Here at the High Desert Museum, we’re taking steps to keep the wildlife in our care healthy and safe during this summer’s high temperatures, like providing fruit pops to the porcupines and spritzing the raptors with water. The otters? They’re content swimming and sunbathing. Caring for them in this extreme heat made us think of you and your beloved pets. We thought we’d share some simple things you can do to keep your pets safe at home and as you travel this summer.
1. Offer plenty of cool, fresh drinking water to keep your pet hydrated.
2. Dogs transpire through their foot pads, so offering cool water for them to stand in is an excellent and safe method to cool them off. During backyard play, sprinklers and kiddie pools are a fun and effective method of keeping cool while getting in some exercise.
3. Brushing your pets regularly can help keep them cool by removing excess fur. Avoid shaving or trimming the fur to short when grooming, as this can lead to sunburn. Pro tip: wet a cloth with cool water and pet your dog or cat with it. This aids in removing shed fur, as well as cooling.
4. Frozen treats are a great way to keep your pets cool! Plain yogurt with a bit of your pet’s favorite fruit is a delicious treat (avoid grapes and raisins, as these can be extremely toxic to animals). To help with hydration, freeze water with a bit of fruit for flavoring. Quick recipe: fill a yogurt cup or similar sized container with water, then stir in a tablespoon of plain applesauce (no sugar or cinnamon added). Pop in the freezer until solid.
5. When your pets are inside, ensure that the temperature stays cool by leaving the AC on. If you do not have AC, circulate the air with fans. Elevating their beds can also help by allowing air to flow underneath them.
6. Most importantly, never leave your pet in your car, and always allow them reprieve from direct sun. Fifteen minutes in 90 degree heat is enough to cause heat stroke in your pet. Always offer shade and/or the ability to come inside.