Keeping our feathered and furry friends cool in summer

Experts and owners share tips on how to help pets weather the season

Despite the recent rain, the summer heat is still unbearable. While we have the option to shed our clothes and turn on the AC, what about our pets? How do we keep our four-legged or feathered friends cool this summer?

Experts and pet owners share their suggestions with The Hindu on how one can take better care of their animals as the mercury rises.

Warning that the summer season usually sees a spike in infestation of ticks and fleas in the coats of animals, Gaurav Saini, of Max Vets in Greater Kailash, says that weekly baths with anti-tick shampoo is a must for pets. He also suggests using anti-tick collars and monthly preventive injectable treatments to protect pets against parasites.

“Regular grooming and haircuts not only help the pets cope better with the weather, but also allow any skin diseases or rashes to be clearly seen and brought to the attention of the vet for treatment,” says Dr. Saini.

On diet, Dr. Saini says that ‘ultra-hypo’ food is recommended for dogs.

Additionally, he requests the public to not ignore helpless strays and at least put out bowls of water for them so that they do not suffer from dehydration.

Water for strays

Talking about strays, Jaya Pandey, who has two dogs — a Labrador and a Golden Retriever, says she puts out clay pots outside her house that she fills with water every few hours. The clay pots help the water stay cool in the heat.

The water is not only for the dogs, but also cows and birds.

Ms. Pandey also suggests not taking dogs out for walks between noon and 5 p.m. as it puts a strain on the animals. The dogs can be taken out for walks after sunset when it is cooler, she adds. Dogs should be given regular baths every few days in order to keep them cool, but if this is not convenient, then some cool water should be poured on their heads every few hours to help them keep cool, says Ms. Pandey.

She also prepares mango shakes for her pets and sometimes gives them ice cubes to chew on.

Ms. Pandey’s mother Sadhana Sharma has a Saint Bernard. The thick fur of the animal makes him especially restless during summer. “Although Robin has adapted considerably, he feels the heat more than others and spends all his time next to the cooler panting throughout the night,” she says.

In front of the AC

Aryaman Munish has an 11-year-old Golden Retriever named Maddie who has very long fur. She spends most of her time near the AC during summers, especially after coming back from a walk. “Give mildly cold water to the pets and store it in a cold place. Do not keep the water outside in a metal bowl, keep it someplace cool. Make sure that the water is not too cold either,” he says.

He also points out that the best way to know if your dog is thirsty is if they are sticking out their tongue more than usual.

Armaan Jain takes his Husky to Himachal Pradesh every summer.

“It is necessary for extra furry dogs to be exposed to cold temperature otherwise they tend to shed more than usual. Along with that, it is also necessary to take good care of the pets’ grooming in the summer,” he says.

Hiranya Borah, who also has a Golden Retriever, says that he usually feeds his pet a diet of chicken and eggs but theses items are replaced with cooler alternatives during summers.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 11:29:35 AM |

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