Summer might harm your pets too! Here are 5 ways to keep them cool

The scorching heat takes a toll on everyone, including pets. This season also might be a great time to bond with your own dogs or cats to play with them outdoors. But higher temperatures also mean higher risks for our furry companions - more injuries, more skin and ear infections, and a possibility of a heat stroke. Pets do not sweat in the same way humans do and can easily become overheated. To avoid these problems and enjoy the summer season with your pet, here’re few tips to keep in mind in this season.
Summer might harm your pets too! Here are 5 ways to keep them cool
1.

Avoid walking your pet in the heat

AP

Do not take your pets out during scorching day hours. Take them during the early mornings or post sunset as the weather oozes out. Especially for pets that are extremely sensitive to heat. Apart from falling ill, they may also develop cracks on their paws due to walking on the hot concrete during the days.

Make sure to check your pet paws for discolouration, cuts, and bruises after walk. If anything appears, apply paw cream regularly and make them wear socks to prevent their paws from burning.

2.

Provide plenty of water and shade

Dehydration in dogs and cats is a real possibility during the summer. Our dogs get much thirstier than we do when they get hot. Signs of dehydration include dry gums and excessive drooling.

Make sure your pet always has access to fresh, clean water inside the house and bring a bottle for your furry companion when going outside, just like you do for yourself. You might also switch to a wet dog food during the hotter months to increase fluid intake.

Keep your pet in the shade as often as possible. While dogs and cats like to sunbathe, direct sunlight can overheat them (especially dogs) and lead to heat stroke.

3.

Acknowledge the signs from your pet

A dog's normal temperature is between 100° and 103°F, while a normal temperature in cats ranges from 100.4º to 102.5ºF. Anything higher than that means your pet’s in danger. Dogs and cats don’t sweat like we do. They drink water and pant to bring down their body temperature.

Watch out for possible symptoms of overheating: Heavy panting, Dry or bright red gums, Thick drool, Vomiting, Diarrhea and Wobbly legs.

If your pet shows signs of heat exhaustion, move them to a cool place, give them a drink of water, put a damp towel over their body, and get them to the vet asap. Don’t place your pet in cold water, that can put them into shock.

4.

Avoid going for long drives with your pet

Avoid tours with your pet, as the heat is too strong for him/her to handle. Also, most pets love riding in cars but never leave your pets in cars as they wouldn’t enjoy being stuck in it somewhere in the parking lot when it heats up to over 100 degrees. It takes less than 10 minutes to develop heat stroke in dogs and cats inside the hot vehicle.

So, either take your pet with you or leave it at home.

5.

Apply sunscreen and take your dogs for grooming and spa

Take your dog out for regular grooming sessions including a bath and trimming of coat only if necessary. Pets do get get sunburns too as it hurts for them and can even lead to skin cancer.

If you are planning to spend a day out in the sun with your furry companion, apply sunscreens every 3-4 hours to the least hair-covered spots: bellies, ears, and nose. Use only sunscreens made specifically for pets. Your vet could advise on the product suitable for your pet fur kid.

6.

Don’t shave your pet

Contrary to popular belief, it is not advisable to shave off your dog’s coat in summers as their coats are protective layers that safeguard them from sunburns and heat strokes.

Feel free to trim the fur on your pet in the summer, but never shave and be sure to leave at least a full inch of hair to protect your pet’s skin from sunburns.

7.

Keep your dog's paws cool and sponge with wipes

Since it is not possible to bathe your dog multiple times, occasional wet wipe sponging followed by thorough drying and brushing of coat can also be a good way to remove dirt, allowing their skin to breathe better and cool off.

Also, do not let your pet walk on hot surfaces like roads, or hot sand. If you’re out in the sun together, try to keep your pet off of hot surfaces like cement and asphalt.

8.

Keep parasite off from your pets

In summer, fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and other parasites are practically everywhere. They carry tapeworms, heart worms, and diseases such as Lyme or Bartonella that can put your pet at risk. Ask your vet for the appropriate medical prescriptions to keep your Fido or Kitty pest-free.

9.

Brush your pet well everyday and include liquids in diet or moisten the food

Brush your pet well everyday as it helps manage circulation of blood better and aids in temperature control . In addition to that, it also helps them shed dead hair making the dog feel lighter and more active.

Also, to ensure your pets are well hydrated during summer, it is advisable to moisten their food and also serve them healthy liquids like coconut water and homemade chhaach in small proportions.

10.

Consider a life vest for your pet

If you decide to take your doggy sailing or boating during this scorching season, be sure it wears a life vest in a bright colour to stay visible and afloat in case of an accident. Always keep an eye on your furry companion when near water.

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