Battling the heat! Keeping the bird dogs cool during the doldrums!
Here in the South, I have no use for summer. I don't fish, although all the pictures on the Bird Dog and Fly Fishing FB site make me want to learn fly fishing, and eventually it gets too hot to train. The heat is a wet one. None of that 95 degrees and 10% humidity down here, no sir! Yesterday, it was 96 degrees and 85% humidity with "feels like" temperature of 110 degrees! And, hotter stuff is coming late July and August. I use plenty of shade around the kennels and several fans going night and day in the runs. Also, the Dog Den insulation works both ways. I notice the dogs will lay inside them on the Wet Mutt mats with their paws and heads exposed to take in the view.
I read recently about installing misters in the kennel to help keep the dogs cooler. My concern, of course, is our high humidity. The swamp coolers used out west work because of the low humidity and the fact that evaporation takes energy (heat) to work and actually cools the surrounding air. With our high humidity, I knew the efficiency would be much lower. But, the article I read showed an installation in a kennel in New Orleans, where heat and humidity rival Miami. I thought it was worth a shot.
The units cost about $25/10' of line at Lowes. I bought two lines and linked them together. I made sure the pressure drain was the low point in the line, so it would drain when I turned it off. The package came with everything needed and took about 20 minutes to install. After installing, and re-installing twice, I learned a few things. Mainly, keep the line high enough (8.5' off the ground) so evaporation can take place before the mist hits the ground. Wet concrete did not encourage my dogs to rest inside (first installation). Also, make sure you have enough line to cover the entire kennel area (second installation). One more thing- the mist will condense on anything in the way and then will drip water. Make sure the mister heads are not near fencing, wood braces, wires, or anything else (third installation).
Now, they are pefectly happy to lie in the runs, in the shade with the misters cooling the air around them.
Does it work? Well, I can physically feel that it is. There is no doubt it would work much better in an area of lower humidity, but for the cost and ease of installation, it is a definite BUY in my book. Some other improvements may include a timer on the water supply line to time the on/off to the heat of the day to conserve water. I don't have the numbers on the draw volume, but it's not taxing my well at all.
Keep them cool in the summer and warm in the winter and they will work harder for you all year long!