Care and Management of Pet Animals in Summer Season

Pashu Sandesh, 12 June 2019

Harshita Bhumra1, Brajesh Kumar2

Summer brings health risks for our pet animals. As the temperature gradually increases, it is advised to keep pet animals indoors. Otherwise, animals will suffer from dehydration, heat stroke and direct exposure can also be fatal. Thus, in summers animals must be kept under the coolers or fan. Apart from indoors a bowl of clean and fresh water must be kept on outdoors. Following conditions may happen to animals which need care.

Dehydration: It refers to a shortage of water within the body. The sign of dehydration includes restlessness, weakness, excessive drooling, lethargy, dry gums, sunken eyes, unsteadiness, loss of skin elasticity. Summertime heat promotes dehydration, particularly when the animal is not interested in or does not have access to lots of water. To test the dehydration in pet animals use thumb and forefinger to pinch a little skin on your pet’s back or top of their head. If they are well hydrated, the skin springs back when you release it. As the skin loses moisture, it will move back into place more slowly but in the most severe cases of dehydration, it does not spring back at all. 

For the prevention of animals from dehydration the following care must be taken:

  • Ensure that the pet animal is having plenty of access to clean and fresh water and one must check the bowl after every few hours.
  • One must regularly clean the bowl to prevent bacteria etc.
  • Always carry an extra bottle of water whenever going out.
  • Take your animals for exercise early in the morning or evening hours to avoid the most intense heat of the day. 
  • Most importantly never leave your pets in cars not even for a shorter duration.

Heat Stoke: is a state of hyperthermia (elevated core body temperature above the normal range) resulting in heat injury to tissues. Heatstroke occurs when heat generation exceeds the body’s ability to lose heat. Early signs are more subtle - it may be as simple as animals seem less responsive to commands than usual. When you call his name, instead of turning to look at you, he may wander away. Excessive panting is also a sign of heat stroke. It is more common in warmer months, it can occur at any time throughout the year even when the weather is mild. Some animals are more prone to heat strokes, especially who are older and overweight. The causes for heat stroke include Excessive environmental heat and humidity (may be due to weather conditions, such as a hot day, or to be enclosed in an unventilated room, car, or grooming dryer cage), excessive exercise etc. The other signs of heat stroke include drooling, reddened gums, vomiting, diarrhoea, mental dullness or loss of consciousness, uncoordinated movement, irregular body temperature, rapid heart rate, irregular heartbeats and collapse. 

For the immediate care of animals from heat stroke the following care must be taken:

  • It is very important to remove the animal from the hot environment immediately
  • Run a cool shower over your animal covering the whole body-especially the back of the head and neck.
  • Wetting the area which surrounds your animals can also help.
  • If the animal is in a conscious state and willing to drink provide them cool and fresh water. 
  • If the animal is not taking water just wet its tongue with water instead. Don’t feed ice cubes, which would cause its temperature to drop too quickly and lead to shock.


          Armed with the knowledge of how to save your pet animals, how to respond and how to avoid it in the first place, one can look forward to a safe, fun and happy summer with pet animals.

Harshita Bhumra1, Brajesh Kumar2

Assistant Professor, Department of Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Extension1, Assistant Professor, Department of Veterinary Pathology2, Apollo College of Veterinary Medicine, Jaipur