Summer in Dubai with a Furry Friend

Cute dog wearing sunglasses

Thursday, March 2, 2023

Summers in Dubai are not anyone’s favourite time. The scorching heat of the middle east, combined with temperatures reaching up to 50°C, can be an extremely difficult time for everyone, especially pets. Heatstrokes, unfortunately, become a common phenomenon and it spares no one. 

The heat in the desert city sets in around the last week of April, continuing through almost half the year up until September, with June–August being the three hottest months of the year. 

Unlike human beings, pets do not release heat by sweating. This leaves them susceptible to dehydration and heatstroke, which can be fatal if not properly treated.

Here are some ways you can help your pets through the summers of Dubai:

  1. Be careful about never EVER leaving your pet inside a car, no matter for how many minutes. 
  2. Pavements and tarmacs can get extremely hot during these months, and unless your pet is wearing shoes, it is best to avoid them. You can check the heat of the pavement by pressing the back of your hand to the ground for 5 seconds (if it is too hot for you, it is too hot for them). The best time to walk your dogs would be early morning or after sunset. Also, even though the sun isn’t there anymore, the heat probably is, so it's best to keep the duration of the walk short, and the pace comparatively slower, so as to not exhaust your little canine friends. 
  3. It’s best to keep your pets indoors for the most part of these months: but even then you must make sure that they are safe and cool. Keep an eye out for them in case they wander away from the air-conditioned home into the heated backyard, or if someone had left a gate open. In case your pet needs to make an outdoor trip, avoid letting them outside between noon and 4 pm when the sun is at its strongest.
  4. Make sure your pet always has an adequate supply of water, and keep changing the water in their water bowl to avoid contamination. Unlike human beings, pets have no way of communicating if they feel dehydrated, therefore it is best to keep several bowls of water spread out across the home, in visible areas so that you can keep track in case any of them runs out. 
  5. Remember that short-nosed dogs such as pugs and bulldogs, and small animals like rabbits and birds find it particularly difficult in extreme heat conditions. Consult your veterinarians with regard to giving them an extra dose of hydration through electrolytes.

Playing with your dogs in the summer

Just because it's summer, it does not mean that your dogs do not get to enjoy playtime. This is not that much of an issue for cat owners, as they have never been pets excited by playtime. 

  1. Fill a small kiddie pool with water - preferably the night before so the water is cool in the morning and stays cooler longer, or add bags of ice cubes - and have your dog fetch balls you throw into it.
  2. When you are watering your grass, plants or lawn, you can let your dog enjoy a spray from the hose, specifically on the belly, chest and head.
    Dogs cool from the bottom up, therefore be sure to spray their paws and stomach when trying to lower its body temperature. A wet towel works best if your dog is laying down on it, rather than on top of its coat.
  3. Use cooling pads or towels that have frozen: you can lay them out on the grass or ground during your pet’s outdoor playtime.

Accessories that can help your pets in the summer months:

  1. Pet shoes for pavements can help you and your pets take a walk without having to worry about their tiny, little, delicate paws being burned by the scorching ground. 
  2. Chill-out bandanas that keep your dog looking and feeling cool. 
  3. Pet cooling vests work the same as bandanas but provide more coverage. 
  4. Cooling dog mat is another product that is portable and can help your pets out anywhere they go. Just place them on the car sheet, or on the ground, and it will help in regulating your pets’ body temperature and keep them cool. 
  5. A portable water bottle for your pets is also an excellent way to make sure that if they are travelling outside, they have enough supply of water readily available. 

Checking for signs of heatstrokes

Even after being extremely careful, sometimes, the heat just finds up. Here are a few signs of heatstrokes to look out for in your pets:

  1. Heavy salivation
  2. Unexpected hyper excitement 
  3. Excessive panting

In case you come across these symptoms, you may try to cool the animal as quickly as possible by soaking it in cold water or keeping cold cans or ice packs (frozen peas etc.) against the pet’s armpits, inguinal area, and tummy. If they do not seem to be getting better, then it’s advisable to immediately seek veterinary attention.