Keeping My CoolPosted: July 20, 2013
There are a lot of wonderful things about South Louisiana that we like to share with our friends in other parts of the United States and around the world: our fabulous food, our marvelous music, our love for “passing a good time,” as we like to say. I could go on and on, but I would never include our summertime weather as one of those things that we like to share. Unfortunately, many of you have recently had and continue to have the misfortune of experiencing South Louisiana-like heat and humidity. I am really, really sorry about that. Trust me, I know it’s not fun, so I’ve put together a few tips on how I manage to keep my cool from early May to late September . . . and sometimes beyond.
Even on the hottest mornings, I still go for my daily walks . . . I just go earlier and earlier as we get deeper and deeper into the heat of summer. As you can tell from the clock on the wall, the little hand hasn’t even reached seven yet, and it’s already 80 degrees Fahrenheit with 70 percent humidity. It looks like this walk is starting about 30 minutes too late. Tip Number 1: Get your walk in very early while the sun and the temperature are still relatively low.
And this is what I look like after my morning walk. Not pretty, I know, but I have included this photo as an example of summer-heat-survival Tip Number 2: Find a cool spot. I am fortunate to have tile floors and I take total advantage of them throughout the summer. In fact, I have seen the looks on my humans’ faces when they see me stretched out on the floor, and I have to tell you that I think they might be just a little jealous.
Tip Number 3: Drink plenty of water. I have two water bowls, one for outside (you can see it in the photo above) and this one for inside. Now I have to tell you that, for some reason, I’m just not a really big water drinker; but my human mommy found that if she puts ice cubes in my water bowls I get a little more excited because I can go bobbing for ice cubes. And then she discovered this wonderful trick from my Twitter friend Sugar (@SugarTheGoldenR): Put blueberries are other pieces of fruit in the ice-cube mold. Who wouldn’t get excited about the water bowl when it looks like two eyes are staring up at you!
A lot of mornings, after my mommy and I have returned from our morning walk and I have had a nice refreshing sip of water, my mommy heads back outside to tend to the garden. Tip Number 4: When your humans are crazy enough to go out in the heat of the day to do whatever silly human things they think just have to be done stay inside. Let’s be honest, we all know that dogs are generally smarter than their humans: Who feeds whom? Who enjoys the ride while who does all the driving? Who picks up the poo? I think I’ve made my point. When the dog days of summer descend upon you and the heat and humidity make it feel as if you are living on the surface of the sun, retreat to the relative comfort of your house . . . and remember that this too shall pass.
Get your dog a cooling bed, pad, or mat and/or get your dog a good dog house or dog tent to keep the sun off them. I don’t have a cooling pad or a dog house (well, actually, I do, if you count the house I share with my humans!), but my cute little dog blog friend Taylor at Life Embarked does have a doggy cooling pad that she loves. You can click here to read all about it.
- Tie a wet bandana around your dog’s neck. This is one that my mommy is seriously considering . . . for both of us!
- Get a kitty pool for your dog to splash around in. I think we all remember the fiasco that was my pool party (if not, you can click here to read all about it), but I have lots and lots of canine friends who really love their pools.
- Set up a fan so air circulates where your dog hangs out. You saw the fan that we have on our patio in the picture above. It makes summertime dining outside almost bearable for my humans, too.
- Always make sure your dog has fresh water and shade. And remember that serving that water on the rocks with a touch of refreshing fruit really could make your dog’s day!