Keep animals hydrated in times of drought

Dear Porky & Buddy,

While my family and I have enjoyed the ongoing nice and warm weather, we are concerned about the impact a drought can have on the animals around us. We always put out an extra bowl of water outside our house for any dogs walking by that may need a drink, but what can we do to help all animals, domestic and wild?

-Trisha

Dear Trisha,

You have a very valid concern, when we get thirsty or feel dehydrated, we are quick to grab a drink or some water from the tap, but what about the animals around us? Lots of animals (Strays or lost cats and dogs, birds, rabbits, snakes, frogs, raccoons, etc.) suffer during these high temperatures and lack of water. You are very helpful by providing a water bowl outside your house for passing animals but remember to empty and refresh it regularly as it can also be a breeding ground for insects.

To help wild animals, you can keep bushes and plants well-watered when possible as an additional water source. Bird baths can serve different animals as well and we suggest that your bath be no deeper than 2 inches at the center and kept in the shade as much as possible. This will keep the water temperature cool.

It’s all our responsibility to help animals in need. Providing water can be a simple or creative way make a difference to your neighborhood.

We also want to remind dog owners to pay attention to the rising temperatures when walking your favorite pet. If you cannot hold your hand on the asphalt for seven seconds, then it’s too hot for your dogs’ paws.

For domestic pet owners, it’s never too soon to brush up one some of the heat basics to ensure summertime safety.

  • Never leave your pet in a parked car- they can suffer from heat-related illness too!
  • Provide plenty of fresh water for your pets, and leave the water in a shady area.
  • Even in cool temperatures, cars can heat up to dangerous temperatures very quickly.
  • Leaving a window open is not enough- temperatures inside the car can rise almost 20 degrees Fahrenheit within the first 10 minutes, even with a window cracked open.

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