Friday, 13 June 2014

Flaming June!

The weather has finally changed for the sunnier, and it looks as though for once Flaming June is going to live up to its name. While it is good news for plants, those on holiday and sunlovers generally, do bear in mind that old maxim about everything in moderation. 
Go for walks at cooler times of day ...
Two people from the double glazing company turned up this week to replace a cracked panel in the patio doors. All started well, and then one of them started feeling nauseous and had to have a sit down. Then he started feeling dizzy and light headed too ... we suspected that he was suffering from the effects of too much sun and promptly removed him to a shady spot, swathed him in cool wet towels, kept him plied with tepid water to sip at, and kept a close eye on him. By the time his mate had finished installing the new glass, he was feeling a little better - and luckily he had someone with him to see him safely home. But it does show how quickly heatstroke can set in, and with no warning. It wasn't one of the hottest of days - around 21 degrees - and was overcast a lot of the time. But it shows that you don't need high temperatures or even clear skies to suffer from problems.
Avoid strenuous activity ...
So gardeners take care - work in the garden at the cooler times of the day and follow the Aussie advice to 'Slip, slap, slop'   - slip on a shirt/slap on a hat/slop on the suncream. You could also add the PS to that - slam on your sunglasses, stay in the shade and sip plenty of water. It's sensible advice!
Find a shady spot indoors to snooze in ...
Your dog is also at risk of heatstroke during warmer weather - you can find out more about how to treat it by clicking on these links to articles by Dogs Trust and Vets Now . Bearing in mind that it can be fatal, prevention is obviously far preferable to having to deal with a stricken pet, so be prepared to monitor your dog. Symptoms to look out for can be found on both the above links. Take preventive measures such as taking your dog for walks when temperatures are cooler ie early morning and late evening, and don't indulge in very active games such as chasing after balls. Many dogs are dedicated sun worshippers, but just as you would with a small child, take care that he doesn't overdo the sunbathing. Some may also need a dab or two of suncream to prevent burning of areas where fur is sparse - ask your vet for a suitable product as not all human ones are appropriate for dogs and can cause irritation. Encourage him to snooze in shady spots when he's out in the garden, and to come indoors to a cool room when the sun is at its highest and hottest, between 11 am and 3 pm. Make sure that wherever he is, he has access to fresh clean water at all times. Don't leave him in the conservatory if you have one, and double check greenhouses to make sure that he (or any pet cats) don't accidentally get shut in - both can kill just as effectively and quickly as leaving your dog in a locked car. Remember the lesson learned by the double glazing man - temperatures don't need to be massively high, or for the sun even to be out, for your dog to experience problems! 

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