Mumbai, Apr 26:
As summer temperatures soar, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India is offering lifesaving tips on caring for animals. Here are some advisories for keeping your pets and animals safe from scorching heat.
* Keep dog companions inside: Unlike humans, dogs can sweat only through their footpads, and they cool themselves by panting. Soaring temperatures can cause heat stress and physical injuries – including brain damage – and can result in death.
* Avoid parked cars: Never leave a dog inside a parked car in warm weather, even for short periods of time and even if the windows are slightly open. Even on a relatively mild 28-degree day, the temperature inside a car can climb rapidly, reaching a dangerous 32 degrees in the shade and a deadly 71 degrees in the sun. Dogs trapped inside a car can succumb to heatstroke within minutes – even if the car isn’t parked in direct sunlight.
* Offer water outdoors: Place mud pots that are filled with cool, clean water outside your home or at places where there are homeless or working animals. Inexpensive mud pots will help keep the water cool and won’t tip over.
* Provide birds with water: Place bowls on window sills, on balconies, on terraces and in gardens. Change the water regularly.
* Give working animals a break: Ask owners of bullocks and donkeys to give the animals a rest, especially during the heat of the afternoon, and help the animals cool off by gently spraying water on them.
* Give a treat: Feed working animals fruit for a sweet treat.
* Stay alert and save a life: Keep an eye on all animals you see outdoors. Make sure that they have adequate water and shelter. If you find an animal in distress, contact a veterinarian or animal-welfare organisation right away and give the animal water for immediate relief. Contact PETA if you need advice or a referral. Do not leave an animal’s side before help arrives.
“Many animals suffer during India’s long summers”, says PETA’s Director of Veterinary Affairs Dr Manilal Valliyate. “You can help them weather the high temperatures by following our tips and volunteering with your local animal-protection group.”