We humans can handle a heat wave with only a few minor adjustments: Extra fluids, limited activities, fans, and air conditioners. But animals don't have it quite so easy: Cats and dogs will find ways to negotiate the heat, but it's our responsibility to make the summer months more comfortable for them.

If you leave a pet alone in the house on a summer day, the interior will heat up as the temperature climbs. The easiest solution is to leave an air conditioner running. (It doesn't need to be set for a low temperature -- about 85 degrees Fahrenheit is sufficient.) If you don't have an air conditioner, use fans, and provide your pets with rug-free spaces. Remember to keep an ample supply of drinking water available at all times. Under no circumstances should you leave a pet in a car on a hot day.

For rabbits, ferrets, and guinea pigs, freeze plastic bottles filled with water, and put them in their cages. To cool the water in a fish tank, place a resealable plastic bag filled with ice into the water. (Never put the ice cubes in directly, because any contaminants in the ice will pollute the fish's water.)

Comments (1)

Martha Stewart Member
January 6, 2019
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