The sweltering heat can be equally tough on our furry friends, which is why we need to take extra precautions during this hot time of the year.
As tough as the heat gets on us, our pets also find it difficult to cope with the rising mercury. You may take your companion out for a friendly neighbourhood walk but remember that a number of health factors can crop up especially during the summer season. So, it is always advisable to take precautionary measures and go for routine check-ups to your vet.
The summer brings with it ticks, fleas and mosquitoes which can cause diseases and raise health problems if unattended to. However, before we begin, keep in mind the fundamental rules and ensure that they remain hydrated and spend time in the shade. If your pet is having conditions like dry gums, loss of skin elasticity or excessive drooling, these are sure indicators of dehydration.
Most animals don’t sweat like humans and find it difficult to keep cool. Dogs, however, do sweat and cool themselves by panting. But even then they find it difficult to breathe and keep cool if the air around gets too hot. So it is often advised to keep them indoors especially during afternoons.
Without further ado, here’s a list of ways we can keep them healthy during summer.
Groom your pet
You may like your pet fluffy, but the extra fur can be overwhelming for them in the warmer months. Take your pet to the groomer and give them a much needed trimming. But an important part of grooming is keeping the pets tick and flea free. One can choose from a wide range of natural and traditional medications to do the job. These medications can be specifically prescribed by the vet or can be availed from a pet store. Additionally, groom your cats and dogs by combing them regularly with a flea comb with closely spaced teeth. According to PetMD, a medicinal portal for pets, citrus juices and apple cider vinegar can naturally get rid of ticks. However, ensure that the juices are freshly squeezed and not citrus essential oils available over the counter. Those contain toxins which might be harmful for your pets. A combination of garlic and brewer’s yeast added to your dog’s food bowl can also ward against ticks, as can rose geranium oil applied to the dog’s collar, not its skin. For your feline friends, avoid products containing permethrin and topical oils and dips as these can be deadly.
One can also go the traditional way and remove teaks and fleas manually. Grab a pair of tweezers, and a jar of rubbing alcohol. Ask a friend or family member to help and keep your dog still. Comb with flea comb and locate the nasty pest. Grab the tick/flea by its head or mouth. Do not grab the tick/flea by its body as it increases risk of spreading toxins if they get crushed. Pull it firmly from your pet’s skin and put it in the jar with rubbing alcohol.
Cool ‘em paws
The paws of your dogs and cats are sensitive and can be the cause of overheating. Some surfaces heat up more than others and thus can be tough on your pet’s paws. By stepping on hot surfaces, their paws may suffer from a heat burn which leads to increase in body temperature thus causing overheating. Common symptoms of overheating are seizures, bloody diarrhoea and vomit among other things along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees.
Some cats and dogs are more susceptible to the heat than others. Dogs like Pugs, Huskies, Saint Bernard and Persian cats along with overweight, elderly and sickly pets should be kept in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.
For hydration and keeping it cool, add ice cubes to the water bowl and keep it in a shady corner of the house. Your pets will enjoy the feel of ice cold water which will also keep their temperature down.
Don’t leave them unsupervised
If you are out on a windy road trip with your pet, make sure to not leave them in the car while you step out to grab a bite or coke. The inside of a car is like the inside of an oven and can be harmful to your pets. Leaving them there can lead to heat stroke and or suffocation.
Also, bring your pet’s water bowl and keep them hydrated throughout the trip.