Keeping cool in summer heat is a challenge for humans and animals
Roxie the dog sits under a shaded awning at PALS on West Kettleman Lane on Friday, June 8, 2012. Providing shade to pets is one of the many ways you can prevent animals from suffering from dehydration or even heat stroke, according to numerous pet agencies.
- How Micke Grove Zoo deals with summer heat
At Micke Grove Zoo in Lodi, animals from exotic places need just as much care as dogs, cats or birds.
According to Avanti Mallapur, the zoo's curator, animals from warmer climates like the Amazon and Indonesia still need shade as well as sunshine.
Mallapur said most enclosures have shade and that all animals have a steady stream of fresh, cool water.
Enclosures that do not have shade are provided with camouflage sheets or tarps, she added.
Animals that are very young or getting up there in age also have access to indoor areas, where temperatures can be dramatically cooler.
For example, Mallapur said, a month-old pudu — the smallest kind of deer in the world — that calls the zoo home, has access to an indoor shelter space if it gets too hot outside or too noisy.
For animals that are typically found in cooler climates, such as the zoo's mountain lion, a lot of shade from trees and bushes helps keep the animal's temperature stable.
"His exhibit is particularly cool," she said.
To keep animals hydrated, portable water stations that stay full around the clock also keep animals out of harm's way when the summer heat sets in.
"We know that we have hot summers," she said. "We are always ready for them."
- What to do if your pet is exposed to high temperatures
Be alert for signs of heat stress — heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid pulse, unsteadiness, a staggering gait, vomiting or a deep red or purple tongue.
If your pet becomes overheated, you must lower its body temperature immediately.
Move your pet into the shade and apply cool (not cold) water all over its body to gradually lower its temperature.
Apply ice packs or cool towels to your pet's head, neck and chest only.
Let your pet drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes.
If necessary, take your pet directly to a veterinarian — it could save its life.
— Source: www.humanesociety.org
- Tips for dog and cat owners
If your dog or cat is outside on a hot day, make sure they have a shady spot to rest in. Doghouses are not good shelter during the summer because they can trap heat. You may want to fill a wading pool with fresh water for your dog or cat to cool off in.
Never leave your dog or cat in a closed vehicle on a hot day. The temperature inside a car can rise to over 100 degrees in a matter of minutes.
Always provide plenty of cool, fresh water.
Avoid strenuous exercise on extremely hot days. For dogs and cats, take walks in the early mornings or evenings, when the sun's heat is less intense.
Try to avoid prolonged exposure to hot asphalt or sand, as it can burn your dog's or cat's paws.
Dogs that are brachycephalic (short-faced), such as bulldogs, boxers, Japanese chins and Pekingese, have an especially hard time in the heat because they do not pant as efficiently as longer-faced dogs. If you have dogs like a boxer or bulldog, keep them inside with air-conditioning.
— Source: www.akc.org
- Tips for bird owners
Keep your bird's flight feathers trimmed. Escapes often occur during warm weather when doors and windows are opened more frequently. If you do not want to have your bird's feathers clipped, be sure your pet is safely inside its cage when doors are likely to be opened.
Keep ceiling fans off when flighted birds are at liberty inside your home.
Make sure window screens are in good repair. This will help keep your birds inside.
West Nile virus is active during the summer, and birds can be affected. Be sure to prevent standing water in your yard.
Take your bird outside safely in its carrier or travel cage.
Whether traveling or at home, be sure your bird can seek shade inside its cage or carrier to prevent overheating. Never place an acrylic carrier or cage in direct sun.
Remove fresh foods (eggs, fruit, vegetables, etc.) from your bird's cage after a few hours, as spoilage happens more quickly in the warm months.
— Source: www.lipetplace.com
Posted: Saturday, June 9, 2012 12:00 am
Updated: 6:13 am, Sat Jun 9, 2012.
As temperatures begin to rise in and around Lodi, staying cool becomes a priority for a lot of folks. Every summer, beating the heat is a challenge, even with spray bottles, ice-cold water and swimming pools.
But people are not the only ones who need cool water to drink or to swim in. Pets also need a way to stay cool as temperatures begin to jump in June.
Saturday, June 9, 2012 12:00 am.
Updated: 6:13 am.