Help your pet beat the heat this summer
A good alternative for walking is setting up a small pool for your pets
Dubai - Take your canine or feline friends out for a walk or run early in the morning or after the sun has set, for starters
Published: Sat 26 Aug 2017, 8:33 PM
Last updated: Sat 26 Aug 2017, 10:37 PM
Our pets are susceptible to heatstroke - just like us - but they are actually more at risk as we sometimes tend to overlook the symptoms of heat strokes in animals.
Heat stroke can be fatal. Wassim Abdalla, supervisor at Pet Zone in Al Barsha, has seen a heat-related dog death. He said a pet owner took his German shepherd out for a mid-day muscle-stretching in his backdoor garden. After half an hour of running around, the dog just collapsed, foaming from its mouth. The owner rushed it to the emergency pet clinic but the dog did not survive.
After five years of being together, the owner-pet relationship was over in one fell swoop from a heat stroke. "The owner endured devastating emotional stress," Abdalla told Khaleej Times.
But this situation can be prevented, he noted. "It is always better to be on guard and take precautionary measures than feel sorry for you and your pets later," he stressed.
For one, be vigilant for any symptoms that they are already experiencing body overheat. The average temperature in the UAE hovers above 40 degrees celsius in the summer; it even over 50 degress this summer, making it tough for our furry four-legged friends.
Like Abdalla, vets and animal workers around the country have released warnings to residents, reminding them that pets can suffer from long-term damage to their health if they are left outside in the heat for a prolonged period.
So, how can we keep our pets cool?
"Always keep them hydrated," Abdalla says. "Keep a bottle of water handy, whether your pet is outside or inside."
Exercise is part of our pet's life and Abdalla notes that it's best to make sure that you take your canine or feline friends out for a walk or run early in the morning or after the sun has set. "Always take water when you go walking. You know your dog is dehydrated if it is panting excessively, has bloodshot eyes and is drooling," he adds.
Listen to your pets, let them decide when they've had enough and give signs that they want to go back. Before you head out, also check if the ground is too hot for a walk. An alternative to walking is setting up a small pool for your pets.
Grooming is also very important. Give your pets, especially the furry ones, a reuglar hair cut. "Some owners complain that their pets might look ugly, but it is only for a brief period during peak summers and it's better to look a bit ugly than be sorry later," Abdalla noted.
While travelling with your pets, make sure the car AC is on. Needless to say, never leave your pets in a parked car. Even if you plan to be in the store for "just a minute," your pet is at risk of a heat stroke. "Although I haven't read anything about this in Dubai, dogs have been known to die in other cities from heat exhaustion," Abdalla adds.
How to help pets avoid heatstroke?
. Water - keep your pets hydrated at all times
. Emergency numbers - know the emergency numbers of your nearest vet clinic
. Update records - keep medical information of your pet(s) at hand, with details on your phone or email
. Keep them under the shade - away from the direct sun, especially from 10am to 6pm
. Know the tell-tale signs - dogs regulate their body temperature through panting and evaporation of sweat through the pads of their feet. If their body overheats, heatstroke can occur, and this can cause brain damage or even death. Cats show similar symptoms.
What to do if your pet is showing heatstroke signs
. Put your pet under the shade immediately
. Run cool - not cold - water over your pet and place cold packs of cold soda cans or frozen vegetables in the armpit area
. Contact and rush your pet to the nearest vet