So, the summer is here. It’s breezy outdoors and you feel like taking your pet outside and playing with it. But wait a minute! Can your dog take the excess summer heat? If it plays or sits in the sun, can it led to a heatstroke? Well, the answer to both these questions is unfortunately yes! Unlike humans, dogs do not sweat. This means that they do not have a system in place in their bodies to dispense heat. Thus, they need to be protected from the scorching sun, even more than humans!
How to Protect Pets from the Summer Heat
Clip its Fur
The simplest thing that you can do is to trim its coat and reduce the fur on its skin. When you do this, your pet will itself be able to maintain its body temperature. This will prevent the heat from building up in its body. However, make sure that you do not over trim, as the fur covering also acts as a protector from the sun.
Don’t Leave it in the Car
A grave mistake people make is to leave their dogs in the car, in the parking lot, while they are out shopping. You would be surprised to know that as cars can get heated very quickly, it can lead to a heatstroke in your dog. In fact, there have been many incidences where dogs have actually died because of this!
Keep it in Shade
As far as possible, keep your pet in the shade. Reduce outdoor play time to the minimum. And, even when it moves outdoors, ensure that it plays under a tree or any other structure. If this seems an uphill task, the least you can do is to provide access to the house. So that whenever it feels hot, it can come indoors. Installing a pet door is a good way of ensuring this. If your dog lives in a dog house, keep it under the shade or in a cool place for the entire summer season.
Avoid Peak Sun Hours
Do not let your pet exercise during the peak sun hours, i.e., between ten in the morning to four in the afternoon. Instead, early mornings and evenings are the correct time to exercise in summers, to protect it from the heat and humidity.
Keep your Pet Hydrated
One very important tip is to give it lots and lots of water to drink. For this, ensure that the water bowl is always clean and full of water. Water will keep your pet’s body hydrated. Moreover, it will regulate its body’s temperature, ensuring that it does not get overtly heated. Remember to always keep the bowl clean, otherwise germs and bacteria can manifest very easily in summers, resulting in diseases, which can be detrimental to your pet’s health.
Cool it with Water
To prevent heat exhaustion in dogs, keep the outdoor areas of your house, especially pavements, cool by watering them again and again. This will ensure that the paws of your pet do not get burned by the heat. Also, invest in a plastic pool for your pet. When your dog plays in it, it will help in maintaining the right body temperature during the summers.
Check its Skin for Pests
During summers, the probability of your pet to get ticks and fleas increases manifold. This can increase irritation and itching on your pet’s skin. So, make it a point to check your pet’s skin for these pests, from time to time, to save it from such discomforts.
If your pet has suffered a heat stroke, it will display certain symptoms such as extreme tiredness, slowness in body movements, bags under the eyes, whining, heaviness and irregularity in breathing. As soon as you spot these signs, without any further delay, shower your dog with cool water. However, if the symptoms become severe over time, the body temperature increases and the dog vomits, it is recommended that you take your pet to a veterinary doctor.