Petting Monsoon Blues Away
02 Jul 2013
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Monsoons urge us to take out raincoats, umbrellas and flip flops from our cupboards. Getting wet in rains, going for monsoon treks and arranging monsoon picnics is what some of us wait for all year long. Despite the fun, we consciously take precautions not to fall ill by getting wet. We rigorously follow all the beauty tips so that our hair doesn’t look frizzy and messy, while our skin doesn’t become too dry. The same way, it is very important to take some precautions for our furry friends, as they are more likely to fall ill compared to us. Dogs need special care during monsoons, as unfortunately it is not a good time for them.
Storm anxiety is a very common problem in all dogs. You will see dogs rolling under sofas or going in corners when they hear thunders, lightening or heavy rains. Symptoms can range from mild to severe shaking, hiding, biting, and excessive chewing. It is very important not to talk to them in loud voice or get angry at them at that point of time. Don’t punish them, as they don’t know it’s temporary. That will scare them even more. Talk to them softly, pat them, show them love and care. If they still don’t come out, just let them be the way they are. Don’t leave them alone; just sit quietly next to them for a while. That will make them comfortable. You can even try giving them their favorite treat or toy to distract them.
Pets, especially dogs are vulnerable to skin diseases in monsoons. So, it’s best to avoid taking them out in rains. The humidity in the air during monsoons tends to create infections on their skin and they would bite it into a wound. So if your pet steps out in the rain, it is extremely important to wipe them clean, especially the paws as paws are succumb to dirt accumulation, and pat them dry (one can even use a hairdryer). You can also invest in good rainwear such as raincoats and rain boots. Even gloves and hoodies are available in attractive colors in the market which will help them from getting wet.
If you keep your pet outdoors, consider having them indoors for the season. Or have a shade where they can feel secure and rested, if you need to keep them outdoors. A lot of shelters get lost dog enquiries, or some are even seen wandering around on roads because they are so terrified. All they want is to escape when they are anxious hearing the thunders and storms. So they would jump a fence or sneak out of the door or main gates. Make sure they have proper identification tied to their collar so that if they run away, you can get them back.
If you are working or not going to be around your dog for a while, make sure your dog is indoors in a room with a window for ventilation. Have his favorite toys around and make sure he has ample of fresh water. You can also leave some noise around by keeping TV or a radio switched on, so your dog is not distracted by the outdoor sounds of thunder and rains.
If you see severe anxiety in your pet, consult your vet for proper medications. All natural homeopathy medicines are also available to lure away the anxiety.
Meanwhile, here are some tips that you can follow:
You can acclimatize your dog to thunder/rain sounds just before the monsoons. Do so while engaging him in playing with his favorite toy. Reward him with a small treat if he gets accustomed and is not afraid of the sounds.
A balanced diet and regular indoor exercise like playing with a Frisbee or fetch-game would be good, as outdoor walks become difficult. Take steps instead of elevator
Dogs are prone to ear infections since their ears are at an angle where rainwater can easily enter them. Dab the ears dry with cotton. If your dog scratches the ear too often or if it becomes red, then consult your Vet.
Don’t bathe your pet too often in monsoons. This will result in their hair turning frizzy and dry. Try using the dry shampoos or anti-fungal shampoos available in the market these days and remember to brush them regularly. You can even use medicated or all natural talcs and deodorants to get rid of the bad smell emanating from their skin.
If you feed your pet fresh meat, make sure it is properly cleaned. You can also opt to feed your pet good quality pet food, which can be kept in air-tight containers to avoid exposure to moisture. Give your dog a fiber-rich diet (Bananas are a great source). Avoid dairy products if possible in monsoon. Give buttermilk instead of milk.
Remember, Every pet has its own characteristic and individualism. Some like to step out and enjoy the rains, while some don’t. Don’t force your pet into getting wet, it will scare them more. Let them decide for themselves.
Give them fresh water every 3-4 hours. Changing the water in bowl every few hours is extremely important to avoid water borne infections. Have their deworming and vaccinations done on time.
Proper care, good diet, and careful monitoring of your pet are important, to ensure a carefree and fun monsoon. Apart from this, just make sure they are comfortable all the time and pamper them with loads of love and hugs. After all, it’s best to have a naughty active playful pooch than an ill silent one, right? And as they say, " Love can drive all fears away ".