Beating the Heat - Handy Tips for Keeping Animals Cool
Whilst the official first day of summer is still a couple of weeks away, it's safe to say that the summer heat is well and truly upon us. As the temperatures rise it's important to remember that it isn't just us humans who are feeling the heat this time of year. Here at Lone Pine the keepers are busy coming up with fun and inventive ways to help keep our animals cool.
Think icy poles are just for people? Think again. Animals such as our dingoes and Tasmanian devils also enjoy a frozen treat on a hot day, but instead of lemonade or chocolate, they get more carnivore-appropriate flavours such as blood or meaty morsels. Our parrots also enjoy frozen treats, working their way through the ice to get to delicious fruity pieces inside. These treats not only help keep the animals cool, they also offer physical and mental stimulus known as ‘enrichment’.
Our sheepdogs love taking a dip in their water after rounding up sheep on warm days, especially ‘Mac’ (pictured above). Water is a great way to keep cool and many of our animals, including the emus, birds of prey, flying foxes and guinea pigs, all enjoy a spray down from a hose or mister on a hot day.
We all know that pigs love a good wallow in the mud to cool down, but did you know that this classic piggy practice also protects their skin from the sun like sunscreen? Think “slip, slop, slap” piggy edition.
It’s also important to consider the comfort and well-being of our pets on hot days. Here are a few ideas for helping pets beat the heat.
6 tips for keeping your pets cool:
- Always make sure your pets have access to plenty of shade and fresh drinking water. Adding ice cubes to their water dish can also help keep it nice and cold.
- Try making your own DIY frozen enrichment using your pets favourite treats.
- Put out a kiddie pool for your dogs to have an optional dip or see if your pet enjoys a spray-down with a hose or mister.
- An ice pack or frozen water bottle wrapped in a tea towel can be placed in with your smaller pets such as guinea pigs, hamsters and chickens to keep their homes cool.
- Avoid walking dogs during the hottest part of the day when the hot ground can potentially burn their paws. If the ground is too hot for your feet, then it is too hot for theirs.
- Don't forget about local wildlife. Putting out a shallow dish of water or a birdbath can provide a much-needed drink for wild animals in your area such as birds and reptiles.
Check out the RSPCA Queensland website for more advice on keeping your pets cool.