How to keep your pets happy and safe this summer

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As temperatures rise and days feel hotter than the barometer shows, this weather is becoming increasingly risky for pets.

Words: Vanisha Rajesh

According to the National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology, in summer 2017, the mercury exceeded 51 degrees in the UAE at the end of July, while it feels like 66 degrees because of the humidity in this region.

We love our pets, so don’t let Dubai heat get the better of them. Here are some precautionary dos and don’ts to exercise to take care of our little furry animals and to avoid unfortunate, unscheduled trips to the vet during the warmer months.

  • Beware of the asphalt! – Don’t walk your dog during the day’s highest heat and humidity, which is usually between 1pm-4pm. Try adjusting your day plan and take your pets for a walk in the morning or after sunset. However, it’s always best to check if it’s still bearable for them. Take the back of your hand and lay it on the surface and if you can stand it for up to five seconds.
  • Be the lifeguard when its swimming time – don’t assume your pet can swim, always be on the lookout. Try and make sure it’s a covered pool or at least the little creatures have access to shaded areas outside the pool at all times.
  • Keep it cool and stipulate indoor time – don’t let your pets out between noon and sunset. Provide plenty of chilled drinking water and replace it as frequently as possible. Turn on the AC if you leave your pet alone for several hours.
  • Whatever you do, don’t leave them in the car – even if you have cracked open the windows, it can quickly become deadly.
  • Heat exhaustion – If your pet looks dazed, lethargic and/or vomits; cool them down with ice packs or wet towels and rush them to a vet.

 

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Don’t just take our word for it. “Unlike us, dogs and cats don’t release heat by sweating, leaving them particularly susceptible to heatstroke, which can make them seriously ill within minutes,” said Dr. Lila Miller, veterinary advisor at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

“Even the healthiest pets can suffer from dehydration, heatstroke and sunburn if overexposed to the heat. Heatstroke can be fatal if not treated promptly.”

Thinking of adding a furry friend to your home? Thousands of animals in Dubai are looking for owners. Here’s how you can adopt one, or two, or three…but remember, they’re for life!

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