Veterinarians share insights on summer pet care

Experts highlight dietary choices, ventilation to ensure animals' well-being

Asif Mahmood May 31, 2024


As temperatures rise, experts are urging pet and bird owners to take necessary precautions to protect their animals from the extreme heat.

Without proper food and care, animals and birds can suffer significant harm.

Muhammad Omar, a bird enthusiast from Gulberg, Lahore, keeps hundreds of different bird species at home.

To protect them from harsh weather, he has installed air conditioners and provides glucose-enriched water, grains, and seasonal fruits—particularly melons, watermelons, and various vegetables—several times a day.

Others in the community have made similar arrangements to care for their pets and birds.

Khalid Iqbal, president of Dharampura Birds Market, highlighted that "the period from May to August is particularly challenging for birds due to the extreme weather conditions.

Although birds have a natural ability to withstand harsh weather, those kept in captivity require special measures to protect them from extreme temperatures."

He stressed that direct exposure to scorching sunlight can be detrimental, necessitating shaded areas for their well-being.

"Arranging shade over bird cages and animal enclosures is mandatory. Additionally, electrolytes are vital to prevent dehydration, as an electrolyte imbalance can have severe consequences," he explained. Adding electrolytes to their water encourages birds to drink more, helping to regulate their body temperature. Alternatively, mixing curd water with their drinking water can also provide similar benefits.

Vendors in Tollinton Market, Dharmapura, and Canal Road Birds Market have adopted similar approaches, sprinkling water on birds and other animals, including dogs and cats. Shopkeepers recommend that "pet owners should shower their dogs and cats at least twice a day."

Dr Muhammad Rizwan, Senior Veterinary Officer at Lahore Safari Zoo, advises that selecting appropriate foods during the summer months can help keep animals and birds safe, hydrated, cool, and energised.

In an interview with Express Tribune, he recommended feeding animals and birds fruits and vegetables like watermelons, pumpkins, gourds, salad leaves, mint, and coriander, which can bring them joy and satisfaction. He also emphasized the importance of providing different types of vitamins and minerals.

Dr. Rizwan stressed that proper air ventilation is crucial in animal and bird habitats, and maintaining a controlled temperature is essential. "If possible, using an air cooler can help regulate the temperature to a comfortable level," he stated.

It is important to care for pets and birds as well as common birds in the environment.

Highlighting the importance of these measures, Dr. Rizwan added, "Selecting appropriate foods during the summer months can help keep animals and birds safe, hydrated, cool, and energised."

The extreme summer heat poses significant risks to birds and pets, but with proper care and precautions, their well-being can be ensured. By following the advice of experts and taking proactive steps, pet and bird owners can help their animals stay healthy and comfortable during the hot months.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 31st, 2024.


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