The “dog days” of summer may remind you just how much hair and dirt your four-legged friends bring into the home. Fortunately, warm weather affords pet parents the opportunity to treat their dogs to an outdoor spa day that results in less fur and dirt in the home, the American Kennel Club says. Wash your dog with a gentle dog shampoo (or flea shampoo if necessary), and brush them once dry to reduce shedding. Inside the home, keep harsh chemical cleaning products out of pets’ reach and consider using pet-friendly cleaning solutions that contain only vinegar or baking soda. Wash pet bedding regularly, and you’ll be able to cut down on pet odors, too.
Water is generally the answer to keeping cool in the summertime — the more, the better, whether you’re drinking it or soaking in it. When it’s hot out, there’s nothing like a splash in in the pool, lake or ocean to really cool off, the Barefoot Nomad says. If all else fails, you can pick up a cheap kiddie pool to soak your feet, or take a run through the sprinkler. Evaporation helps you keep cool, too, so find a spray bottle to mist yourself with when the temps become unbearable. Add botanicals such as lavender or cucumber slices and keep it cold in the fridge — instead of sweaty, you’ll feel like you’ve gone to the spa!
Air conditioning is a boon when summer’s hot, humid weather becomes unbearable and you need to escape the sun for the most scorching parts of the day. But if you don’t have central air or a window unit (and the local movie theater or coffee shop is closed for the night), you can try making a homemade air conditioner using a fan and a Styrofoam cooler full of ice. LifeHacker also suggests turning window fans toward the outdoors to draw the heat out of your home at night and putting your sheets in the freezer before bed. Also, avoid cooking anything on the stove or in the oven; it’s cookout season anyway!
Dressing for the (hot) weather? Start with loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothing. Clothing and hats block the sun’s damaging UV rays by providing your body with its own portable patch of shade, and light colors absorb less sunlight. Keep garments loose to allow airflow to cool the skin, NPR says; use sunscreen to protect exposed areas, but don’t forget that it can actually make you feel hotter by preventing sweat. If your closet is short on sheers, try the local thrift store for a few lightly used summer garments; shopping thrifts supplied by ClothingDonations.org helps veterans!
To beat the heat in the middle of an ongoing worldwide heat wave, the first rule is to stay hydrated. Drinking two to four glasses of water every hour is recommended when facing temps in the 90s and 100s, because the human body needs to keep sweating to stay cool. Eat small meals made up of mostly fruits and vegetables, The New York Times advises; proteins and salty foods cause increases in internal metabolic temperatures. Also avoid alcoholic beverages and coffee to feel cooler, since both can cause temporary increases in blood pressure and body temperature.