Rising temperatures around the world are impacting pets and wildlife greatly this year. Pet owners are doing everything they can to keep their furry friends cool and safe for the remainder of the summer, but it’s important to think about the wildlife animals that are also enduring this heat.
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a wildlife conservatory based in the UK, which is currently experiencing heat waves and droughts due to the heat this summer. An RSPB spokesperson recently discussed the best tips for keeping pets and wildlife safe throughout the rest of this summer.
Many water sources throughout the world have begun to dry up due to extreme temperatures, causing multiple species of wildlife to become dehydrated.
“A garden pond, no matter what size, benefits wildlife all year long, but is especially necessary in the heat. But even a shallow dish of water will help,” the spokesperson explained.
“Some animals and birds will want to bathe and cool down, others just to drink, so keep it topped up with clean water and refreshed daily. Add pebbles or some kind of ramp around the edge of any water source to help the smallest creatures climb in and out.”
Dry conditions also cause a lot of vital food sources to become scarce, so the RSPB recommends putting out small quantities of food for wildlife.
“Putting out fruit and seeds will help, in small quantities but often, to avoid it spoiling. A bowl of dog or cat food (not fish-based) at night will help small animals. It’s essential to keep anything clean that you’re putting out – whether it’s a feeder or an upturned bin lid of water, as diseases can spread rapidly with different animals using them and in the heat.”
“We advise giving bird feeders a clean once a week with soapy water and emptying bird baths daily,” the spokesperson continued.
If you have the garden space, let plants and trees grow as much as possible to provide multiple shade options for wildlife and your pets.
“Shade is great for us, for our pets and certainly for our wildlife. A log pile will help lots of creatures to find a cool corner, from tiny woodlice to frogs and toads, as will longer grass. Avoid pruning and tidying up areas where leaves and branches are providing more shade,” the spokesperson explained.
For your pets at home, make sure you’re consistently providing fresh water. Ice cubes are a great “summer treat” for dogs as well.
If you happen to find a wild bird or mammal that seems to be in distress due to the heat, contact your local wildlife rehabilitation center for the best possible care.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at email@example.com.