We are officially in the dog days of summer. Agreed?
Contrary to popular belief, that common saying does not actually come from the thought of tired dogs lazing around on a hot summer day. The history of the phrase extends way back to ancient Rome (and Greece and Egypt!), and it refers to the time of year that the bright star, Sirius aka the Dog Star, rose with the dawn. In fact, the brightness of the star, Sirius was actually thought to have contributed to the hot temperatures common during that time period.
Despite the fact that ‘dog days of summer’ didn’t initially have anything to do with our family pets, it is still so important to remember them when the temperatures rise.
The hot weather associated with the dog days of summer impacts pets as well as humans. Here a few tips for making sure your four-legged friend stays safe when the temperatures rise.
Throughout the day, but especially while dogs are outside, it is important that they have unlimited access to clean, fresh water.
A dog cannot tell you that he is hot–at least not with words. Dogs do have other ways of showing you that they are overheating, however. The ASPCA explains the symptoms as, “excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse. Symptoms can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees.”
On hot days, the temperatures inside of a parked car can skyrocket incredibly quickly. This heat can be fatal.
You know how walking on hot pavement in bare feet can be painful? It is no different for dogs! When it is really hot outside be discerning about where you take your dogs on a walk.
Take a glance around your yard and make sure that there are shaded areas for your dog to head to if they start to get warm outside. On hot days, limit how much time your dog spends outdoors.