Summer Is Stressful For Pets

As mercury levels rise, temperament of animals too changes. These extremely hot and humid days make pets uncomfortable, resulting in tragic incidents for a few.

Here are a few tips to keep your pet safe during summer…

Summer care for dogs and cats
Dogs of certain breeds such as Pugs, German Shepherds, Saint Bernard’s, Husky’s, terriers, Mastiffs, Poodle, Bull dogs have a lot of difficulty adjusting to extreme heat and sudden change in weather. They show common symptoms like hair loss, lack of appetite or restlessness. In such case, it is advisable to show the pet to a veterinarian.

Generally, dogs with lighter fur don’t face much problem. Heat and humidity can raise their body temperature to dangerous levels. In such cases, it advisable to either trim or shave their fur.

*Reschedule the exercise timing

Exercise is important, irrespective of the type of weather. However, it is important to ensure the comfort of the pet. During summers, one can schedule long walks for coolest time of the day. For exercise, choose locations like parks with trees that provide shade or areas near water bodies. A plastic wading pool can be the perfect place to dip and chill.

Spend a few minutes outdoors during the warmer hours too to help the dog acclimatize to climatic changes, naturally and gradually.

*Signs of stress

Unusual palpitation is another sign of heat stress. If you are out in the sun, slow down and find shade. Offer the pet some water to drink and allow the dear one to rest for a while. Make sure he has shade to rest under at home. You could add electrolyte to water. Proper ventilation is crucial. *Accessories

Use chain link fencing, screens or mesh fabric in kennels as they allow the air to move. Shade cover helps reduce heat and fans help circulate air.

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Summer care for birds

Like other warm-blooded animals, birds too face heat stress. This most commonly occurs if the birds are kept in a cage, with no shade or inadequate ventilation. Overweight birds are also prone to heat stress.

*Signs of stress

Panting, holding wings away from body, anxiety, agitation are common signs. Prompt attention is necessary. One should visit the vet at once.

Important tips: Keep birds in a cool location. Wet their skin with water. Keep the bird’s feet in cool water (normal room temperature).

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Summer care for turtles –

Like dogs and cats, even turtles experience heat stress. They lose appetite or become dull. For aquatic turtles, check the temperature of water. Many a times, water becomes warm due to high temperature. It is advisable to change the water, as and when required.

Important tips on summer care for pets:

  • Keep your pet in a cool, shaded place
  • Offer light food with ample of water and electrolytes
  • Sponge under-belly with tap water
  • Grooming, brushing, combing, shaving, or trimming is advised depending on type of fur.
  • Bathing twice a week
  • Regular de-worming and powder or even sprays can be used to keep them fresh
  • To avoid leptospirosis, ensure the pet doesn’t drink unhealthy water
  • Use sunscreens to protect from harmful ultra violate (UV) rays
  • Cover bird’s cage with soft cloth
  • Frequently check the water temperature of fish tank and turtle tubs
  • Proper check-up by vet
Love for animals since childhood was the main motivation to study veterinary science for Dr. Sheetal S. Panchala. She has over ten years of experience and has worked in Surat, Gujarat and Mumbai. Dr. Panchala now runs a clinic ‘Pets N Vets’ in Vashi, Navi Mumbai. She likes to travel and dance when free. She pens a monthly column ‘Pet Care’ on various issues related to animals and their well-being.

Readers can write to her at drsheetalvet@gmail.com

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