Pet Care for Spring Summer: Everything you Need to Know7 minute
Spring and summer are all about some fun in the sun, family, beach holidays and outdoor escapades. As much as we all like to get out and enjoy what is supposed to be the “best time of the year”, the pandemic has forced us to stay put. This means you get to spend more time indoors with your furry friend and canine counterparts. However, as temperatures soar, it’s not just humans looking for ways to escape the perils of the sweltering summer heat. Your pets too might look for ways to cool down during spring-summer. As a responsible pet owner, you have to ensure you’re sorted for the summer pet care challenges.
Being prepared is the best way to ensure your four-legged companions don’t end up having a summer meltdown. Whether it’s getting your dog grooming game on point, or keeping your pet happy and healthy, we have pawsome tips that will help you enjoy all that the season has to offer.
Summer Pet Care Checklist
- Access to Fresh Drinking Water & Shade
Just like we humans look for ways to quench our thirst during the hot summer days, pets too can get extremely dehydrated. Though they do not sweat like us, they tend to cool off by panting and releasing heat through their paws. As a pet owner, you’ve got to watch out for signs that indicate your pet is dehydrated. Increased heart rate, excessive drooling, heavy panting, bright red gums, diarrhoea and vomiting are common symptoms. A summer pet care essential is ensuring your pet has access to clean, fresh drinking water at all times. While staying indoors, you can have a container for your pup to drink from whereas for the times you step out, make sure you have a dog water bottle. Another way to increase their fluid intake is by incorporating wet food in their diet.
Besides ensuring they are adequately hydrated; you have to try and keep them in the shade as much as possible. Dogs and cats have a habit of sunbathing. Direct sun can overheat them. Therefore, make sure they always have access to a shady spot where they can rest. If you’re stepping out of the house, switch on the fan for them so that they can stay cool.
- Pet Grooming
In your spring pet care checklist, ensure you make provision for grooming. A day at the spa or pet day care centre can really make them feel pampered. Surf the internet and you’ll find several doggy day care services and mobile pet grooming vehicles near you. When it comes to grooming your pet, there are no hard and fast rules. You don’t have to bathe them every day. Once a month or every few weeks is more than enough. While there are designated professionals and groomers who can do it for you, there are certain things you too can do at home. Start by washing their fur and brushing it. You may also include shampooing and nail trims. However, when it comes to hair trims, leave it to the experts.
There is a common misconception that shaving your dog or cat for summer is the best solution to keep them cool. Well, a pet’s coat is naturally designed to keep them cool in summer and warm in winter. While trimming the fur is recommended, never shave them off completely. No matter what season it is, stick to your pet’s grooming schedule. Another way to keep them cool in summer is by getting them their very own “kiddy pool”. Get an inflatable pool which you can place on your balcony or terrace. You can even plan a nice pool activity for them one afternoon. This not just keeps them cool but also provides a great opportunity for you to bond with them.
- Keep Parasites Off
A common pet safety issue in summer is dealing with ticks, summer insects, mosquitoes and other parasites. They are most active from March to May, and from August to November. You can contact your vet and seek advice on how to keep them tick-free in summer. It is also advisable to keep an anti-tick spray handy. This will help you kill them as soon as they appear and prevent a scratching nightmare. Also ensure that the areas where your dog is playing outdoors is clean and in case there is grass, it is cut short.
- Never Leave your Pet in the Car
We’ve seen a lot of pet owners get carried away and take their dogs on drives. That’s fine but if you plan to step out even for a few minutes, DO NOT TAKE THEM. Keeping your pet in a closed car while you shop or finish certain errands can suffocate them. It can even lead to a heatstroke. It may seem like no big deal if your dog is in the car for a few minutes. However, this little time can cost them their lives. It is not just dangerous but also illegal in certain countries. During the warmer days, it’s better to keep your dog home. In case you’re driving around with them, carry their water bottle along. If you have to step out for some important work, take them along. Most supermarkets and cafes are pet-friendly these days.
- Get your Pet a Sunblock
A summer skincare routine is not just for humans. Believe it or not, dogs get sunburns too. If they’re short-haired or light-coloured, they’re more prone to them. If you’re planning to spend a day out in the sun with your furry friend, make sure you use sunscreen that is specifically designed for use on animals. Apply it every 3 to 4 hours on their bellies, nose and ears. Based on your dog’s breed, a vet will be able to prescribe the ideal sunscreen which will protect them and not irritate their skin.
The best way to minimise the risk of a sunburn is by walking them early in the morning when it’s cooler or late in the evening when the sun goes down. Avoid walks during the day. You can even carry their water bottle along.
Easy Ways to Keep your Pet Entertained during the Lockdown
The lockdown phase is definitely tough for all of us. Adjusting work routines and staying indoors can be stressful. But it’s not just us suffering during this time. Our pets too experience withdrawal symptoms. If their playtime and walks suddenly stop, it can affect them. Therefore, pet care during the coronavirus lockdown can be crucial. As you are adjusting to the lockdown life, here are a few things you can do to ensure your pet is more comfortable during these trying times:
- Spend quality time with your pet: A major boon of the lockdown is that you get to spend more time with your pet. However, during such times, they too observe a change in your behaviour, schedules and daily life. This can leave them confused. Therefore, it’s extremely important to spend quality time with them. Just before you start work every morning, cuddle them or give them a few extra belly rubs. When you reassure your pet that you’re there for them, their mental health significantly improves and it can impact their well-being and safety.
- Play interactive games: As a pet parent, games are the best way to keep them entertained. If you have spare boxes, you could hide treats in them and ask them to find it, play fetch or hide-and-seek. Similarly, it’s the best time to train your pup too. You could watch videos on YouTube and try various tricks with your pet. Doing this is a great way to stimulate them mentally. You could also train them to help you with household chores.
- Give them a safe space: Every pet likes to have a safe spot in the house. Once they’re mentally prepared that they can’t step out, you have to make them feel comfortable within the four walls of your home. If you have a nook in your bedroom, living room or utility area, create a playground for them. Place their bed, throw in their favourite toys and you’ll see them occupied for hours. This will also ensure your pets don’t interrupt your Zoom calls.
- Take shorter walks: We as humans may be conditioned to stay indoors when we’re asked to. However, pets need their daily dose of sunshine and fresh air. While you will have to curtail those long walks in the park, you can also opt for fewer, shorter walks. If you have access to a terrace, playground, garden or backyard, walk them around for a few minutes and get home.
Pet care for spring summer is essential. Rising temperatures mean they’ll get tired easily and thirsty often. Whether you’re staying home with your pet or have plans to step out, preparedness goes a long way in beating the summer heat. If your district or city is going under a lockdown, stock up on all the essential pet supplies you will need.
Happy Pet Parenting!