Play it cool when caring for pets
Shade and water are the two most important factors that will keep your pet cool and ward off heatstroke, so all animals should have a number of clean water bowls around shaded parts of the garden, or their enclosure, according to Better Pets and Gardens.
An automatic waterer, freeze-able water tray or "doggy ice block" are great ways to not only cool your pet but keep them amused.
To make a doggy ice block, fill an old ice-cream container with water and add pieces of your dog's favourite foods.
Place the container in the freezer overnight. On a hot day, turn it out of the container and keep the dog amused for hours.
Dogs mainly sweat through their footpads, so unlike humans, they canít use the cooling effect of moisture on their bodies.
So keeping their coats shorter during the summer months helps regulate their temperature.
Hosing a dog down before leaving home is also a great way to keep their temperature down.
However, never wet your dog on its back; this only heats your dog more as the water gets hot from the sun.
Wet your dog under its belly and chin instead so the water evaporates from the breeze,
A plastic clam shell filled with water in the shade will also provide an option for your pet to cool themselves down.
If your pet is allowed indoors, installing a patio door could be a good idea to give access to cooler parts of the house, such as tiled areas.
Birds kept in smaller cages enjoy being sprayed with a fine hand mister of cool water, while for those with big aviaries, installing a fogger (available from most pet and hardware stores) to mist the entire area would have a massive cooling effect. ìIf they are put on a simple tap timer they can be programmed to come on periodically in the middle of the day for a few minutes, î she said. Such devices were easily installed.
It is still important to exercise pets, especially dogs, during summer or they will cause havoc around the home. Dog walks should be completed either in the early morning or late evening when the sun was low.
Test the temperature of the ground before setting off on a walk, take plenty of water (try a collapsible water bottle) and allow for rests along the way. Pet sunscreen is also handy.
Snakes become more active in warmer weather and the best way to snake-proof your yard was to keep it clean, according to the RSPCA.
Keep grass low and clean up any rubbish, wood piles or objects where snakes may be able to hide.
© The West Australian
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