Summer Pet Care
In a country where it is mostly all year summer, it is important to remember that Summer Pet Care requires an attentive approach. It’s best to take precautions during the hot months, to ensure that your pet does not experience some of the serious health conditions that can occur in the extreme heat. Here are some general guidelines to help you care for your pet in the United Arab Emirates.
Never leave your pet in a car
This is one of the most common mistakes that pet owners make. It’s possible for the temperature in a parked vehicle to reach over 50 degrees Celsius (120 degrees Fahrenheit) in a matter of minutes, even if you leave the window slightly open and your car is parked in the shade, or even a parking lot. This heat is unbearable for all pets and dogs are especially vulnerable. Dogs are unable to sweat; they can only dispel excess body heat by panting, or via their paw pads. Unlike Europe where pets can be taken into most shops, the UAE is not as pet tolerant; hence, it is better to leave your pet at home when you are running errands since this will avoid the situation in which you have to leave your pet in parked car.
Do not leave your pet outdoors during summer heat
For the same reason as mentioned above pets, and especially dogs, cannot be left outside in this country, Summertime is notorious for accidents to happen due to overheating but also a sunny day in a different season could cause problems. Cats seem to cope well but dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs e.o. absolutely need a more temperature-controlled place. This could be an air-conditioned shed but nicer, of course, is to have the pet stay indoors with you. Beware of “cat” and “dog” flaps, or leaving the door open, if, for whatever reason, the flap blocks or the door swings closed, your pet is in big problems!
Watch out for signs of heat stroke
If you see signs such as heavy salivation, unexpected hyper excitement or excessive panting, your dog may be suffering from heat stroke. This could already show in prolonged panting after a walk when already in the cool area at home. Try to cool the animal as quickly as possible by soaking it in cold water or keeping cold cans or ice packs (frozen peas e.o.) against the pet’s armpits, inguinal area, and tummy and only then seek veterinary attention. Most important is to start the cooling process! Therefore, when travelling with a pet by car, make sure you have water and cooled items with you.
Care in the cooler months
Even in the cooler months they should have a shaded area where they can escape from the sun. When providing you pet with an outdoor source of fresh water, it is best if their water dish is kept in a shaded area. Provide your pet with more than one water bowl in case the bowl gets knocked over. You will notice that water evaporates quicker in this country so make it a large bowl of water at all time.
Be sure your pet always has an adequate supply of water
Even if you pet is indoors, it’s important that you provide then with enough fresh water to keep them from becoming dehydrated. Pets tend to drink significantly more in summer moths, even if they are in an air-conditioned area. It’s best to change your pet’s water a few times per day and disinfect their water dish regularly. Most pets aren’t even aware of the fact that they are dehydrated, and may not immediately let you know that their water supply has run out. If this is a constant problem, try keeping your pet’s water dish in a highly visible area, so that you can be aware when it has run out.
In summer months you can, besides providing water to your pet also provide on a regular basis an electrolyte drink for you pets. Most vets will have them available for you.