish (boneless of course for the two) proves to be a better alternative. If you can supplement that with extra water or broth then it’s the perfect meal! Yogurt, buttermilk (and we don’t mean the kind you would treat yourself to from the near by dhaba! this should be homemade with minimal masala), watermelon, cucumber and other fruits and veggies high in water content are also excellent snacks.
Outdoor Shelter Provision
If your four-legged best friend loves chilling in the garden or the terrace of your home, please ensure they have ample protection from the direct sunlight and the hot winds. A little pond made for them in the yard can also double all their playtime fun. At the same time please also ensure that your fella or girlie are dried off properly after their play time. Fungal and bacterial infections have a way of sneaking up when you least expect them.
Don’t Forget the Streeties
These poor babies! They have to deal with constant exposure to the elements. Whether it is unrelenting rainfall or dips and rises in temperature. So, just as you ensure your babies at home are cool and comfy, please don’t forget about those babies that are out on the streets. A few water-filled earthen pot bowls left in cool areas can literally be lifesavers for them. Similarly keeping a bowl out for birds and squirrels in the balcony or on the terrace is an excellent idea. They will bless you for it.
Summer is here! And it is definitely here to stay for a few months. How do you cool off with you pets? Swimming in the river or lake? Pool parties? Or a good old fashioned wet-down with the garden hose? Let us know! We look forward to hearing from you!
Happy pet parenting!