Summer retreat for pets

While we battle heat by sweating and drinking lots of liquids, dogs, which have a higher average body temperature than humans, have it a little tougher. According to Dr K G Umesh of Walt

Published: 29th March 2012 03:50 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 09:48 PM   |  A+A-


(Express News Photo)

While we battle heat by sweating and drinking lots of liquids, dogs, which have a higher average body temperature than humans, have it a little tougher.

According to Dr K G Umesh of Waltham Scientific Communication Manager, Mars India, dogs can’t perspire and can only dispel heat by panting and through the pads of their feet.

Added to that, these animals have a natural extra fur coat that makes dispelling the heat slower

Here are a few tips to help make the summer heat more tolerable for your pet

* Ideally, avoid exposing your pets to sunlight for more than an hour.

If they do spend time in the open or outdoors, ensure that they get proper shade and a lot of water to avoid heat, exhaustion, and dehydration.

* Don’t leave pets in parked cars for any period of time as they can suffer brain damage and die from heatstroke.

On a warm day, even with the windows cracked, the temperature in a car can reach 120° in a matter of minutes.

* Feed your pets a balanced diet.

While they tend to eat less in summer, they end up spending more energy in an effort to lower their body temperatures.

A lot of pet owners feed home-made diets like yogurt and rice, but this food contains more water (70-80 per cent) and does not have adequate levels of energy, vitamins, minerals, and so on.

* Feed them during the cooler part of the day and increase frequency of feeding to ensure that total recommended quantity of food is fed.

* Ensure that your pets are groomed well.

If they have too much fur, make sure its clipped well through the season as the thick coat makes them feel hotter.

It also makes it a home for bacteria and parasites.

* Keep their bed cool.

Remove cushioned-bedding from your pet’s crate or bed.

They may be more comfortable lying on a cooler floor rather than on blankets or fleece.

* Save exercise sessions for early morning or after the sun goes down.

Check the ground during walks.

Blacktop can get scorching hot for your pet’s pads.

Touch the surface yourself-if it’s too hot for you, it’s probably too hot for your pet as well.

* This is that time of the year when pets are tempted to drink water from the toilet bowls.

So keep the lid down and try to avoid chemical cleaners and fresheners that stay in the bowl.

* Animals, like people, can get grumpy when it’s hot.

Remind young children that their hugs may not be appreciated on stifling days.

* Hose them down.

Try a gentle spray of cool water.

Keep in mind that it may take you a few tries before your pet enjoys the experience.

* Watch out for symptoms of heat stress or stroke.

If you see your pet panting heavily, salivating or foaming, these may be the first signs of a heatrelated problem.

Get them to a cool location, provide small drinks of cold water.

In severe cases, contact your veterinarian.

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