Six tips to keep your pets cool through a scorching Dubai summer
Spare a thought for Dubai’s furrier residents…
We’re about to head into summer where temperatures in Dubai can reach over 50 degrees, and often feel even warmer than that due to the sticky humidity. With that in mind, spare a thought for the pets of Dubai who, unlike you and I, have a harder time keeping cool due to the fact that they don’t release heat by sweating.
Whether you’re a seasoned pet owner or brand new adopter, we’ve put together a handy list of tips to help you keep your furry friends cool over the summer months, and what to do should they suffer from overheating.
Here are some go-to-cool-down tricks to keep in mind this summer…
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1. Dogs should ideally be walked early in the morning or after sunset
With Dubai being paved with heat-locking materials like concrete and tarmac, it’s important to check that the ground is not too hot for your dog to walk on – as their paw pads can burn. To make sure it’s not too hot – use your hand or barefoot as a barometer. If you can comfortably place it on the pavement for 10 seconds – then you’re good to go.
Additionally, pet owners should consider shortening the length of their walks, trying more shaded routes or slowing down the pace, so as to not exhaust their furry friends.
Walking through the summer is also thirsty work, so it might even be worth carrying a portable water bottle to refresh your pet if they seem to be overheating. (Many dog-friendly water bottles are available online).
2. Try to keep pets indoors during the hottest hours of the day
Although our pets love to sunbathe and frolic in the sunshine – during the summer months this can be dangerous. Short-nosed dogs such as pugs and bulldogs, and small animals like rabbits and birds find it particularly difficult in extreme heat conditions.
Try to keep your pets inside during daylight hours, however, if this is not possible, you should avoid letting them outside between noon and 4pm when the sun is at its strongest. If your pets live for the garden, make sure there is a shaded area for them to retreat to, and a bowl full of water available at all times.
3. Keep an eye out for signs of overheating
These can include heavy panting, bloodshot eyes, increased drooling, dizziness, vomiting, very red gums or tongue, lethargy lack of coordination and difficulty breathing.
If your pet experiences any of these apply an ice pack or a wet towel near their head and neck and take them to a vet immediately, preferably in an air-conditioned vehicle.
4. Water is essential – and not just for drinking
The golden rule is always to keep your dog hydrated. Make sure there is always water around the house, garden or even on your walks. If you have a clumsy pup – keep an eye out that they haven’t spilt their water throughout the day.
If you can tell your dog is too warm and overheating, an easy way to lower their temperature is to pray their paws and stomach with water, as most animals cool from the bottom up. A wet or damp towel is ideal for when your dog is lying down, rather than on top of its coat.
If you can’t keep your dogs indoors all day, it might be worth buying a small paddling pool – which can be inexpensive. This is an easy way for your dog to remain chilled and carefree, but make sure to keep the paddling pool in the shade, as to avoid the water warming up.
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5. Give your dog a makeover
Wearing your warmest winter coat wouldn’t be advisable during summer – and as humans we have the ability to choose our clothes, unlike our four-legged friends. Consider giving your pets a good groom, showcasing their summer coat which can make it more comfortable for them in the sun and stop them from overheating. But make sure to consult your groomer before clipping or shaving your pet’s coat.
6. Never leave your pet in a parked car
This rule is true of all seasons, not just summer, but doubly important when it’s hot outside. Cars retain more heat than an open area, even in the shade, and can lead to your pet dehydrating quickly.