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Is it the dog days of summer yet?
Why do we call them “dog days” anyway?
The term actually goes back to the ancient Romans. We traditionally say “dog days” when we are referring to the hottest, most humid time of Summer.
The Roman’s linked these “hottest” days to the star Sirius, also known as the “Dog Star”. The time period, July 3 - August 11, coincides with the rising of this Dog Star, Sirius. Thus, over the years, the phrase, “dog days” was born.
It’s only fitting to think of our own dogs during this very hot time of year. Your dog’s health and hydration is of the utmost importance if they are outside dogs or go outside at all.
Our Top Tips:
1 - Give fresh water daily in a large water bowl.
If the water is outside, fill up with ice cubes or place a frozen cooler in their water.
If you are going on a walk, be sure to talk along a collapsible water bowl or water bottle for them.
One of the most important things you can do for your pup is to keep them super hydrated with fresh water. Stale water is almost as bad as no water at all due to the huge amount of bacteria that can quickly grow.
2 - Provide shelter from the shade.
Hopefully, you have some great shade trees in the yard for your dog but if not, build a shelter that has open sides for airflow. You can drape a tarp or cloth for sudden shade.
3 - Put a fan on them.
If they are confined to a certain area, get a large oscillating fan to create some great airflow.
4 - Give them a bath outside.
This feels greats on your pup and helps him stay refreshed long after his fur has dried.
5 - Buy them a doggie pool.
I recommend changing the water daily. Your dog is gonna love you for this one. Who doesn’t like to wade, sit, or roll around in some water during the summer? It’s about the only way you can survive the heat some days.
6 - Take them swimming in a nearby lake or river!
For the safest trip, I recommend putting them in a doggie life vest.
7 - Buy them a hat to keep the sun off their head and eyes - This may sound silly to you but it really works. Try it. Go outside without anything on your head to shield your face and eyes. Now, do it again with a visor or baseball cap on. Feel the difference? Your dog can too.
8 - Squirt them with a water gun (but not directly in the face). If they love water already, this will be a fun activity for both of you. The water will keep them cool as they play and bond with you.
9 - Buy them a raised cot with a mesh bottom. A raised dog bed creates airflow all around your pup. This is a great thing during a hot, miserable summer. And it’s super easy to keep clean by simply hosing off.
10 - Don’t let them walk on hot concrete or pavement. This heats up to a super hot temperature and can burn their feet. Guide them around pavement where you can by letting them walk in dirt or grass.
11 - Schedule early morning or late evening walks to combat the grueling heat. The hottest time of the day is between 10:00 and 2:00 so try to get walks in before or after these times.
12 - Make them frozen, healthy treats.
Dogs love, love ice. Give them chunks of ice to gnaw on or a frozen treat. To make a yummy treat, add some liquid yogurt to water and freeze.
Or you can buy this yummy dry mix to make at home for your pup. Just add water, mix, and freeze!
Note: We don’t recommend sports drinks, soda, straight juices, etc. due to a large amount of sugar in them.
13 - Buy them a cooler collar. These collars can be frozen so that they stay cool for longer.
Attach to your dog and watch him say, “ahhhh, that feels cool and good….”
If your dog gets overheated, they could become dehydrated or worse yet, have a heat stroke.
Know the signs of both. If you detect and/or suspect dehydration or a heat stroke, a trip to the vet right away is highly recommended. Don’t try to treat at this point.
Signs of Dehydration may include:
Signs of a Heat Stroke may include:
Note: If you detect any of the signs above, please take your dog to the vet right away to be examined. They will be able to quickly treat your pup and give them what they need to get them back to a healthy state.
The dog days are the hottest part of the Summer. Days are long and temps are high. You almost start sweating just by walking outside and standing still.
Your dog feels the same, trust me. It’s important for you to do whatever you can to help your dog stay cool and comfy while outside in extreme heat.
Some things to do for your dog: ice down their water, buy them a wading pool, provide shade in some fashion, turn an electric fan toward them, give them a bath, make them yummy frozen treats, and schedule walks during the cooler parts of the day.
If you detect that your dog is becoming dehydrated or showing the signs of heatstroke, take them to the vet right away.
Do you know a good trick for keeping your dog cool?
Share with us below...
For more health-worthy reads, check out The Tale Wagger's 7 Reasons Why Your Kitty Pees In the Wrong Place, How to Help Your Dog Navigate Seasonal Allergies, and 10 Ways to Stop Your Dog from Freaking Out on Halloween.