With summer’s sweltering temperatures ravaging much of the United States, people and pets want to find ways to cool off. Perhaps a dip in the pool, a sojourn to a nearby lake, or wading in a creek or river – these can be fun activities. But, when it comes to pets and water, there are a few things to keep in mind:
In just a few short weeks, my two cats, Murphy and Bailey, will turn 12 years of age. They are sisters, even though they look nothing alike. My husband and I adopted them when they were about 10 weeks old, being born of a feral mother who allowed herself to be taken into a friend’s home a few days prior to giving birth; it was like Mamma knew she needed to be somewhere safe to protect her newborns. Everyone received a new home, and on August 1, our two girls will become even more “senior” at the ripe age of 12.
Prior to Murphy and Bailey coming into our lives, my husband and I had a long-haired orange and white cat which I brought into our marriage. This cat, Ama, was also a rescued kitty; I adopted her from the Bozeman (Montana) Humane Society in 1990, and she lived until she was more than 18 years of age.
Cats often live to middle-to-late teens, and even some to age 20 and beyond. In fact, the oldest cat known is Crème Puff, who lived to be more than 38 years of age. Senior cats require extra-care. For example, they often can’t groom themselves as well as when they were younger, especially the long-haired variety. Experts recommend frequently brushing your older cat. Thankfully, my girls were brushed while they were very young, and therefore, they are used to it and they enjoy it. In fact, they know the word “brush,” and come running when I call their names and add the word “brush.”
Other care one needs to take with senior cats include:
Diseases common to senior kitties include renal failure, diabetes, cancer, and overactive thyroid. Many pet experts recommend twice-yearly visits to the vet since cats are good at hiding pain and can’t tell you if they’re feeling sick or where it hurts.
Caring for a senior cat can take extra time in your day, extra expense in your budget, and extra love and compassion. But, your feline friend deserves all the “extras” you provide, for s/he has provided you the companionship and devotion you longed for, whether you’ve had your cat from kittenhood, as my two girls, or adopted at an older age, as was my Ama. Each cat has blessed my life, and I’m thankful to have enjoyed so many years with each of them!
For more information on caring for senior cats, visit this website: https://www.petfinder.com/cats/cat-care/senior-cat/.
The heat of summer is upon a lot of us, with scorching temperatures of 95+ – and it’s barely July! Such temperatures are hard on people as well as pets. Like humans, pets need to keep cool, so running fans and air conditions in the home not only benefit us, but also benefit our pets. Like people, pets can experience heat exhaustion and heat stroke, so be aware of your pets’ health as you combat the heat.
Here are five tips for helping your pet deal with this year’s sweltering heat:
Also remember to not take your pet in the car and leave them there during the summer. Humans cool themselves by relying on an extensive system of sweat glands and evaporation; dogs and other animals have a more difficult time staying cool, therefore, they are very vulnerable to heat exhaustion and heat stroke, which happens frequently when pets are left in vehicles.
Parked cars quickly trap the sun’s heat. According to various studies done, a vehicle’s indoor temperature can rise 20 degrees F in just 10 minutes. In 20 minutes, it can rise almost 30 degrees, and in 60 minutes, it can rise nearly 40 degrees. Even on a 70-degree day, if you leave for an hour, your car can be 110 degrees inside. Even having windows down somewhat makes little difference. Rarely does a summer go by without the tragic death of pets left in parked vehicles. Visit MyDogIsCool to learn more and print flyers to help others.
There are still many weeks left in the Summer of 2017, which means a lot more days of blistering temperatures. Let’s do all we can to make the season as comfortable and safe for our beloved pets as we can!
Every summer first responders are called to the scene of a child or pet left in a car. Already in 2017, 15 children have died, most of them in Texas. Pets, especially dogs, suffer the same deadly fate, and K-9 units are not immune; even in my own community, a K-9 four-legged officer named Nyx died after left in a hot car three years ago. Although it’s fun for us to take our pets on a car ride, summer is not the best season to do so. Summer and pets and cars can lead to tragedy, so it’s best to leave your furry companion in the coolness of the house while you are out and about.
The hot season poses another threat to our pets: fireworks. Although we humans may think the colorful display to be amazing and we tend to ignore the noise, the flashes, booms, and shrills of fireworks upset many pets. A dog’s ears are more sensitive than a human’s; in fact, dogs hear higher frequencies than people and they hear much better than we do. Therefore, the noise from fireworks is worse for them. During the 4th of July week, many pets escape, becoming lost, which can lead to death being hit by a car or land the animal as a stray at the city shelter/pound. In fact, reports say shelters receive more animals during the 4th of July week than any other time. Therefore, keep your pets secure in a room in your home with comforting things like its pet bed and toys, as well as food and water. Give your pet a safe place to be inside your home while firework displays, sparklers, and other 4th of July paraphernalia are being used.
There are many things you can do to help your pet be safe during this time of year; here are few ideas:
Learn more summer and Fourth of July safety tips at these websites:
Have a wonderful week!
Gayle M. Irwin is a writer and public relations professional who volunteers with various animal rescue groups. She enjoys sharing her books and her passion for pets and the environment with others.