With the beautiful Utah summer weather comes the unbearable heat! Please remember to keep your pet cool during those blistering hot summer days.
While it’s easy for us to cool off at the lake or the pool and to change into cooler clothing, our fuzzy and feathered friends might not fare so well. Here are some tips to keeping your buddy cool:
CATS, DOGS & RABBITS:
1. Keep Water Accessible
Ideally, this means that you should keep the bowl full and change it often throughout the day to keep it cool. Placing it in a shaded area can also help keep it from being too warm. Watch out for those playful pups, they tend to dirty the water by splashing it with their paws!
2. Provide Shade
Preferably, the shaded area should also come with a breeze. Keep in mind that as the sun changes position in the sky, the shaded area might also change positions throughout the day.
3. NEVER leave your pet in the car
Even with the window rolled halfway down, a car’s interior can reach unbearable temperatures VERY quickly during those cloudless sunny days. If you’ve got some errands to run, it’s best to leave your pet at home in an air-conditioned or shaded environment!
4. Do not go for Long Walks or Jogging in the Heat of the Day
Exercise with your dog during the early morning or late evening when outdoor temperatures are cooler. Also, remember to bring along water for both you and your jogging companion.
All of the above rules apply, and here are just a few more ideas for our feathered friends:
1. Mist often
Add just one drop of original Listerine (gold colored) to a 1 Liter Spray bottle of tap water and mist your bird(s) every 30 to 60 minutes depending on the warmth of the day.
2. Keep indoor birds away from AC Vents
While we run the air conditioner to make the interior of our homes more comfortable, we shouldn’t forget that cool air blown directly on a bird can be bad news! Keep your bird cages away from vents (same in winter when you’re turning the heat on).
3. Keep indoor birds away from Windows
While natural light is the very best thing for birds (they need 12-14 hours of UVA & UVB light daily), windows can create very warm pockets of air around them when direct sunlight shines through. Move your bird cages away from windows that get direct light. Just a few inches from the wall can make a huge difference!
RECOGNIZING HEAT STROKE:
Heat stroke can be identified by high body temperature (between 104-110F degrees), dark or bright red tongue or gums, panting, listlessness, staggering, stupor, seizures, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, coma, and death.
If you suspect heat stroke in your pet, contact your veterinarian immediately. Offer your pet ice cubes and use cool water to cool your pet (not cold water because it can constrict blood vessels and impede cooling) until you can consult your veterinarian. Do not cool your pet below 103F degrees as it can make your pet hypothermic.
If your pet’s temperature returns to normal, do not assume that they are okay. Hyperthermia can cause liver, kidney, and brain damage and an evaluation and blood tests by a veterinarian can determine if your pet is internally healthy.