Beat the Heat

Posted by: Kalis on Thursday, April 16, 2015 at 12:00:00 am

How I keep my skunks cool in the Florida heat:

Around Easter I took both of my skunks to the Florida Skunk Easter Egg Hunt.  It took place outside an on a back porch, and though the temperature was OK in the morning, by mid-afternoon both me and the girls were what can only be described as sweltering. Stunky handled it the best.  She found a couch to crawl under and sat in a nice cool shady place.  Gingerbread, however, sat in the stroller panting and drooling trying to cool herself off. 

As a concerned owner that meant I instantly started looking for ways to help my overheated baby.  I poured some water into a bowl for her.  I poured a little water on her fur. I started fanning her with my plate to get some airflow.  I didn't have to worry about her blankets, she had already kicked them all to the back of the stroller.  But there she was, still, tubby and hot and not getting any better. I was about to go take her to my car so I could turn the AC on and cool her off when the woman who was hosting the easter egg hunt noticed my plight. She asked me to wait a second, walked away, and came back with a frozen bottle of water to place in the stroller next to my skunk.   Gingy laid down practically hugging the welcome source of cool air and within a minute was done panting and happily cooled off.   

Since then I have figured two things out.  

1.  Skunks don't really like hugging ice cubes, they'll lay right on top of it if they need an instant cool down, but they prefer an ambient source of cold air to sitting right on top of it.  

2. Frozen bottles of water will thaw, and as they do, you get a puddle of condensation on the bottom of your stroller/carrier/shoulder bag/whatever. 

In order to combat these two issues I have created little leak proof "pillowcases" for my waterbottles.   I took my sewing machine, a nice cheap velvet shirt from goodwill, and a garbage bag.  I cut a simple long rectangle of fabric that could be folded over and would cover the entirety of the water bottle (remember to leave a little extra room for seams).  I then cut a matching rectangle of garbage bag to use as a "liner".  Sew the pieces together inside out.    I hem the tops of the bags as well to keep the from fraying.   If you like you can create a drawstring to close the pouch as an extra precaution against the condensation leaking. 

Once you finish sewing you can flip the pillowcase so that the garbage bag is on the inside and the fluffy part of the velvet is on the outside.  Slide a frozen water bottle in and place it in the stroller with your skunk.  This will give them a dry fluffy log that radiates cool air. Similar to wrapping an ice pack in a towel when you hurt your hand the velvet works as a buffer to keep the bottle of ice from being too cold for your baby to snuggle against.   I place one on either side of the stroller now when I take them out into the Florida heat and have not experienced any other issues with overheating. 

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