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Summer PET Care

We love to spend time outdoors during summer; more often than not, we tag our four-legged friends along. However, the hot weather spells danger.

1: Pay a visit to the vet
Early summer is the perfect time for a check-up. Get your pet tested for heartworm. Make sure they are under a safe flea and tick programme.

2: In the shade
Give them plenty of fresh, clean water as pets can get dehydrated quickly. Build sufficient shaded areas to keep them out of the sun. With the kind of heat in Bahrain, it’s wise to keep them indoors. Don’t over-exercise them.

3: Smell trouble
Know the warning signs. Symptoms of overheating in pets are excessive panting, breathing difficulty, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, a state of unconsciousness and even collapse. Watch out for seizures, bloody diarrhoea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees Celsius.

4: Your check list
An increase in injured animals is reported during summer. Close all unscreened windows and doors; tightly secure adjustable screens. Don’t let them linger on hot asphalt to avoid burs and overheating. Steer clear of areas that have been sprayed with chemicals. Remember that human snacks can be poisonous for animals, especially raisins, chocolate, grapes, onions and sweeteners.

5: Out of the blue
Now that they don’t have the freedom to fly to cooler areas, birds tend to overheat in their cage. The signs are rapid panting and standing tall with their wings open. Have mists of water at hand and move them to a cooler place immediately.

6: Warm up; cool down
A sudden shift in water temperature can suppress the immune system of your pet fish. As water warms, it loses its ability to hold oxygen, causing the fish to breathe faster than optimum, which can result in chronic stress. To maintain constant temperature it may be necessary to heat or chill your aquarium water, or both.

7: Cut it out!
You’re not the only one who finds long hair to be a hassle in warmer days. Trim your dog’s fur; don’t shave it. Brush cats more often.

8: Cool it!
Be really careful with animals with flat faces like pugs and Persian cats. As they cannot pant as effectively as other animals, these pets are more susceptible to heat strokes. Keep them in air conditioned rooms. The same rule applies for pets that are elderly, overweight and have diseases.

9: Make a splash
Always have an eye out for your pets when you’re at a pool or beach party. Rinse them well after a swim. Chlorine and salt don’t work well with fur or their stomach.

10: Pest control
Taking care of your hamster, guinea pig, mouse, rat or other rodent in the summer is really not much different than in the winter, except for a few areas. Make sure they are fed a couple of times a day, have plenty of water and get sufficient exercise. Place their cage away from air ducts and keep them clean as they are more prone to diseases in warmer conditions.

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AUGUST 2013: STAR GAZING

MAN FOOD