BENGALURU: With the Sun God turning fiercer every day, it’s time to take special care of our pooches in more ways than one. Signs of heat stress are heavy panting, dry or red gums, drooling and general weakness or lethargy. Diarhhea, vomiting and a body temperature higher than 104C are more symptoms of severe stress. Now for a few tips for this season.
Avoid walking your pet between 10 am and 5 pm when the heat is at its worst. Their paws are prone to sun burn so avoid asphalted footpaths and tarred roads. Walk them early morning and after sun down.
Special care needs to be taken for short snout (brachycephalic)pets such as Boxer, Pekingese, Pugs or Persian cats who due to their narrow nostrils and wind pipes cannot pant as efficiently as others to cool themselves down. They need to be kept indoors as much as possible and always have access to fresh drinking water.
Senior or overweight pets or pets with heart and lung issues should be kept in cooler places as much as possible.
Dogs cool from bottom to top. A wet towel rubdown or letting them to lie down on a wet towel on floor near the fan will help immensely.
NEVER ever leave your pets in the cars even with windows cranked down. By leaving them in cars you are seriously compromising their ability to cool themselves. Strokes, internal bleeding will result in death. Same thing applies for dogs kept in kennels or outside during daytime.
Dehydration is the greatest enemy of the dog. They should have constant access to fresh drinking water. In addition to that, fruits with high water content like watermelons (deseeded) and diluted buttermilk are good options for hydration.
This is the time when skin or ear infections will be rampant. Brush regularly and more importantly dry them thoroughly after a bath to avoid any skin infection. Professional grooming is advised.
Coats protect cats and dogs from overheating and sun burn. Brushing everyday will help avoid tangling and matting, remove loose fur and will prevent overheating. Please don’t shave your pet, trimming yes not shaving.
Keep your pets free of external parasites such as ticks, fleas and hookworms. Brush every day with a tick comb. Tick fever CAN be fatal. Lethargy and lack of interest in food are main indicators of tick fever. Go to vet immediately and get a blood test done pronto. In serious cases there will be bleeding from orifaces. Many tick repellant products are available in market but choose wisely and they should be used only under a vet’s instructions. Dog products CANNOT be used on cats and vice versa.
Take them swimming but please ensure to clean and dry your pet THOUROUGHLY post swim. Not only the coat but also the skin and ear.
So the summer mantra for your four-legged kids are keep them clean and well groomed, avoid the sun as much as possible and hydrate.