How to care for your pets this summer

How to care for your pets this summer

Foreign breeds need more care as they aren't suited for Indian weather

Pet parent of a Siberian Husky, Bharath is worried about summer. “During these months, Cooper refuses to drink water if it isn’t ice-cold,” he says.

He isn't alone. Owners of foreign breeds are especially frantic. In the last few years, there has been an increase in the number of people in the city who own Saint Bernards, Huskies, Golden Retrievers, Bulldogs and Persian cats.  

Having a such breeds is not only an expensive affair but also requires the owner to take special care as most of them aren't meant for tropical weather conditions. 

The soaring temperatures in the months of March, April and May are the least favoured for such domesticated animals as they find it difficult to keep themselves cool.

Dr Pampapathi, veterinarian at the Pampapathi Veterinary Centre and Diagnostics, says that harsh summers cause hyperthermia or heat stroke which can sometimes be fatal for cats and dogs.

“Apart from the hairy breeds, the short-nosed or flat-faced (brachycephalic) breeds such as Pugs, Boxers, and Persian cats are equally vulnerable during summer. They have difficulty breathing due to the hot air and humidity," he explains. 

"I have handled cases where people have rushed to the hospital when pets suddenly stop responding, only to realise the cause of death was heatstroke. It is a medical emergency that needs to be treated promptly and properly,” he says.

Samyukta Hornad, actor and animal lover, says, “I have a half-Persian cat, Layala, who is fussy about her food. She is always next to the air cooler and sleeps with her belly facing up. With Bengaluru summer becoming worse every year, it is quite hard for them. It's important to keep them hydrated and in an air-conditioned room or under a fan when the heat becomes unbearable.”

In case you're taking your pet out in the car and have to run a quick errand, leave the car windows half-opened and park the vehicle in a shaded area.

Hydration is very important to keep them cool, preferably with cold water. Feed them fruits such as watermelon. Frozen treats are also advised.

Taking them for walks should be done either early in the morning or late in the evening so as to avoid the harsh sun. Give your pets regular haircuts to avoid summer eczema or heat rashes. 

“When there is an emergency, a simple home remedy is to wet a towel with mildly cold water and wrap it around your pet. It will help cool them down on your way to the hospital. The number of medical cases due to the hot temperature has considerably decreased over the years as pet parents are much more aware these days,” says Dr Pampapathi.

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