What dog parents need to know in summer?

Given the current situation—scorching summer and the pandemicyou may think that your dog is better off staying inside the house. While that may be correct to an extent, routine outings are non-negotiable when it comes to their general well-being. As a pet parent, it is only natural for us to put a lot of thinking into successfully navigating this long season, especially in India. So, take a deep breath and relax. You don’t have to do it alone—because we are here to help you with the best summer care for your dog.

Time their walks

If you find it difficult to leave the comfort of your home during the day, it only makes sense that your pets find it uncomfortable too. The roads heated under the sun are not kind on their sensitive paws and can cause serious damage. To avoid that, time their walks either early in the morning or towards late evening when it is not too hot. 

Additionally, post-walks, a soothing balm can be applied after sanitising your dog’s paws to deal with cracks in the paw pads.

Also look out for excessive panting, fatigue or dehydration as it can be a sign of heat stroke; and if you do notice these signs, rush your dog to the vet. It also helps to increase the frequency of your dog's walks rather than spending longer time outside to avoid any chances of a heat stroke.

Diet is more than just quantity

Just like different seasons demand different types and amounts of nutrition in humans, our dogs also have diverse dietary requirements depending on the season. For instance, during summers, you might notice that your dog is eating/drinking less or not eating/drinking as much. Don’t worry, this is not something to be alarmed aboutWith decreased physical activity and even lethargy caused by the heatwave, it is natural for their food or water intake to take a dip. 

If you observe such behaviour in your dog, introduce seasonal foods like deseeded watermelon chunks and cucumber, to add fluid and roughage in their system. To keep their sensitive tummies healthy, avoid feeding them excessive red meat or eggs and opt for healthy dog treats in moderation that are not packed with preservatives or harmful fats. When it comes to a healthy summer dog diet, balance is key and if you want to add some fat to their diet, a teaspoon of ghee in a day should meet that requirement.

Grooming is your dog’s friend

Dog grooming not only relaxes your canine companion, but also allows you to have fun and bond with them. For example, a relaxing bath helps you to know and understand your dog’s physiology and reaction to touch and as a result, aids with trust building. Having said that, a good dog grooming routine is not just about getting the right shampoo and conditioner for their coat. Ask any experienced groomer and they will tell you that it is a nuanced, wholesome exercise that includes regular brushing with a coat-appropriate brush, using a microfibre towel to dry them up, etc. Additionally, you can also apply a calming massage oil after drying as it is a great way to de-stress your dog and provide protection against diseases.