By Charmaine Ng
It’s always sunny in Singapore, and while we have the luxury to escape into an air-conditioned room and cool off on ice creams, some of our dogs may not be as lucky. Here are some ways to help them beat the heat!
- Keep them indoors, or under shelter. Pets cool off differently from us humans; dogs primarily sweat through their paws.
- Always provide bowls of fresh, cool, water for your dogs to rehydrate themselves over the course of the day.
- Limit exercise on really hot days. Adjust the intensity and duration of exercise according to the temperature. On days when the mercury is soaring, plan your outdoor activities in the early morning or evening hours when its cooler. Pet parents with breeds with white-coloured ears and short-noses have to be extra careful as they may be susceptible to skin cancer and have trouble breathing. Asphalt gets very hot and can burn your dog’s paws, so try to walk on grass wherever possible. Always bring water to keep Fido from dehydrating.
- Cool your pet from inside and out. Besides providing Fido with cool water, you could also prepare dog-friendly popsicles (with his or her favourite food). You can keep your dog from overheating with a cooling body wrap, vest, or mat. These items can be soaked in cool water. If your dog likes baths, he or she can even enjoy a cooling soak in the tub on a hot day.
- Watch out for signs of heatstroke. Some signs include heavy panting, glazed eyes, rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, seizures, and unconsciousness. If your dog is very old, very young, overweight and not conditioned to prolonged exercise, or have heart or respiratory disease, he or she may be particularly susceptible to heat stroke.
How to treat a pet suffering from heat stroke
– Quickly move your pet into the shade or an air-conditioned area.
– Apply ice packs or cold towels to his or her head, neck, chest. Run cool (not ice cold) water over your dog and let him or her drink small amounts of cool water.
– Take your dog straight to your vet.