You Are My Sunshine
My only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are grey. You’ll never know dear how much I love you, please don’t take my sunshine away…
I’ll refrain from singing you the remainder (there is a reason I blog and not vlog y’all) besides, I am a sunshine babe rather than a winter warmer, I like to radiate rays of happiness and hipness even if it’s oceans apart.
I discovered home is a feeling not a place. I question who sends the feeling? Did I think it then feel it, or feel it then think it? The latter I concur is more correct, which may well be enough to mess with your melons for the rest of this blog but hey, didn’t Sandy from Greece warble, “To feel our way”? Preach.
All of that to say, as much as I adore the sun — along with most of our pets too — we have to warrior up against the baddies the sun will also send out, Ultra Violet Rays…I don’t radiate these rays by the way, only the good and vibrants ones — true story.
Much is lectured to us owners on the harm of the sun’s rays, less so about keeping pets safe from the same. Their fur coats assist in protection against the sun’s harmful rays but sunburn, skin damage and skin cancers are still an issue. Ear tips are particularly prone to developing cancerous cells, especially if their fur is white or light in colour.
Check out these scenarios, if you have a yes for any of them you need pet sunscreen, not human sunscreen, and don’t share because, Eww.
- White cats or dogs.
- A pet suffering with alopecia (bald patches) either due to allergies, disease or chemotherapy.
- A breed, which has little or no hair, for example, Chinese Crested Dog, Sphinx cat.
- A sun babe (who is not me) i.e. loves to lie in the sun indoors or outdoors.
- They spend a lot of time outdoors.
Be a hydrated beach babe
- Keep your pet in the shade if possible or as much as you can.
- Use garden umbrellas, paddling pools, gazebos, canopies – all work well. Even hand umbrellas stuck in the ground provide shade for small dogs and cats and, we can create pretty and colourful gardens with them.
- Fresh water must be available at all times; leave extra bowls or dishes around indoors and outdoors.
- Use sunscreen on any bald areas, tips of the ears and noses/muzzles – Use a pet sunscreen and avoid those containing zinc oxide, this can be toxic.
It does not need applying to fur…this has its own funky natural protection.
- Use protective clothing; T-shirts, dresses, coats – Ideally in light colours.
- Use a pet visor or pet sunglasses to protect the eyes and face.
- Keep weight within the ideal range, overweight pets struggle significantly in the heat.
By the time you have finished kitting them out with the above, they will looker cooler than you do, sigh.
Water is the sun’s partner in crime. Let me introduce water:
Feel the thirst
Pet’s bodies contain around 60% water, more if they are young, less if they are senior.
Why’s water so hot?
It’s always in vogue simply because it deserves to be. Look at what water does on a consistent basis – it moves nutrients around the body in and out of cells, it lubricates joints, it helps keep the body cool, it aids digestion – including those treats they LOVE, it cushions the spinal cord and body tissues, prevents dehydration. Basically water is a boss, the new black, it should have it’s own show.
When that 60% tips out of balance and becomes less (dehydrated), mayhem ensues. Causes of the mayhem may result from decreased water intake, the inability to actually drink, increased water loss from conditions such as chronic renal (kidney) failure, vomiting and diarrhoea, burns, excessive panting (panting is how pets’ sweat and cool down) and, exposure to the sun and heat.
The above list is not exhaustive but you’re swimming with my drift right?
What does dehydration look like to the human eye?
- Lethargy is increased.
- Eyes will look sunken.
- Mucous membranes (gums, inside the eye and genitalia) will look dry, tacky and pale.
- Dermal elasticity (tenting of the skin) is apparent due to water been directed away from the skin to the organs – pick up a fold of skin on their head or around the shoulder blades, it should fall back to normal almost instantly. If it is taking longer – then – Houston, we have a problem.
- It alters the make up of blood, giving abnormal blood test results when tested.
- Urine output is decreased
- Eventually, in severe dehydration, organs begin to fail, coma ensues followed by death.
Pets do not need water from the springs; filtered through three layers of volcanic rocks, tap water is just fine sir. They do though, ask to drink freely, and not have their water intake restricted.
Keep their magic water number (approximately 60%) alive, by ensuring fresh water is available at all times.
Take drinking bottles on journeys or walks; special portable pet ones are easily purchased. An Ice -box is great for storing extra bottles/containers of water, as well as fresh cream cakes (I seldom miss an opportunity to sneak in the cake).
If a pet visits you, or you are a business, leave water bowls outside to help your fellow community.
If you are concerned about your pet’s hydration status, wellness or skin, hot trot it to your local vet, don’t if about or second guess – just go.
A parting note, as a marine life and ocean lover and supporter, the volume of plastic bottles used and discarded is both alarming and frustrating…often these find their final resting place in the oceans causing havoc and destruction. Please use reusable containers, and recycle.
Take care of the hand that feeds you.
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