Archive for the ‘Pets’ Category

How to Keep Cool Inside When its Hot Outside

Monday, September 27th, 2010

Wow, it’s hot out there! After the most unseasonal summer here in San Diego it seems Mother Nature has suddenly realized she forgot to provide one, so she is making up for it with a vengeance. If you have an air conditioning you are lucky, but regardless it is important to keep cool; don’t forget your pets either. Here are some tips to help you through the heat wave.

Stay hydrated. We all know how important it is to drink lots of water when it is hot outside. The same goes for your pets. Make sure you all have enough cold water on hand.

Keep it dark. If you keep all your blinds/shades/curtains closed during the hottest part of the day it will cut down on the amount of heat coming into your home.

Fans. Circulating the air will also keep the temperatures down. I have all the fans running in my house and it makes a big difference. If you do not have attached fans you can use the plug in kind, but any way you can circulate the air will prevent the hot air from sitting around and raising the temperature in your home.

Pets. It is important to keep your pets as cool as possible. If you have outside pets you may want to consider bringing them inside. If this is not an option make sure they have a cool, shaded place to rest and lots of water outside.

Windows. When it is this hot opening the windows can actually make your home hotter during the day. Instead, open them very early in the morning to let all the cool air in, and again later in the day when the heat starts to die down. If you do not have air conditioning you may want to consider sleeping with the windows open to cool down the house. Upstairs bedrooms can be at least ten degrees warmer than those downstairs, so leaving them open throughout the night can help alleviate discomfort and give you a cooler start in the first part of the day.

Children. Children need to be reminded to drink a lot during the day, especially if they are at school all day. I know my own children know this but likely do not follow the rule. Some schools even have limits on air conditioning usage, and will only turn it on if the temperature rises to a particular number…call and check with your district to make sure your kids are staying cool in the classroom (don’t even get me started on this one. Cutting budgets should not involve making our kids uncomfortable at school, as obviously that will only hamper performance).

Limit caffeine. Caffeine tends to raise our body temperature, so if you can limit caffeine intake during the hot days you will feel cooler.

Exercise. If you tend to exercise outdoors you may want to consider doing so either very early in the morning or in the evening. Doing so in the heat of midday can actually cause your body to overheat and make you sick, faint or cause heat stroke. If you have to do so midday make sure you have a lot of water with you and that someone knows where you will be.

Plants. Outdoor plants and vegetation need a little extra water at this time as well, but try to water them early in the morning or later in the day, as watering them in the middle of the day can actually cause them to burn.

Appliances. To keep your home cooler it is best to wait to run your appliances until the evening, as they tend to generate heat.

Hang in there San Diego…soon we will (hopefully) return to our normal temperatures. For now, stay cool and be careful out there!

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Dog Owners: Protect Your Dogs From New Danger

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

If you are a dog owner like me you need to be aware of a dangerous situation that for some reason is not being broadcast all over the media. The rare western tree hole mosquito can bite dogs and can cause heartworm, a dangerous disease which can lead to death. Normally it is very rare to find these mosquitoes and only a few are found every year (only 30 were found in the last 17 years). Recently, however, over 300 of them have been found in the San Gabriel Valley and they seem to be migrating to other places across the state, like Ventura County.

Fortunately there is an easy solution to this problem that will protect your dog: put your dog on heartworm medication. It is a simple chewable pill your dog eats once a month, but you have to have a veterinary exam first to make sure your dog does not currently have heartworm…well worth it to protect our fur babies.

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