Does climate change affect pets?

Does climate change affect pets? -
Look around you, it seems like the world is ending and our pets are caught in the frenzy! 
This year, we have managed to check all the possible boxes - from Forest Fires to CoronaVirus, from Cyclones to Locust Attacks - we pray that God puts an end to it all! But he cannot, its us who have to put an end to it! We all owe it to climate change! We also need to make our pets tougher to adapt to the changing climate, just like us.
In many instances you must have seen  reports of a climate change risk assessment for a city, state or country. It may have described the extreme weather events it might experience, how global warming could impact its economy, or how changes in its air quality could affect people's health. But what it has left out of the question is how it could affect our pets. Let us find out how:

Rising global temperatures

Humans and animals both face new challenges for survival because of climate change. Owning a pet can reduce stress, anxiety, depression and encourage playfulness and exercise. Seeing a cute dog or a cat on the street and petting it gives us great joy and we’re sure that everyone reading this shares the same thought. With the global temperatures rising steadily, pet parents would have to keep a close eye on their pets when they’re going on short walks. It is quite possible that dogs may reach their point of heat exhaustion faster than ever. They might suffer from excessive drooling and panting which are indications of heat strokes. Due to this our pets won’t be able to remain outdoors for prolonged periods of time which in turn will affect their daily routine. However, this can be tackled by making a few changes: walks can be taken early morning or later in the day when its cooler. Alkaline foods that have cooling properties and calm the stomach can be chosen over anything that turns acidic. Cucumber, curds, buttermilk are a few options. Pets who are generally outdoors without a shed or cover can be kept indoors to escape the heat and preferably given a cooling mat to rest along with fresh and clean water. Just like us our pets may suffer from a heatstroke which is fatal for pets. Signs of heatstroke include rapid heartbeat, glazed eyes, difficulty breathing, heavy panting, excessive thirst, lethargy, lack of coordination and many more. At this point it is important to watch for tell tale signs and take your pet for a vet visit immediately. 

Harmful surfaces outdoors

Concrete slabs such as the ones used  in the making of a pavement are directly exposed to sunlight. The concrete absorbs the heat and it stores it while releasing it slowly. Due to concrete trapping the heat, the slab gets very hot which can in turn burn the paws of your pets. When dogs or cats burn their paws, it takes a lot of time for them to recover. Paw Balms or plain old vaseline can help to heal, but a vet visit would be mandatory. Dogs love to burn off their excess energy and genuinely love long walks. This can be solved by either creating a grass patch in the apartment gallery or even taking your pets for a walk in gardens which have green grass and not concrete paths. Always carry a bottle of water and a small bowl from which your pet can drink water and not be exhausted on their walks. 

Unpredictable Monsoon Cycles 

Climate change has affected the monsoon cycles. The patterns have undergone quite a few changes globally and seem unpredictable. The thunder and rain storms at times with hailstones can get quite scary for pets. The rains make it slightly difficult to go out on walks or play in the garden for our pets. With the onset of the monsoons, insects like mosquitoes, lizards, frogs, centipedes, snails may be scattered more often inside and outside the house. If you happen to take your pet for a walk outdoors during the rains, make sure he wears a raincoat for pets. Once you get back, clean their paws and make sure that their coat is completely dry. Get rid of plants or even planters that have stagnant water in their holding plates. Cover buckets filled with water. Make sure that their food and water bowls are clean and kept on a slightly uplifted surface so that no insect hops into them. Try and give them fresh food that is homemade and has the right balance of nutrients to improve their immunity. Make sure that pets don’t eat or bite anything that has mold or fungus on it. 

Rising Humidity 

Rising global temperatures will also create a breeding ground for ticks. When the humidity content in the air increases it becomes the perfect breeding ground for ticks and they will reproduce in large numbers. Scientists say that climate change is the cause of this. Based on numerous investigations, ticks are expanding their geographic ranges because of rapidly increasing global temperatures. This can however be tackled by ensuring that your pet is up to date with his tick and flea treatment. You can also start using shampoos and products that have anti-tick properties and are soothing to the skin. Look for OTC anti-tick sprays that are pesticide free. Keep one handy at home at all times. Keep those grooming appointments regular and ensure that your vet visits are on point. Its is always a good idea to be regular with your pet’s vaccine schedule. Stagnant water and damp hot climates attract mosquitoes and they breed in large numbers which is the cause of mosquito infestations. Mosquitoes can pass potentially deadly diseases which could be a major health risk for your pet. Fleas aren't that affected by climate change as much as ticks but their season of breeding is extending due to warmer temperatures. In some parts of the world, fleas could be living all year round on your pet’s coat. Indeed, they  are becoming smaller and more aggressive and also increasing in numbers. Flea control using safe to use products and other measures including environmental cleanliness is important. Keep the surroundings clean, clean off clutter within the house, close the lids on all dustbins and don’t keep food lying around uncovered where your pets can easily reach it. 
We are a pet-crazy nation and we would go to any lengths to keep our pets safe and strong at all times. Our pets fill our hearts with joy and happiness and we should do the same and look after their well-being. It is time to reduce our carbon footprint and fight hard enough for real climate change. What measures would you take to prevent such a calamity from happening? Let us know if you would like us to give information about how to boost your pet’s immunity in the next one? Tell us in the comments below!