Cooling Tips for you and your four-legged friends
Summer is here and we are feeling an increase in heat across the area. While we experienced a break earlier this week, temperatures have already been well into the 90s this year along with high humidity and storms. There are a few things to keep in mind during these hot summer days.
Although anyone can suffer a heat-related illness, people aged 65 or older are particularly susceptible to heat-related illnesses and complications. Please keep a check on your elderly family members and neighbors.
Drink plenty of water. Avoid drinks that contain caffeine, large amounts of sugar or alcohol because they can cause you to become dehydrated. If you must work outdoors, stay hydrated by drinking 2-4 glasses of water each hour and take frequent breaks in a cool place.
Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing as light colors reflect some of the sun’s energy. Wear hats or use an umbrella for shade, and always apply sunscreen to exposed skin. Sunscreen can prevent sunburn and block dangerous UV rays that can cause skin cancer.
If your home is not air conditioned, try to spend the hottest hours of the day in a cool public place. During regular business hours, residents of Newport News are welcome to go to any public building for relief from the heat.
Do not keep children or pets in cars.
Temperatures inside a car with windows up can quickly reach over 150 degrees and can result in heat stroke and death. The temperature inside a vehicle is just as dangerous for pets as it is for people. Rolling down the windows is not a safe alternative.
Keeping your pets safe is important as well. Pets, just like humans, are susceptible to heat illness – so make sure to keep your animals hydrated. A few signs of heat illness in pets are rapid or irregular heart rate, excessive drooling, lethargy, refusal to eat, or excessive panting. Panting is a normal way for a dog to cool off, but it is a very bad sign for a cat.
According to the National Weather Service
, if you notice any of these signs of heat illness get your pet into a cooler environment. Apply cool towels to the pet, remove the towels, wring out the warm water, re-wet and reapply. Provide plenty of cool fresh water for the pet, but be careful not to chill them.
Check with your veterinarian or a professional groomer before you give your animal a “summer hairdo.” A pet’s coat is a natural insulator that keeps it warm in winter and cool in summer. Removing their coat may actually make it harder for your pet to deal with the summer heat. When walking your pet on a sidewalk or asphalt be sure to check how hot the surface is by testing it with the back of your hand – if it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your pet.