How to take care of your pets in summer in the UAE.
The scorching summer heat has struck the UAE again and unfortunately, there’s no escaping.
Summer care is as essential for our cats and dogs as it is for us. And more so because unlike us, they cannot speak, but only pant it out. Animals do not release heat by sweating, and that particularly makes them more susceptible to heat strokes, which might sometimes be fatal if not treated immediately. Here are a few detailed tips on the DOs and DON'TS for your poochie this summer. Make the season pawsome for them, folks!
Walk The Talk: Well not literally, but be aware of the surface or road you’re making your dog walk on while heading for the diurnal dog walk. Hot pavements might really get your dog's paws burnt, so beware of them. Maybe test how hot it is by pressing the palm of your hand for a few seconds, to check if it’ll be bearable for your dog. Ideally, take your dog for a walk either between 6 to 7 in the morning, or much later in the evenings. You can always toilet-train them to cope with their nature’s call for the rest of the day. Special breeds like brachycephalic (pugs, bulldogs) can overheat in minutes and can do with very short walks, and are always supervised.
Humidity, the Silent Killer: While deciding on your daily pet walks, in addition to checking the temperature do check the humidity. Animals pant to evaporate moisture from their lungs, which takes heat away from their body. If the humidity is too high, they are unable to cool themselves and their temperature will skyrocket to dangerous levels—very quickly.
Don’t Drive Your Pet Crazy: Long drives with pets are great, but leaving them inside a hot car while you step out to buy something, might not be the greatest of ideas. The #1 cause of heatstroke in dogs is leaving them in a vehicle! Cars tend to become super hot during summers, especially the backseat, which absorbs the maximum heat. Make sure that your AC is functioning and ensures maximum cooling.
In Hydration We Trust: Dehydration is the mother of all pawblems, so keep checking if your pet’s water bowls are filled, and keep a tab on whether they are drinking sufficient water throughout the day. You can also place ice packs under the water bowl. During summers, replacing your baby’s treats with frozen blueberries, strawberries, or watermelon blocks will do them good in terms of nutrient supplies and hydration too.
Make Indoors Fun: Since it isn’t always possible to expose your dogs to the heat outside, try coming up with indoor exercises for them. If you have a treadmill, you can easily train your pets to walk on them. Make them run up and down the staircase, play hide and seek with treats, and get them to swim in case you have a pool. Or get creative and maybe also organize a game of tug of war. Just make sure that you don’t pull the rope too much as your dog might end up injuring its jaw.
Nullify Hyperthermia: Some dogs and cats may suffer from Hyperthermia or overheating, which is common if they are overweight or have a thick and furry coat. Make way for enough ventilation at home, or keep it cool with the AC. And like we mentioned earlier, keep the water bowl cool and always filled. Dabbing their coat with a cool sponge is also helpful. Grooming pets is another great way of reducing the effects of the hot summer. But also be aware that shaving a dog with a double coat is a big NO. Read more about it here.
Summer-Special Accessories: Stock up on some really cool summer accessories for your pets. For times when you have to take them outdoors, trust the dog ‘booties’, or tiny shoe-like things designed to take care of your pet’s paws while they walk on pavements. While you’re at it, apply a dog-special sunscreen on your pet’s ears and nose before the outdoor walk. You can also get them a collapsible dog bowl that can either be attached to their leash or your bags- so every time your pet is thirsty, you can offer water. Thankfully, there are cooling collars/vests and cooling pet beds available in the market too, to ensure that your pooch has a heat-free summer in the UAE.