Summer time is fun time, not only for humans, but also for their pet-friends. By all means, take your pooch outside for a playdate or a walk in the path or beach, but keep an eye on their safety too, experts caution.
Renuka Jaypal, dog lover and founding trustee of Tail Alert, a Chennai-based NGO committed to rescuing, rehabilitating and re-homing abandoned adult dogs with no street-survival skills, recently shared her concern for dogs in a social media post after seeing a pooch that was newly shaven for the summer. “Do not give your dog a skin exposing shave or buzz cut thinking that will help them through summer,” she said.
“Dogs have extremely sensitive skin. The hair protects them from the harsh sun, so a nice clean trim is fine. Anything deeper than that is counterproductive and will result in a sun stroke.”
She also shares that the summer cut should be based on the size and breed of the dog. “Long-haired, foreign dogs need air conditioning, not a barber. For the smaller furry dogs — a close crop makes them feel insecure as they will feel smaller. If you cut their hair too much, they will feel nervous and even stop eating. No matter what your groomer says, an inch of hair cover is a minimum must.”
Renuka says even if dog groomers recommend a cut for the summer season, owners have to know what’s best for their dog. She says it’s always better to consult a grooming company that has professionally trained groomers. “I’m alarmed by the number of bald animals I’m spotting on my walks these days,” she adds.
There are other things you can do to keep your doggy cool. “Address the issue via a proper diet. Many dogs go off Kibble in this weather. Add vegetable or non-veg stock, which ensures they’re taking in enough liquids. Go for yummy cooling options like a slice of watermelon or tender coconut water/malai,” she suggests.
Giving other tips, Renuka says, “Hand-test the heat on the road before walks. Many pet owners step out when the sun goes down, without realising that the cement, asphalt, and sand are still piping hot. Dogs pick up heat via their paws and this can create a lot of problems. Ensure you wash their paws when you return after a walk or playtime outside. Wiping down the ear flaps and belly with a moist cloth can instantly cool them too.” She is also keen that dogs and other animals on the streets are provided water and other means to keep cool in extreme conditions during the summer.
Meanwhile, Tail Alert is continuing its rescue missions and finding homes for dogs in trouble....