Help Your Pets Beat The Heat
Help your pets beat the heat.
The rising mercury takes a big toll on us and our environment but our pets are less able to alter their environment and are more susceptible to high temperatures. Surprisingly cats and dogs don’t fare to badly in the hot weather so we will cover them last. Its our pocket pets that I worry about in hot weather.
Rabbits and Guinea Pigs
These guys often live outside in a run or hutch which is ideal for a lot of the year but they are very sensitive to hot days. Make sure they come inside as soon as the days are high 20’s to early 30’s. Make sure their hutch has shade and offer them a lot of water. During these hot periods offer more green leafy vegetables like cabbage and broccoli, the high moisture contents in these foods will help. Freeze small pieces of fruit in ice cubes but make sure they are only small, rabbits and guinea pigs don’t need lots of sugar.
The most common kept in captivity reptiles are pythons, short necked tortoises and bearded or water dragons. All reptiles need heat added to their enclosures but a lot of owners don’t remember to check on this in hot weather. Reptiles will do best in an enclosure where they have a number of different temperature zones from a basking spot to relatively cool regions.
The temperature range is very species dependent and should be researched carefully and check regularly. In hot weather watch out that your pet’s habitat hasn’t lost its cooler areas, without these spots these little guys can’t cool and can become dehydrated or unwell.
Birds are another common pet that spend a lot of their time outside, normally in a metal enclosure. As it gets warmer keep an eye on the temperature inside these aviaries. A hot unhappy bird will be sitting down on its heels and very puffed up but they may not be panting. Birds love water misters and really enjoy a bath so offer these during warmer weather. Conversely birds can get cold easily too so make sure you don’t use water misters once the weather is milder.
Cats and Dogs.
Cats seem to cope great in hot weather, I put it down to their generally attitude, they know hot weather is perfect nap time and refuse to do anything when it’s hot. Older cats with kidney disease may need much larger volumes of water when it’s hot. On the other hand dogs won’t let hot weather get in their way and can over heat very easily. Brachycephalic breeds (short nosed) like pugs and French bulldogs are especially sensitive and can over heat due to poor air circulation. Dogs can sweat but it doesn’t help with their thermoregulation its more for the release of pheromones.
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