The warm weather in Tel Aviv is approaching and we all know how high the temperatures can be. Your pets will also start feeling those warm summer days which are very enjoyable to a certain point but without proper precautions they can be dangerous. Remember that your pets are covered in fur therefore the heat is a lot more acute for them than it is for you. Here are some tips and suggestions for a fun and safe day in the sun.
Like human beings, one of the most important things to remember is to keep your pets hydrated. Your pets must always have access to fresh water; if they keep hydrated the danger of having a heat stroke will be reduced. You can see if they are dehydrated by pinching the skin on their necks (like when a mom picks up her puppies) and seeing how long it takes to go back to its place. If the skin returns to its normal state at a slower rate than usual chances are that your dog is dehydrated. A nice treat which you can easily provide is placing a few ice cubes in your dog’s water bowl for it to refresh and hydrate.
Try to be less active with your dogs when the sun is at its peak intensity. The best hours to go for a walk are in the early morning and in the evening. When taking a walk, try to find as much shade as possible. If the sun is too strong you might see heat stress signals: rapid panting, salivating, warm and dry skin, rapid heartbeat, weakness and a failure to respond to commands. If you see any of these signs then you must stop the walk, find shade and water and let your dog gradually cool down.
You should always be aware of the environment that surrounds your dog because sometimes it can get too hot without us noticing. Never leave your dog in a car for more than a few minutes. Your dog will not be properly ventilated and will suffer from extreme heat; it is not uncommon for dogs to collapse due to improper ventilation. If you leave your dog in the house make sure there is proper air circulation and plenty of water. If there are no windows then make sure a fan or the air conditioning is turned on. Another environment which we as humans don’t really notice is the temperature of the ground. When you go for a walk, it is preferable to avoid asphalt or sand and stay in more grassy areas. The ground can burn your dog’s paws which is very painful. You should frequently check to see if your dog’s paws are cracked due to walking in hot surfaces; if they are then contact your veterinarian.
During summer time, bacteria and germs replenish and grow therefore it is important to protect your dog by providing it with proper hygiene. By grooming your dog you take down two birds with one stone: your dog will feel a lot cooler without all that fur and all the ticks and fleas happily living in depths of your dog’s fur will be eliminated. Another way of preventing ticks and fleas from attacking your dog is taking him to the vet and purchasing a collar or ampoule. It is also important to protect your dogs from fungus and worms by providing them with the proper preventative medication. Allergies also increase during summer time; therefore try avoiding the triggers that cause your dog to have an allergic reaction.
Summer is very enjoyable as long as you exercise caution. You can have a good time with your dog at the beach, travel around the country or simply enjoy being at home under the air conditioning. If your pets will be properly taken care of they will love summer as much as you do.
Central Veterinary Clinic – Dr. Ohad Tilles Marcus
Address: Ibn Gabirol 15, Tel Aviv