Updated: April 23, 2015 2:11:28 pm
Indian summers are cruel for everyone, whether you are a pooch on the road or one with a home. A lot of times pets stop eating during summers and their intake of water goes up considerably. In fact, some animals may go from eating three meals a day to just one. As a pet owner/lover, you need to ensure that you feed your dog in the morning before it gets hot. Also, make sure that the water bowls are always filled with clean drinking water.
Summers also mean a visit to the pet-spa or parlour for a neat trim and hair cut. This is important because with the change in season, dogs start shedding their undercoat (which grows during winters) and their hair will often be matted or knotted. There is also a myth that shaving the dog’s hair completely makes summer more comfortable for pooches. This is absolutely wrong and may harm your pet in more ways than you think. In fact, most good veterinarians do not recommend a complete shave for dogs because hair act like a natural weather control. So a pet without a coat will need extra sun protection and care.
In fact long-coat dogs too can have a comfortable summer if they are groomed properly. The important thing is to spend more time grooming your pet or get a professional groomer to help you. Here are some things you can do to make the harsh weather comfortable for your canine child include:
Regular baths: Regular baths are a must for your pets to ensure that their coats stay clean and infection free. There are a number of shampoos and conditioners available for dogs which a pet parent can try depending on the treatment you require. You can use anti-bacterial, flea or tick repellant after baths to prevent onset of any disease. Neem-paste mixed with conditioner during bath-time and spray diluted Neem-water can make an excellent insect repellent for dogs.
Trim their nails: Properly trim your dog’s nails because breaking of nails is common in dogs and may cause injury and pain. Since dogs end up spending a lot of time running around during summers, trimmed nails means a happy dog. Cutting the quick is never a good idea and the secret lies in cutting the tip where the nail starts to turn under.
Sun-protect: I have often seen pet owners and caretakers walking their dogs in the sun. This is an absolute no as the pads under the dog’s feet can burn during the hot sun. Also, owners need to understand that pet’s skin needs protection from the strong sun too. If you have clipped your pet’s coat short, you must protect your pet’s skin from sunburns and other skin disorders. Always remember, an inch means no pinch; leave an inch of hair on your pet. If your dog is comfortable with clothes, get him a thin summer T-shirt for stepping out in the sun in style.
Combing is a must: As shared earlier, it is important to remove the thick winter undercoat so that your dog’s skin can breathe. Matted coats block heat and moisture makes your pet uneasy which leads to bacterial infections. If the coat is badly knotted and matted, groomers recommend clipping the hair but never a complete shave (unless the condition is out of control). Brushing and combing your pet’s hair regularly also ensures that extra shredding is taken care of and there is not dirt and mud to cause discomfort.
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