As the mercury rises, we feel incredibly hot and prefer to stay indoors most of the times. Some days we find it impossible to manage the heat without turning on the air conditioner all day. But what about our furry friends who cannot even complain or express it when they are being affected by the scorching sun? It is our responsibility to take care of them as best as we can. We can make a big difference to both furry and feathered friends in our locality just by taking some simple steps to make the summer more bearable for them.
For strays and birds in your locality
- Keep water outside your home for animals and birds. An earthen pot is a good choice to keep the water cool but if you can’t find one, a simple plastic tray, the flat rectangle kind, is a very good option too. They won’t tip over and they will also keep the water cool. Place one outside your home for stray animals and another in your balcony, window sill or terrace for birds. Make sure to refill the pot regularly. You can also opt for this bird feeding bowl with holder.
- If you have the space to do it, put up a little shelter, by embedding four sturdy wooden sticks in the ground and fixing a sheet of cardboard or plastic over it. It won’t cost you much but it will give strays a place of shelter from the sun during the hottest part of the day.
- Get some ordinary floor mats, wet them and place them in the shelter so that the space remains cool for animals to take shelter in. You can even use wet mats as the top covering for the shelter if you have a sturdy wooden structure to hold it securely. Alternatively, you can cut out the top or sides of a wooden crate and make a shelter for strays with it and over the top or sides, you can hang the wet floor mats to ensure a cool environment inside.
- Making food available to animals is another way you can help them since, in summers, animals find it very difficult to cover large areas in search of something to eat. Even something as simple and curd and rice can help a hungry animal fill the stomach and also keep themselves cool in the scorching heat. Cucumber and watermelons are good options too but remove the seeds before you put these out. If you always have a carton of buttermilk in your fridge, pour some out in the tray for birds and animals too.
Pet care in summer months
As a pet owner, thankfully, you can do a lot more to keep your beloved animals or birds safe from the heat. Take a look at some simple things to keep in mind:
- Never leave your pet in a closed car even for a little while. Temperatures inside the car can quickly climb to fatal levels for pets. Always let your pet accompany you when you are outside with him or when you need to step out of the car for a task.
- Make sure your pet is hydrated throughout the day. You do not need to buy a fancy water bowl for him. Just a bowl with a wide bottom and wide mouth will do well enough to give your pet easy access to the water. Cool water in the bowl is a good way to cool your pet down.
- If you are travelling with your pet or taking him on a long drive, you can carry some bottled coconut water for him and yourself. Coconut water keeps you both cool and healthy despite the scorching heat.
- Make sure you are giving them the food they like. In summer, pets may not be able to eat as well as they normally do, especially if the food is dry. Switch to foods they prefer. For example, for dogs, you can switch to wet dog food like chicken in jelly during summer months.
- Keep an eye out for any signs of distress in your pet and if you do notice any, take him to the vet immediately so that he can be treated before the heat has a significant impact on their health.
- A simple way to keep your dog house cool and comfy for the canine is to fill a bowl with ice cubes and keep it inside, covered securely with a cloth so that the coolness can escape but the dog does not try to swallow it. Get large-sized ice cube trays so that you can make lots of ice in one go.
A few simple steps can make life so much easier for animals and birds who share the planet with us. All of these steps take just a little of your time and very little expenditure to carry out but they can make a world of difference to birds and animals both in our homes and outside.