Heat and Hydration
Yes, we're set to break records AGAIN for heat this summer. What does this mean for the beloved fur people in our care? 1) We must be vigilant about keeping fresh, clean water available at all times. Remember that cats don't have a thirst drive like dogs, horses and humans. They are designed to get ALL their moisture from their food. If you are still feeding DRY food to cats, NOW would be an excellent time to transition them to wet food so your cats will stay hydrated all year round. (For help succeeding at this, click here to contact me for a session. 2) Consider placing more water bowls around the house or in their play areas. If dogs are outside for parts of the day, be sure there is water available in shady areas. Clean bowls daily.
3) An outside "kiddie pool" is a wonderful way to help dogs stay cool. Remember that dogs don't sweat. They pant to release heat, but most breeds, especially thick-coated and long haired dogs, are not able to stay outside in the heat.
4) NEVER leave animals in the car even for a "few minutes." You've all seen the statistics on how rapidly a car, even with the windows "cracked," will reach temperature in the 100's. Let's not quibble about how long dogs can stay in cars in the summer. Let's just commit to never. If you can't take your dog into the store or outside cafe, leave them at home in the cool, safe house. If you put water out for wild birds, be sure you clean and refresh the birdbath at least every other day. Birds like to bathe in the same water they drink. I have a big crow who delights in dunking bread or other crispy treats he finds into my bird bath, before he eats them. As a result, I clean it daily.
NOTE: If you're worried about standing water attracting mosquitoes, dump bird bath water in the garden, towel dry and refill daily. If you have a pond, there are mosquito-loving fish as well as other natural ways to prevent larvae from developing into flying insects. Click here to design a mosquito-free pond without chemicals or keep them out of an existing water feature. Just be conscious and aware of daily temperature predictions and your animals' needs for fresh, clean (preferably filtered, not tap) water, and everyone will be well. To your animals' Health and yours too!