Saturday, June 27, 2015

Animals in the Heat Wave (tips)

If you have animals,
be they pets &/or livestock,
they might take some extra consideration during hot spells.
Our forecast is for triple degree weather for the next 10 days.
If you are part of this forecast as well,
here are a few tips to help keep the critters comfy.

Okay, this should be obvious,
but clean fresh water is a must.
One step further:
for livestock troughs, if you have a chest freezer,
put a few inches of water in the bottom of the bucket and freeze it
during the night.  Mid morning 'pop' the ice into the trough
to encourage drinking.
If you don't have a chest freezer,
you can still make reusable ice cubes.
I save vinegar jugs, fill about 2/3 - 3/4 of water and freeze.
You can put the lid on and toss in the trough to cool the water.
(Regular milk jugs will work once, but they split when frozen.)
You can do the same for bunnies, chickens, and other small animals
just on a smaller scale - or just add some ice cubes to their water.

Shade &/or Shelter
Animals with enough room will find the coolest place
to lay down or hide out in the heat of the day.
If you have livestock in a pen,  even a temporary tarp/canopy
propped up will help.
You can sprinkle the area down, that helps too.
Evaporation is a cooling process.
If they are in a shed or barn,
Water down the structure in the heat of the day.
(If allowed and not in drought area.)
Another thing to do is wet burlap sacks and hang over the open windows
or in a tree or anywhere the animals "hang out."
This acts like a swamp cooler.
If you have wire bunny hutches, hang these over one side.
You can also "insulate" a barn or shed
by stacking bales of hay or straw on the hottest side.

Animals will naturally eat less in the heat.
This means what they do eat needs to be of good quality.

try to cool an animal down too fast if they are hot.
I have seen people put a dog into hypothermic shock
by putting it into a bath of ice water because they thought 
the it was too hot.

Again obviously,
if in doubt about the condition of your animal, call a vet.

Animals are stronger and smarter than we often give
them credit for.  If given the opportunity, they will fend for themselves
and do what best suits the circumstance.
It's when we (humans) interfere that they seem to have problems.

One last note:
Do these things for yourself as well!
Stay hydrated, try not to over do it in the heat of the day, 
and skip the ho-ho's and go for the greens.
If you become ill, who will tend the critters?

If you have more tips,
please feel free to share in the comments.
Different areas and topography mean different 'tricks' that work.
We all benefit from sharing.

Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches


  1. very good tips here
    . personally I do not have any pets and here in the UK we do not get high temperatures unfortunately as I do love to feel the sun on me looks like we are in for a wet day today,

  2. Great thoughts and perspective, thanks for sharing!

  3. Great advice :)

    Fortunately we have a law that prevents people from leaving their animals in the car here. I've seen that way too many times and it makes me so mad. I always call the police if I see it though.

    Have a great day!


  4. Wonderful tips listed here. THANK YOU! I will re-read this one more time, make a few notes and post them on our refrigerator. The more I read over the notes, the more I remember. THANK YOU so much for sharing these great tips.
    I do freeze gallon milk jugs. Leave the lid off and fill just to the top of the HANDLE (not the opening). I use these frozen jugs in the heat of summer by placing them in our dogs watering trough. I also have several that I poke holes in the lower sides and bottom (use ice pick-not too big of holes) and place them in the garden. When they melt they slowly water the wilted and hot veggie (and/or) flowers without getting the plants wet. You can also use other plastic containers - freeze (no lid) and place frozen jugs, etc. in pots or flower beds. This has worked great for us - especially last year when we jumped to 114-degrees and everything and everyone were feeling the heat.