Summers in Utah can get very hot. We live in a desert climate so while it is often “dry” heat with little humidity still very hot. When I lived in Florida I learned what a difference the humidity made. I learned that it can be a lower temp and still feel like 106 degrees in the shade. In Utah if it’s 106 degrees it’s probably because it is literally 106 degrees. This past week or two there have been multiple days with temps reaching above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. This has led us to become much more aware of Magpie and her needs due to the heat.
Here are the tricks we have learned to help us brave the heat with Magpie.
- Water, water, water. I don’t get out of the car anymore without a bottle of water just for Magpie. I don’t always take the travel bowl since I can cup my hand and she can still drink but it’s imperative in the heat that along with everyone else she stays hydrated.
- Asphalt. I grew up walking around by the pool all the time because of swim team. I remember sprinting across parking lots barefoot because of the blistering heat and it’s a good reminder for remembering that Magpie doesn’t wear shoes. We pay close attention to if she starts pulling or high-stepping due to hot surfaces and we get her off of them asap if she encounters them. I’ve even tested it with my hand a few times to make sure she would be okay.
- Scope out the shade. We always find the shady spots at the parks and pools for Magpie. There is also a beach umbrella in the car just in case there isn’t any easily found.
- Hot, hot, hot. I have learned that Magpie reaches her heat threshold at the same time I do. Since I have a bad heart the heat can really make me feel incredibly ill. I don’t know if Magpie picks up on my feeling sick or just starts to have problems with the heat at the same time but she will stand up and refuse to lay down if we’ve been outside too long on a hot day. The kids have learned that it means play time is done and we all head back to the car or inside for some air conditioning.
- Take the vest off. If she starts getting hot I take her red service dog vest or harness off. Legally she doesn’t have to have them on, we do it to avoid questions and educate people but I’ll just carry it if she shows signs she is struggling to cool down. Poor black doggie doesn’t need an extra layer on her back in the heat.
- It’s okay to leave her home. If we are going somewhere where I am worried she might not be okay due to the heat it is okay, and better for her if we just leave her home. Yes ideally I’d rather have her with JD as much as possible but not at the risk of her health or her not wanting to go anywhere because she is miserable.
- NEVER leave her in the car. This is just common sense. You would never leave your child in a hot car, same goes for Magpie.
- Brushing. You wouldn’t necessarily think it but brushing her more frequently has helped a lot. Poor Magpie sheds a LOT so we are usually quite good at brushing her but making sure we do it even more often in the summer keeps her coat thinner by pulling up all the hair that’s falling out.
We hope everyone else also has a fun but safe summer and remember a lot of these tips would be great for your pets too. We are so thankful for all Magpie does for Deeds and we plan on taking good care of her through the years so that she can continue to be his constant companion.