How to help stray animals in the heat

Photo: Stacey Taylor-Kane | Flickr

Photo: Stacey Taylor-Kane | Flickr

The grueling summer heat can really take its toll on stray animals. Many of them get sick or even die of heat exhaustion and dehydration due to the extreme temperatures. But you can help provide relief to the city’s stray dogs and birds by taking a few small steps. For example, keeping a bird feeder or watering station in your balcony or garden can provide nutrition and hydration to the birds in your area.

Some citizens in Bangalore and Mumbai have set up water stations for birds and animals to give them respite from the heat. According to The Times of India, a mass initiative called ‘The Water Bowl Project’ seeks to provide water for strays in every part of the country.

Priya Grover, a committee member of the Mumbai chapter of the NGO, said, “We use cemented water bowls that are repeatedly filled with at least 5 litres a day and kept in various parts of the city for our furry and feathered friends. One must make sure that the water is changed and the bowl cleaned daily to prevent any contamination. We make sure that at least one water bowl per society is kept so that the strays in the vicinity do not remain thirsty.”

Anyone can join in the initiative and the NGO will provide water bowls to those interested if they make a request.

When it comes to aiding stray animals, even a little effort makes a difference but you must ensure that you go about it in the right way. For instance, if you are setting up bird feeders and bird baths, make sure they are cleaned regularly so that they do not become breeding ground for disease and infection. The same goes for water bowls kept out for stray dogs and cats.

Avoid using insecticides in your garden, especially near feeders as it can affect the health of birds. Remember that plastic can turn toxic in the heat so keep water bowls and feeders in the shade or use containers made of another material.

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