As summer temperatures soar, here are some lifesaving tips on caring for animals in the scorching heat:
- Keep dog companions indoors. Unlike humans, dogs can sweat only through their footpads, and they cool themselves by panting. High temperatures can cause heat stress and physical injuries – including brain damage – and can even result in death.
- Avoid leaving animals in parked cars. Never leave a dog inside a parked car in warm weather, even for short periods of time with the windows slightly open. Even on a relatively mild 28-degree day, the temperature inside a car can climb rapidly, reaching a dangerous 32 degrees in the shade and a deadly 71 degrees in the sun. Dogs trapped inside a hot car can succumb to heatstroke within minutes – even if the car isn’t parked in direct sunlight.
- Provide animals with water when they’re outdoors. Place mud pots that are filled with cool, clean water outside your home or at places where there are homeless or working animals. Inexpensive mud pots will help keep the water cool and won’t tip over. To help birds stay cool, place bowls of water on window sills, on balconies, on terraces and in gardens. Change the water regularly.
- Give working animals a break. Ask owners of bullocks and donkeys to give the animals a rest, especially during the heat of the afternoon, and help the animals cool off by gently spraying water on them.
- Give animals a treat. Feed working animals fruit for a sweet treat.
- Stay alert and save a life. Keep an eye on all the animals you see outdoors. Make sure that they have adequate water and shelter. If you find an animal in distress, contact humane authorities right away and give the animal water for immediate relief. Contact PETA if you need advice or a referral to a local animal-welfare organisation or veterinarian. Do not leave the animal’s side before help arrives.