Summer Heat, "The Dog Days"

The Dog Days of Summer

sunshineThe "dog days" of summer is a commonly used phrase that originates with the brightest star in the sky, Sirius, known as the "Dog Star." Ancient Egyptians originally named the star after either their powerful dog-headed divinity, Anubis, or an Egyptian god, Osiris.

This star rose along side the sun when their summer was at its very hottest. The Egyptians celebrated the annual return of the "dog days" because it signified when the Nile River would flood and rejuvenate their parched land.

Although the Egyptian "dog days" of summer ran from July 3rd to August 11th, today we use this term more loosely today to just mean the hot summertime!

Below are a few things you can do to prepare yourself, your family, and your pets:

  1. Drink plenty of water and natural juices, even if you are not thirsty.
  2. Avoid alcohol, coffee, and soft drinks with caffeine.
  3. Slow down and stay indoors; avoid going out into the blazing heat, if possible.
  4. Keep the shades drawn and blinds closed.
  5. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  6. Keep electric lights off or turned down.
  7. Take cool baths or showers; use cool towels.
  8. Remain in air conditioning, if possible.
  9. Eat small, light meals; avoid using cooking ovens.
  10. Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.
  11. Check family members, friends and neighbors.
  12. Call 9-1-1 if you or anyone you know needs medical attention.

What Heat Related Terms Mean

  1. Heat related terms:
  2. Signals of heat emergencies:
  3. Treatment of heat emergencies:

Heat can affect anyone. However, it is more likely to affect young children, elderly people, and people with health problems. Be prepared for heat by having various members of the family do the activities on the checklist below. Then get together to discuss and finalize your:

Where To Go for Relief and Information

During heat emergencies, senior centers, All Day Club services, and local community buildings can serve as cooling off centers. Information is provided on an ongoing basis through the network of local centers serving older people.

Family members, friends and neighbors should regularly check on older persons who may be at-risk. For more information about local programs and services available to assist older people during heat waves, call the Illinois Senior HelpLine at 1.800.252.8966 (voice and TTY), your local senior center, or Contact the Egyptian AAA.

Outdoor Pets and Hot Weather

dog wearing sunglassesIf an animal must be kept outdoors during a hot spell, it must have access to shade and fresh water daily. Children's wading pools are great for dogs who like to get in the water. Garden misters can also provide relief from the heat.

Most larger-breed dogs and those with thick fur are at greater risk. Also, older pets and puppies, over-weight animals, and pets in poor health need special care.

Here is other hot-weather advice:

  1. Never leave your pet in your car, even with the widows partly open. Leave your pet at home, with shade and fresh water available.
  2. Clip long or matted coats short, but not so short that the animal can get sunburned.
  3. Exercise pets in the morning or evening when it is cooler.

Signs of trouble include heavy breathing, lethargy, loss of appetite and unsteadiness, vomiting, diarrhea, glazed eyes, or a deep red or purple tongue.

If you pet shows these symptoms:

  1. Move the animal to shade and apply cool water all over.
  2. Press ice packs or cold towels on the head, neck, and chest only.
  3. Offer small amounts of cool water to drink or ice cubes to lick.
  4. Take your pet to a veterinarian right away.
Heat Index
How hot it really feels when relative humidity is added to the actual temperature.
Percent
Humidity
10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%
Temperature                    
110 105 112 123 137 150 150 150 150 150 150
105 100 105 113 123 135 149 149 149 149 149
100 95 99 104 110 120 132 144 144 144 144
95 90 93 96 101 107 114 124 136 136 136
90 85 87 90 93 96 100 106 113 122 122
85 80 82 84 86 88 90 93 97 102 108
80 75 77 78 79 81 82 85 86 88 91
75 70 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80
70 65 66 67 68 69 70 70 71 71 72

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