As part of Petfinder’s Summer Pet Safety campaign, we’re challenging Petfinder.com visitors to help us raise $10,000 to help keep 10,000 shelter pets cool and safe this summer. (Donate to keep shelter pets cool here.)
The funds raised will go towards Summer Cooling grants to help shelters purchase misters, sun shades and other cooling devices.
We visited the first grant recipient, the Humane Society of Southern Arizona (HSSA), this week. HSSA, which takes in about 10,000 pets each year, received $1,000 to help keep its animal residents cool as temperatures in Tucson hit triple digits over the summer. HSSA Public Relations Lead Samantha Esquivel showed us some of the ways the shelter keeps pets comfortable in hot weather (and you can too):
1. Fresh, cool water – for both drinking and playing in – is key for keeping dogs like Benson, a 9-year-old flat-coated retriever, safe and happy. Not only does Benson benefit from HSSA’s overhead misting system, he loves the shelter’s sprinklers and kiddie pool, which you can set up at home.
2. Homemade frozen treats – such as a Kong toy stuffed with peanut butter and kibble stuck in the freezer for several hours – are an easy way to keep your pet entertained and cool. You can try our recipe for catsicles to give your feline friends a frosty, tasty snack.
3. Shade sources – such as trees, dog houses or the sunshades HSSA uses in its visiting yards – are crucial when your pet is outside. But even if plenty of shade is available, be sure to limit your pet’s time outdoors and watch closely for signs of heatstroke (learn the symptoms of heatstroke).
“The best part of our dogs’ day is when they get to let loose in the visiting yard with volunteers, but we always have to be vigilant about heat and usually cut playtime short,” HSSA Public Relations Coordinator Sara Gromley tells us. “Thanks to a grant from the Petfinder Foundation, we’re able to extend the fun!”