How are your Pets Cooling Down this Summer?
Summer has arrived and that means it’s time to slip on those stylish shorts, dust off your favourite hat and bring your brightest umbrella to the pool for some festive fun! Don’t forget to lather on the sunscreen and sip water throughout the day whether you’re out for a braai or going for a sunset drive. Before the summer fun begins, have you considered how your pets are going to keep cool, especially when that inevitable heat wave strikes? They can’t tell you when they’re feeling too hot, and overheating can happen faster than you think so keep these tips in mind to ensure your animals don’t suffer through summer.
Dogs and Cats
If you’re feeling hot, chances are very high that your four-legged family members are feeling it too. A constant supply of fresh water is essential, and you’ll have to fill those water bowls up throughout the day to keep your pets hydrated. Keep the water bowls out of the sun, and add some ice blocks on extremely hot days just as you would for yourself.
Whether you have indoor or outdoor cats and dogs, they’ll need to be able to move in and out of the sun and in and out of warmer and cooler areas as they please. Indoor pets will require lots of ventilation so keep windows open and fans on whenever possible. Outdoor pets will need ample shade so they can get out of the sun when it becomes too much, especially between midday and 3pm when the rays beat down harshly. The Queen Pet shop stocks the Chill Out range of toys, which you can soak in water, freeze, and then leave outside for your pets to play with for some fun cooling down.
Most dogs love it when you take them along for a swim or a braai, and while you see moms running after their human children with a bottle of sunscreen, you should join them and lather your fur-baby with sunscreen too! The Queen Pet shop stocks Petscreen SPF23 so you can have peace of mind that your pets are as protected as you are.
Don’t be fooled by the term ‘cold-blooded’. The body temperature of reptiles depends on the temperature outside, so they will be cold when it’s cold outside, and hot when the weather is hot. Reptiles can definitely overheat and even die if their owners don’t regulate their temperature.
The only way you’ll know if it is too warm or cold for your reptile is by using at least one reliable thermometer. You can get great quality thermometers from your nearest Queen Pet shop and talk to the staff about the ideal conditions for your reptile pets.
Ventilation is also key to making sure your reptiles enjoy their summer as much as you do. Consider adding extra ventilation holes that can be covered up again in winter, and get a cooling fan to keep the air moving. Your terrarium should be large enough that one end of it can be warmer while the other end is cooler, so your reptile can find a comfortable space depending on the time of day.
Birds do not have sweat glands, so they aren’t going to perspire to keep cool. If you own a bird, it is your responsibility to make sure your feathered friend doesn’t overheat. Outdoor aviaries should have ample shade cover so birds can get out of the direct sun when it’s too hot. They will also need lots of water to stay hydrated and a healthy diet to maintain an optimal body weight.
Keep a misting bottle handy for those intensely hot days – your bird will really enjoy basking in the moisture. Be sure to adjust the bottle’s nozzle so it sprays a fine mist, and spray the mist near the bird rather than directly onto it to avoid scaring your pet.
Fish are incredibly sensitive to temperature, so it’s important to educate yourself before you invest in even the smallest home aquarium. The Queen Pet staff can give you excellent advice when it comes to buying fish and how to take care of them properly.
If the room in which you keep your aquarium gets hot, the water is going to be affected. The warmer the weather is, the more rapidly the oxygen levels in the water will diminish. This means the water in the tank will need to be changed more frequently. Your tank should not be placed in direct sunlight, and if your fish aren’t jumpers, you can even consider removing the lid during heat waves.