Every Monday from 11am we have the Animal House on with the experts from DKC Veterinary Clinic and Dubai Kennels and Cattery. Lucinda Nattrass and Todd Carson take your questions or concerns when it comes to your pets health, wellness, transportation and boarding needs. One of our focuses recently was how to keep pets cool during the summer months. This is what Lucinda and Todd suggest:
1. Make sure your dog has access to an area indoors where he can cool himself off during the summer. Leaving him stuck outside is a definite no no!
2. Having said Point 1, don’t assume your dog is smart enough to get cool when he needs to! Keep an eye! They don’t always seek the cool when they should!
3. Know your dog… if she is a snub-nosed breed, is overweight or has a dark-hair coat, she is more prone to over heating. Watch carefully for signs of exercise intolerance or struggling with the heat and if you do see such signs, it is better not to exercise them outside during the summer at all.
4. If your dog tolerates exercise, then keep the walks to the coolest parts of the day and remember that the pavements and tarmac are hot hot hot!
5. Make sure there is plenty of cool, fresh water available.
6. Don’t walk too far away from your home or car and take a mobile phone with you in case you run into trouble.
7. Recognise the early signs of heat stroke: panting in an agitated manner that is often accompanied by restlessness and an inability to get comfortable; red gums and a lolling pink-to-red tongue and salivation are also symptoms; and if you notice an unsteady gate or mental depression you need to get to a vet immediately.
8. If early signs are noticed, move your dog indoors and wet her with tepid water or, better, a water-soaked towel, and place a fan on her if at all possible – a fan really helps a lot. She should settle down quickly but don’t allow her to become cold or start shivering. Call your vet to be advised as to whether or not a vet visit is needed, however if there are any signs of weakness or disorientation you should get to the vet immediately, regardless, and place a wet towel on her with the a/c on during the trip. If your dog is a snub-nosed breed, however, even early signs of heatstroke may need veterinary intervention.
9. If you have a dog with a winter type of hair coat, clipping it shorter for summer can be helpful.
10. Cats are more resilient to the heat, but allow them access to indoors at all times if you let your cat out during the day. A panting cat is not normal, so be aware of this symptom.
11. Guinea pigs are VERY heat sensitive, so don’t take your guinea pig outside at all during the summer.