Rashmi Pawar (28) took her black Labrador for a 45-minute walk last Wednesday only to learn later that the summer heat had given the dog a sun stroke.
The five-year-old canine had started shivering soon after returning home. Luckily, prompt action from Pawar and her veterinarian Dr Deepa Katyal saved his life.
City veterinarians said pets, especially those brought from colder countries, have a tough time during summer. “Unlike humans, dogs don't have sweat glands. Dogs with broad and short skulls — such as Pugs and Boxers — and those with thick coats are the worst hit,” said Katyal. “People go for exotic breeds because they are influenced by advertisements that feature good looking dogs. Most people don’t want an ordinary looking dog.”
Kanan Koticha (50), a Prabhadevi resident who has St. Bernard, gets her dog’s fur trimmed every three months and keeps him in an air-conditioned room in the afternoons.
Owen Roncon, MP Priya Dutt’s husband, has a Siberian Husky. It was born in Mumbai and is therefore better acclimatised, he said. For instance, the Husky does not develop a second coat, which he would have in his native habitat.
Gretchen Kwatra (39) brought her Orange Tabby cat with her when she moved to Mumbai from the US last year. “We make sure the fan's always switched on and that she drinks a lot of water,” said Kwatra.
“The heat and humidity of Mumbai’s summer provide fleas and ticks the perfect breeding conditions. These can spread infections,” said Sophya Rodrigues (27), who has a five-year-old Boxer.
Dr Shailendra Reddy, a Navi Mumbai veterinarian, warned against keeping pets in air-conditioned rooms. “Too much ice cream and iced water too can cause infections that could lead to pneumonia.”