Summer can be unforgiving on your pet’s health. Many health conditions arise with the harsh, hot weather which can deteriorate your pet’s health, starting from dehydration to tick fever and heat stroke. There are a few strategies and tips which can help your pet to beat the heat in summer.
Keep them cool
There are several ways in which we can help to keep pets cool in hot weather:
- Keep them indoors
- Keep the house well-ventilated
- Access to fresh and cold water all the time
- Use a damp towel once in a while for them to lie on
Pets are always super excited for their outdoor sessions and each one has a different schedule and timings. In the summer season it is advisable to change their timing depending upon the weather condition. Go for walks with your pets, early in the morning or late in the evenings after sunsets.
Signs of Heat Stroke
Pets are at a high risk of heat stroke conditions during the summer season. Specially for the brachycephalic dogs (short muzzled) like pugs, bulldogs. An anatomical structure of the short muzzled dogs creates a hindrance in breathing and hence they do not get sufficient oxygen for them. Here panting helps in maintaining the body temperature during heat but it is quite difficult in brachycephalic breeds than the other breeds.
The symptoms of heat stroke are heavy panting, excessive drooling, fast or heavy breathing, dark red colored mucus membrane (tongue and gums), dizziness, glazed eyes, weakness and uncoordinated movement. In extreme cases one may also observe bloody diarrhea followed by kidney failure and swelling of the brain.
If you have noticed any of the above signs in your pet, immediately get a cool towel for your pet and put that towel on him. Get him cold water and call the veterinarian immediately. Follow the keep them cool measures to avoid the heat stroke as a preventive measure.
Tick and Flea Protection
Tick and flea season is all year around but these pesky parasites get more active during the warm and humid environment. They just need blood to thrive and pets are the perfect hosts for them to rely on and lay their eggs. Pets get infected with many life threatening diseases due to tick and flea infections such as babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, tick fever. In such conditions, prevention is a better option to protect your pets from such dreadful diseases.
Ticks can create their home not only on your pet’s body but they can also be present on carpets, crevices in walls, furniture etc which is the obvious reason for your pets getting reinfected with tick and flea infections.
There are numerous options available in the market from oral to topical products. Anti-tick spray, dusting powder, spot on and anti-tick shampoos will help to keep the blood suckers at bay.
Keeping the deworming schedule prompt will also help to avoid unnecessary skin infections and tick infestation.
Sunburn in Dogs
Sunburn in pets generally goes unnoticed but yes they also face the issue of sunburn, where their skin turns slightly pinkish than normal and it becomes sensitive when touched. Mostly, pets with short haired coats, who directly come in contact with the sun are more exposed to sunburn. To protect your pet from sunburn you can provide shelter or shade for your pet where they can rest themselves. But only shelter is not enough. To protect them from deadly UV rays, sunscreen for your pets is another option. No need to go for any specific pet sunscreen. You can directly apply sunscreen with 30 to 50 SPF which we use for kids, or follow the instructions given on the pack. Reapply whenever needed for example, after swimming or after/before play time on sensitive parts such as nose, earflaps, belly portion and if there are any bald patches. Whereas, most importantly try to keep them away from harmful ultraviolet rays.
Be it blisters in hot temperature or chilling cold weather, pet’s paws suffer a lot and it generally goes unnoticed. Walking on a hot pavement without protective measures can damage their paws and hence it needs regular care for paw health. Use a paw balm for their sensitive paws, check on their paws regularly after a walk, trim the hair around the paws, clip the overgrown nails and keep them well moisturized to avoid dryness and infection.
Keeping your pet well hydrated in such excruciating hot weather is a task. Pets are fussy when it comes to food and water. It is important to keep them hydrated with clean drinking water or curd which has natural probiotics. You need to experiment with new and innovative ideas to keep them hydrated. Add water rich food in their diet for example watermelons, cucumbers. Give them chicken soup, vegetable soups, bone broth to encourage them to drink more water. Keep an extra bowl filled with cold water and change it every 3 hours. Just like humans they also prefer cool water during the summer season.
Do observe your pet and look out for any odd signs. If your pet doesn’t seem their usual self, please get in touch with your vet at the earliest! Don’t forget to enjoy the summers with your furballs.