Many people get a grin on their face when they think of hot summer days. But we all know that too much of a good thing can be bad, especially for your pets. How do you keep the summer fun for your furry friends? Here are some tips:
- Water, water everywhere. Some dogs and cats enjoy a few ice cubes to keep it cool and as a chew toy. Some animals do not like ice though, so have an non-iced version available to make sure they keep hydrated.
- Frozen treats for your pets! Nothing like a frozen treat on a hot day, try this for the kitties: Catsicles.
- Water Park? Do you have a kiddie pool or sprinkler that you can let your dog enjoy (supervised!) on those hot days?
- Exercise that Thinking Muscle. Yes dogs need walks, but on very, very hot days, shorter walks are better. Try to find ways to exercise your dogs mind if it is too hot for a longer walk. There are lots of ideas for inexpensive toys across the web – just a little research will give you loads of ideas like a water bottle in an old sock, knots made out of old jeans, tennis balls hiding treats in drink carriers, crumpled up paper with a treat in the middle. Just remember to watch how your dog or cat to see what they like and to make sure that they don’t eat small plastic bits.
- Walking Cool. Early morning and later evening walks are best in the heat. You may also want to look into doggie boots in your local pet supply store. Pavement can get dangerously hot and burn sensitive paws.
- Sitting Cool. A pan of ice in front of a fan, a wet towel on cool flooring (such as tile), a spritz of water on the paws and stomach are a few ways to cool down a hot dog. Dogs cool from the bottom up, so the wet towel on the floor and cool paws is more effective than water on their back.
- And Cool Cats! While cats are quite good at catering to their own comfort, they can use some help on those very hot days as well. First make sure they have a quiet, shady spot to relax. Younger or agitated cats may exhaust themselves running about on a hot day, so you can encourage them to relax with a safe, cool spot.
- Brush if Off. Brushing out your kitties fur not only helps keep it clean, but keeps the air flowing through it to naturally keep them cool.
- Damp it Down. If you are concerned about your cat getting too hot, you can use a damp towel to help them get cool. The areas that get the hottest are their bellies, paws, armpits, chins and the outside of their ears. Concentrate on those area as your cat allows.
- A Bed of Cool. Another idea is to soak a small kitchen towel with water, then place it in the freezer. Let is get quite cool, then place it on the floor. Don’t force your cat to use it, but if she likes it as a bed, great. If it is too cold at first, it will warm up, so try leaving it out even if you get the brush off at first.
And absolutely never, ever, ever leave an animal in a car in the summer. Sadly, this is something that can never be said enough.
Have you made games or toys for your pets to keep them entertained on hot summer days? We would love to hear about them!
Cats are good at finding cool spots on their own, but they might need some cooling help once in a while.
What makes Friday even more fun? A loving bundle of fur! The mission of Cats in Tow is to find forever homes for cats and small dogs and always has loving animals that are looking for a family. You can come meet them at one of our Adoption Shows which are held Saturday and Sunday from 12:30pm-4:30pm at Petsmart in Brea, on Imperial Highway and Kraemer Boulevard.
Here are some furry friends currently looking for their forever homes.
With the perfect companion, every Friday is filled with fun!
We hope our series on the importance of spaying and neutering has helped you in some way – either clarified the issue for you or given you some information to help others grapple with the question of spaying or neutering.
The fact is that there are just too many dogs and cats for shelters to handle. The Humane Society estimates about 2.7 million healthy dogs and cats are euthanized every year. That is just too many. And the worst part is that we humans are the cause.
But that means we humans can help. What can you do?
First, if you plan to get a pet, get them from a shelter. Shelter animals are in shelters through no fault of their own. They were often abandoned or the off-spring of an animal whose irresponsible owner did not have them spayed or neutered. Give one (or two!) a chance!
And the secondary advantage is that your new bundle of love will be spayed or neutered and fully vetted. You have the security of knowing that your dog or cat has been checked out and medical issues (in the rare case – most are healthy) have been or can be addressed. And you don’t have to worry that you will contribute to the needless death of more animals in the future.
Third, share this series with friends and family. Don’t stop there – the Internet can provide scientific studies and other back up, but, of course, be careful of your sources.
And finally, share your story with Cats in Tow! Have you adopted a pet from a shelter? We would love to hear your story!
Links to the full series if you want more information:
We have taken a break from our series, but we are back talking about some of the myths surrounding spaying/neutering. If you need to catch up, here are links to previous posts: Time for a Change, The Numbers, Just One Litter, Copy Cat, Good Homes, Penny Wise, and Interference.
The connection between personality and spaying/neutering is a fear for many people. They worry that neutering a male cat or dog will make them feel less like a male, or that spaying or neutering their dog will make them less protective of the family and not a good watch dog. Or that cats or dogs will become less affectionate after being spayed or neutered.
All of these fears are ungrounded! There is simply no evidence that spayed or neutered dogs are less watchful; protecting the ‘pack’ is a basic natural instinct of dogs. Neutering will not make a male dog or cat feel less like a male either. We have to remember that even though we think of our pets as family members, they are still animals. Animal personalities are formed by genetics and environment. Dogs and cats don’t have an identity based on being male or female, and are refreshingly free of egos. They nurture their off-spring and protect their families based on the natural instinct to breed and ensure the survival of the species.
The fact is that animals that have been spayed or neutered are often more affectionate with their humans. Why? Because the instinct to breed is gone. They are not driven to urine mark or fight with other dogs and cats to keep their territory. They are not driven to search out mates, so they are less likely to try escaping and roaming. Female cats and dogs are freed of the burden of having to care for each litter. Relieving our pets of these drives reduces their stress. Many dogs and cats calm down after being spayed or neutered and make better pets.
Better pets for us and a better world for cats and dogs – what more do we need?
Amanda began volunteering with the Cats in Tow Program Mutts-N-Stuff small dog rescue in order to gain community service hours for school. She is in tenth grade and attends Valencia High school. Amanda has two dogs in her house but she has never had cats of her own. She loves coming in on her day off to spend time with the animals at the shelter. Amanda plays with all of the cats and helps them get their daily exercise. She is very patient and has no problem connecting with different cat personalities.
Even though Amanda originally started volunteering for community service, she has found that she really enjoys working with the cats in the shelter. She has actually finished all of her hours but decided to continue volunteering with us for personal reasons.
We are very thankful for all the help during the weekend adoption shows! Thank you, Amanda!
The 4th of July is almost here. Do you have a holiday pet plan?
We may think our pets don’t want to be left out of the party, but they do! Your pet may be the very, very rare exception, but dogs and cats do not like loud noises, boisterousness, having to dodge strangers or disruption to their schedule at all.
In fact, July 5th is the busiest day of the year for animal shelters. They are often inundated by pets that were panicked by the noise, lights and general mayhem. Too frequently, these pets are lost or get hurt.
Of course us humans seem to crave these holiday disruptions, so we are not able to spare our pets the holiday altogether. But we can help them. If you don’t have a holiday pet plan, you need to think about one – the sooner the better.
- Not everybody waits until July 4th to commence their celebrating – fireworks are available now and unfortunately, there are people out there who are not careful with them around people or animals. Put your plan into effect immediately.
- Do not use insect repellent on your pet! If you need to control pests, use products designed for cats and dogs.
- Keep your pet at home indoors. Again, waiting until the 4th to do this might be too late.
- The above especially applies if your are going to a party or public celebration. Fireworks displays are no place for an animal. The least that will happen is stress for your pet. The worst is running away, injury or being lost.
- And as a back up plan only, your pet should be properly identified. Microchips with your current information and an ID tag with their name and your phone number are the best methods – and should be present all year but now is the time to make sure the information is up to date. A current photo is good to have in the event that you have to make signs.
Should I have my cat or dog neutered or spayed? We at Cats in Tow do not even see this as a question: absolutely, without a doubt, yes. Sadly, there are many people out there who are unsure or have doubts. Why is this? One reason is that there are so many myths out there surrounding this issues.
Today’s post is a simple one, because we are just going to share an excerpt from the Feline Network of the Central Coast’s website. We just cannot say it any better ourselves:
“MYTH: Preventing cats from having litters is unnatural.
FACT: We already interfered with nature by domesticating cats over 8,000 years ago. In doing so, we helped create the problem of cat overpopulation. Now it is our responsibility to solve it. What is unnatural is the killing of millions of cats in our pounds and shelters each year.”
(One simple addition – the point applies to dogs too!)
John is one of our younger volunteers at 14 and is about to graduate from Hutchinson Middle School! He decided to volunteer with us because he needed 30 hours of community service for his language arts project. Although John has no cats at home and limited experience with animals, he is looking forward to learning how to care for animals. John really likes cats but hasn’t been able to have any of his own because he has two dogs already.
In the photo below, John is working with one of our kittens, Sunny D, who is extremely playful! John is very enthusiastic and outgoing. He is great at socializing with people and is building his socializing skills with animals. We are delighted to have him on our team.
Thank you John for choosing the Cats in Tow Program as your community service experience.