The dog days ahead in the city are not just for people. Pets too need utmost attention in summer.
The city's temperature has already touched 36 degree Celsius, which is four degrees above normal. Pets, including dogs and birds, are more prone to heat strokes, say veterinarians.
Many dog owners who fret about their pet's health would begin giving frequent baths or keep them in air-conditioned rooms for long hours. But veterinarians say it would only dry out the natural oil in the skin of the pets, leading to skin infections.
E. Sarojini, a dog lover residing in Mogappair, said: “I groom my pets daily so that they don't lose hair. Cool water is also a must for them. I keep them indoors under fan during the day to prevent sunstroke and apply Ayurvedic oil as moisturiser.”
Veterinarians suggest that dogs be given a bath once in 15 days and a haircut during summer.
Cats are easier to deal with. Veterinary surgeon Priyadarshini Govind says some breeds such as German Shepherds have nose bleed. Maggot wounds are another common problem. Dogs must be fed during the cooler time of the day to prevent them from getting affected with indigestion.
Spraying water on birds' cages and providing them B complex supplements would help combat sunstroke, she says.
Fish also have tough time coping with the hot weather. Some of the commonly bred fish in the city include gold fish, tiger shark and mollies. G. Sekar, who has an ornamental fish farm in Kolathur, said water in the tank must be changed at least twice a week. It is better to feed them less during summer. Some varieties such as red sword tails and golden severnum need more attention.
People must remember to reduce the water level in the tank whenever there is a power cut to provide more oxygen to the fish. “We close the large tanks in the farm with dried palm leaves,” he said.
Philanthropic organisations in the city are also gearing up to protect animals from the rising temperature. Pukhraj Parmar, secretary of the Madras Pinjrapole, Otteri, said nearly 2,300 cattle and a few dogs are provided shelter at the organisation. The animals are kept in well-ventilated sheds and they remain under fans throughout the day.
“Two doctors and about 100 workers attend to the needs of the animals,” he said.