| A dog lover bathes his pet in Patna on Sunday. Picture by Jai Prakash |
Summer not only saps the energy of residents but is an equally testing time for pets. Because of soaring temperatures, dogs and other pets could suffer from dehydration or even heat stroke, which can sometimes prove fatal. A few simple precautions can go a long way to safeguard your pets from the agony of summer and scale down their suffering.
Pets express discomfort through physical and behavioural changes. Panting by cats and dogs or signs of tiredness are some of the unusual behaviourial traits found in the pets during summer. Take them to the closest veterinary, if you spot any of these symptoms.
Avoid walking your pet during daylight. If you are taking your pet for a walk, do it in the morning or in the evening when it is cooler. This will prevent the pet from getting stressed from the temperature.
Shade and water
Give them proper shade during the daytime and keep buckets of water near them. In summertime, water can evaporate quickly, so make sure the bowl is filled up at regular intervals. This will keep your pet hydrated even in scorching heat.
The fur coat of animals makes their bodies warmer than their normal body temperature. Giving your pet a bath every week may give it relief from high temperatures. Never let them dry under the sun, keep them inside or let them dry under a fan.
Heatstroke is a fever caused by high temperature. The symptoms include agitated mood, extreme distress, stretching out and heavy panting, skin hot to touch, vomiting, glazed eyes, dribbling and staggering. To avoid heat stroke, apply cold towels on the head, neck and chest of cats and dogs.
“It really freaks me when my cat starts panting like a dog and its breathing rate increases abnormally during summer. My cat becomes less active and sleeps more,” said Shabista Khan, a resident of Ashok Rajpath.
“In summer time, I usually find my dog sitting in the washroom. He gets many skin problems like rashes, itching and hair loss apart from losing appetite,” said Hemlata, a resident of Bahadurpur.
“It’s not just the soaring temperature that can affect animals but also the high humidity. Panting in animals helps moisture to evaporate from their lungs, which takes heat away from their body. If the humidity is too high, their body temperature will zoom to dangerous levels quickly, causing heat stroke,” said Dr Dharam Nath Prasad Roy, a veterinarian.