While it is usually hot this time of year, many parts of the country are experiencing abnormally hot weather and triple-digit temperatures.
If you happen to be traveling to (or living in) one of these areas, here are some tips to keep you - and your furry friends - safe and cool during the heatwave:
- Stay hydrated (an obvious one, and it is at the top of the list for a reason). Drink cool liquids, make a healthy smoothie. Stay away from coffee and alcohol - both dehydrate rather than hydrate the body.
- Visit a farmer's market. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables (as opposed to meat, dairy, fats, and carbs) helps cool the body.
- Use fans with a bowl of ice placed in front, air conditioning, Reflectix (aka: bubble-pack insulation) and/or blackout curtains on the windows to keep your home or RV cool. Don't have AC? See the article below for how to make one for under $20.
- If you have to be outside during the hottest part of the day, wear light-colored cotton clothing, a cooling neck gaiter, and a hat.
- Freeze your sheets. Put your bedsheets in the freezer for 30 minutes before bedtime.
- Cool down your “hot zones”. Pressure points are your secret key to happiness! Applying a little ice pack or a bottle filled with iced water to these areas will help you cool down immediately: Ankles, Behind the knees, Wrists, Elbow bends, Neck, Temples
Keeping your beloved furbaby cool:
- Wipe your pet down with a cool, wet towel. The water will help cool her as it evaporates.
- Put a couple of ice cubes in your pet’s water. (You shouldn’t give your pet ice cubes to chew because they can crack her teeth.)
- Put a bowl of ice cubes in front of a floor fan near where your pet rests. (Cover the bowl if your pet will eat the ice cubes.)
- Wading/kiddie pool, anyone? (Just put it in the shade!)
- Make sure your pet has access to the coolest places in your house. Does the bathroom have a cool tile floor? How about your cement-floored basement?
- Cooling mats for pets. These can be found at Amazon for about $10.
- Limit outdoor time to early morning and the cool (or semi-cool) of the evening, and stick to shady, green places as much as possible. Remember, your dog is going barefoot on hot pavement! And if his belly is low-slung, the heat radiates directly to his belly, too.
Finally, the summer’s most important safety tip: remember that the temperature inside a closed car climbs unbelievably fast. Don’t leave your pet in a parked car, not even “just for a minute.”
Make a commitment to your health today.
Stay well adjusted,
Dr. Dan Kammer