Dogs teach us to love; cats teach us to live.
Dogs teach us to love; cats teach us to live.
ANIMAL welfare group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) urges the public to help animals, especially dogs, beat the summer heat by keeping them away from hot places and watching their overall condition in relation to soaring temperatures.
If there's a dog showing any symptoms of heatstroke—including restlessness, heavy panting, vomiting, lethargy, lack of appetite, or loss of coordination—get it into the shade immediately. PETA said a symptomatic dog's body temperature can be lowered by offering water, applying a cold towel to the animal's head and chest, or immersing the dog in tepid (not ice-cold) water. As the dog cools off, bringing it to a veterinarian for further medical attention should be next.
Keep dogs indoors, especially while the sun is up. Unlike humans, dogs can only sweat through their footpads and cool themselves by panting.
If dogs must be left outside, PETA urges dog owners to supply them with water and to make sure dogs stay in shady areas even as the sunshine's direction shifts as the day goes by. Even brief periods of direct exposure to the sun can have life-threatening consequences, PETA said.
Avoid putting on clothes on dogs as it makes them more vulnerable to heat stroke. Even in the coolest of temperatures in the Philippines, dogs are able to stay warm and do not need to wear clothing, said PETA.
Avoid hot cars. PETA strongly appeals to pet owners not to leave an animal in a parked car in warm weather, even for short periods with the windows slightly open. Dogs trapped inside parked cars can succumb to heat stroke within minutes, even if a car isn't parked in direct sunlight, the group said. On a 25-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can rise to between 37 and 50 degrees in just minutes, and on a 32-degree day, interior temperatures can reach as high as 71 degrees in less than 10 minutes.
PETA also warned against running or exercising dogs when the weather is hot. In very hot, humid weather, never exercise dogs by cycling while they try to keep up or by running them while you jog. Dogs will collapse before giving up, at which point, it may be too late to save them, said the group.
PETA also encourages the public to keep an eye on other animals living outdoors, even if they are not their pets. Leaving water for strays and giving them temporary shelter from the heat or calling humane can save the lives of affected animals.
"Many animals suffer during Manila's long summers", says PETA Asia's Vice President Jason Baker. "You can help them weather the high temperatures by following our tips and volunteering with your local shelter or municipal pound."
For help in rescuing animals in distress, call PETA on (0) 999-888-7382.
For more information, please visit PETAAsia.com or PETA Asia's Facebook page.
By ALMA J. BUELVA
AS pet lovers we always try to do the best we can for our pets, but there's always room for improvement. A fresh year gives everyone a 12-month clean slate to do better in the pet parenting department, and keeping a list of pet-oriented New Year's resolutions might help.
Below is a list of recommended New Year's resolutions, some of which, if not all, should make sense to every responsible pet parent out there. See which of these applies to you.
PET-CENTRIC NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS
* I will not leave my pet alone for grooming. If possible, grooming will be done at home.
* I'll have someone trustworthy to care for my pet, preferably at home, if I'll be away for long.
* My house will be pet-proofed to avoid accidents and damages.
* Before leaving for work or some errands, I'll ensure my pet has enough safe distractions till I return home.
* I will not leave my pet with other people or take it to places where it will become anxious and scared.
* I will look for new walking or jogging routes for me and my dog to explore.
* I will try to teach my pet a useful command, routine or trick this year.
* I will make oral hygiene part of my pet's regular upkeep.
* I will set aside some money as insurance for my pet's sudden medical needs.
* I will respect the personal choices of others who are not into pets.
* I will not spoil my pet rotten so it doesn't become clingy, obese or lazy.
* I will regularly give my pet a massage to feel its body for any potential health issue.
* I will play and bond with my pet more.
* I will consider having my pet microchipped for safety reasons.
* I will read up more about my pet's breed to understand and provide for its needs better.
* I will monitor my pet's health closely and follow its vaccination schedules.
* I will keep photos, videos and diary of my pet to remember everything when my pet is gone.
* I will not abandon my pet at all costs.
* I will shelter my pet from the heat and the rain.
* I will come to the aid of an animal in need, even if it's not my pet.
* I will only cage my pet when absolutely necessary or for medical reason, and only for a short time.
* I will keep my dog on leash when in public places, but at home they should be free.
* I will keep handy the number of at least two good veterinarians or clinics.
* I will not force my pet to reproduce for personal gains.
* I will have my pet fixed if I don't want it to breed.
Finally, remember that pets will be pets. They don't have enough capacity to always understand and do what would please us, so be more patient and reciprocate their unconditional love with more affection. Happy New Year!!
HERE are some burning questions dog owners have about their dogs and the enlightening explanations offered by dog experts and experienced dog owners in an attempt to make us better understand this animal we love.
QUESTION: Why do dogs tilt their heads?
ANSWER: There are variety of explanations given, foremost of which is that dogs tilt their heads to reposition their ears to better judge the sound’s location and distance. By doing so, dogs open up their ear canal to better hear, identify familiar sounds and audio cues. They may be doing it also to see people's face better, without their muzzles obstructing their view.
QUESTION: Why do dogs walk away from their bowl to eat?
ANSWER: Experts believe dogs instinctively drag their food away from their bowl to somewhere quieter and safer just like they would do in the wild so they don't need to fight another dog for it.
QUESTION: Why do dogs eat poop?
ANSWER: Do it once, maybe curiosity got the better of the dog. Do it twice, maybe it's just for fun. However, a dog who habitually eats poop should go on rehab. Seriously, it requires a trip to the vet to find out if the dog is missing out on some nutrients which it oddly thinks is present on some other creature's waste.
QUESTION: Why do dogs lick you?
ANSWER: Some say because people are “salty” due to perspiration, so dogs that feel they need sodium chloride will try to get it from an easy source: you. Dog behaviorists believe though that licking humans is among the dog's arsenal of disarming tactics that people love or hate, but get their attention just the same.
QUESTION: Why do dogs like to smell butts?
ANSWER: Believe it or not, this gross action is about dogs trying to get to know another dog based on their butt's smell. Aside from clearly giving way another dog's gender, experts said the butt-smelling ritual also tells dogs what each other's diet consists of and their emotional state.
QUESTION: Why is chocolate bad for dogs?
ANSWER: Chocolates carry a stimulant called theobromine which dogs cannot process. Significant amount of theobromine can badly affect a dog's heart and nervous system resulting in seizures and heart failure. Baking chocolate and cocoa powder got higher levels of theobromine, while dark chocolate contains more of this dog-unfriendly substance than milk chocolate.
RAINY weather makes pets happy or sad. Happy if they are indoors and could just nap away and stay close with their human. Sad if they are forced to stay outdoors in a gloomy weather that restricts their movement anyway.
If there's a compelling reason you cannot allow your pets, especially dogs, to temporarily stay inside your house during bad weather, make sure you provide them a good shelter from the rain.
Here are some suggestions to help outdoor pets fair better during the rainy season:
1. If you must keep your dog outside, provide an area where it can hang out comfortably without being rained on. A covered or roofed garage, laundry area or porch may be close enough to being indoors, just make sure your dog has a dry bedding where it could stay safe and warm.
2. A waterproof doghouse is recommended. It should be spacious enough to let the dog lie down, stretch out and stand up without its head touching the roof. Place the doghouse in a high ground and make it stand at least several inches off the ground to make sure it doesn't get flooded during heavy rains. Put towel or blanket inside the doghouse to keep your dog warm.
3. Give your backyard dogs toys to chew on, adequate food and plenty of fresh water. These things should be easily accessible to them and kept away from the rain.
4. Check on them constantly. Dogs crave human companionship and it would be good for their mental health to see you regularly even for short times only, especially when the weather is ominous.
5. For dogs that love water, use the rain to do something fun. Walking or playing in the rain offers a unique way to bond with your dog and a good way for both of you to get some exercise. There's always plenty of time to enjoy the bed weather after.
6. Serve them hot or warm food. Like humans, dogs also need to stabilize their body heat especially when they are exposed to the elements. Hot food releases the aroma and whets your dog's appetite and quickly warms them up inside.
7. Some dogs are afraid of thunderstorm. To take away their fear and stress, put them where they could see and hear you. Your presence will reassure them things will be okay and familiar sound will put them at ease.
8. If you know a dog that is left tied, caged or under substandard condition and exposed to rain, report the situation to your barangay or an animal welfare group. -- MetroPets