We still have at least another month to deal with the summer temperatures, but let’s hope the string of heat waves has come to an end. The shelter has seen a lot of overheated animals come through our doors already this year and it looks like that will continue for a while. It’s important that you pay attention to how long your animals are outside and whether or not they have access to shade and clean water.
That includes our wild friends; make sure your bird baths are freshly supplied and maybe consider putting a shallow water source out for the toads. You may have noticed that the little amphibians are plentiful this year, possibly a result of all that rain we were getting. Toads don’t drink water, they absorb it through their skin by soaking in shallow water. Use a pie pan or something equally shallow, dig it in so that it’s flush with the ground, put it under some plants for shade and keep the water clean. Mossy, damp areas where no pesticides are used make the best spots for their habitat.
I had never seen an actual wren nest before; it was different in that they make their nest in cavities, so her nest with its three tiny eggs is burrowed into the soil. The best part is that she and her mate used a snake skin to line the nest; how ironic is that! If you have birds nesting in your potted or hanging baskets, continue to water them from the furthest point to the nest so that the plant will live and continue to provide cover. The parents may be a little miffed at your disturbance but they generally won’t abandon the nest.
Back to the heat issue.
What I wanted to point out is the proper way to cool down an animal that has become overheated. We had a situation last week in which someone found a stray dog in their yard that had collapsed from the heat. They did the right thing by taking the dog into the air-conditioned house but started down the wrong path when they used ice water to cool him down.
Keep your animals cool and safe while you enjoy these last weeks of summer!