Our pets rely on us for their well being. Knowing what your pets' needs are on hot days is not always obvious.
Here's some hot weather tips to help you and your pets to survive those crazy hot summer days.
Staying hydrated is so very important for animals on hot days.
We always ensure there is plenty of water for our birds and we even give our loirkeet two sources of water as she loves to have a bath to cool off.
I use a plastic measuring jug for the water container for my cats. It surprises me how quickly the pair of them can drink all that water, a small dish isn't enough, they really do like to have lots of small drinks on hot days. I keep one container inside the house and one outside.
Our dogs also get two water containers. We use 15 litre rectangular tubs. The containers are kept in the shade on the patio and out of the sun. If they empty one the second one is right there for them.
We always take water with us for walks and outings. If you leave your dog tied up for a quick dash into a shop make sure they have water and shade.
FishYes, you need to worry about your ponds and aquariums too. Keep an eye on the water level, you'd be surprised at just how much water evaporates on a hot day.
It's also a good idea to keep an eye on how hot the water is. You may need to add some cool water if the temperature is getting too high. Keeping the aquarium light off on hot days is a really good idea too. Feeding your fish less is commonly recommended.
WildlifeRemember that the wildlife can really suffer on hot days, even more so during fire season. We put water bowls out at both the back and front gardens for the local birds. We have a whole family of white cheeked honey eaters that live in our front yard.
2) ShadeMake sure your pets have plenty of shade on hot days. Be aware that sheds, garages, kennels and hutches are often uninsulated and can actually get hotter then out in the sun.
3) Heat-strokeKeep an eye on heatstroke signs in your pets. If you don't know what to look for ask your vet. Remember that you must cool your pet down but not too quickly if your pet is overheating, don't be afraid to call your vet and ask for advice.
4) Cool treatsDogs particularly like cool treats on hot days. Mine are partial to licking at ice cubes. One of the ways dogs cool down is via the mouth and panting, so a nice cool drink or ice lick can really help.
5) Heat-rashMany pets can suffer from heat rash which can cause them terrible discomfort and if left untreated can become quite a nasty problem. The skin can become quite raw. The first thing to do is to rinse the are with cool water (not cold) to ensure the affected skin is clean and seek medical advice. I have to keep a keen eye on Sacha, my fluffy cat, she is quite prone to heat rash.
6) WalksIf it's too hot for you to go for a walk it's too hot for them to go for a walk. Find another way to enjoy that time. We do 'lessons' with our dogs and cycle through all their tricks. They think lessons are great fun. We will also play ball in the fading evening light that we wouldn't go for a walk in, in summer that might be the only time it isn't scorching hot.
7) Getting OutSo it's been too hot for walks, but everyone is starting to get cabin fever. A drive can be just as exciting as a walk for your dog. They get to see and smell new things and just a change in scenery can make all the differnce. You'd be surprised just how effective a small in-car outing can be. Never leave your pet in the car on a hot day.
8) GroomingLonger haired pets suffer more with the heat and keeping them well groomed reduces fur and the less fur the better on hot days. A bath also helps remove any dirt and other skin irritants.
9) Feeding TimesThe heat can really effect your apetite and it's the same for your pets. In summer feeding at a later time when the day is cooler might be just what your pet needs.
Geri the Wonder Dog won't eat until the day has cooled down. Freki doesn't understand why dinner is delayed and it usually takes him a week or so to get used to the change in schedule. To him any time is a good time for eating.
10) Be PatientYour pets can get irritable in the heat just like humans do. Be patient and understanding about a little irritability in your pets behaviour.
I know it might seem crazy that I am writing about hot summer days if you aren't in Australia but today we have a lovely hot day today of
35°C (95 °F) 37°C (98.6 °F) and all my pets are feeling the heat.
I wouldn't really know what to do for extremely cold weather. I'd probably have them all jump into bed with me.