By Chase Fielding, Pet Dominion Staff Member

You may have noticed that the weather has been a bit on the warm side recently.  Your four legged friends may have been favoring the shade, drinking a lot of water, and panting like it’s going out of style.  It’s not just summer, it’s the Dog Days of Summer.  For thousands of years, people have noticed that this whole summer business really has its act together by this time of year making previous definitions of hot… melt.  From roughly July 23rd until August 23rd the ‘Dog Star’, known as Sirius, used to rise just before the sun, and ancient people believed that it was responsible for the extra heat in the Northern hemisphere this time of year (nowadays the wobble of the Earth has changed that alignment with Sirius, but it’s still hot out!).

While we, of course, know that’s not true (summer weather patterns have just had plenty of time to get going), this period is typically the hottest, driest part of the year.  Here at Pet Dominion we’ve responded by providing your pets plenty of shade, cool drinking water, and even more cool water to play with!  If your pup comes home from daycare a little bit on the damp side, they were beating the heat playing under our sprinklers or in one of our pools!

Just as a reminder, the hot weather can be uncomfortable and even dangerous for you and your pets.  We’ve got a few tips for helping your four legged friends beat the heat:

  • Never leave your pet unattended in the car, even if you think you’ll be right back.
  • Avoid exercise for them during the hottest part of the day (usually from about noon until 3)
  • Make sure your pet always has water available.
  • Supervise while your pet is outside.
  • If you’re running with your pet, stop frequently to check how they are doing.   They may be forcing themselves to keep up despite experiencing distress from the heat.  It’s also a good idea to bring some water and a bowl along to keep them hydrated.
  • Ice makes a great treat whether on its own or added to your pet’s water!  To make it extra fun, freeze a toy in ice or freeze some water or peanut butter in a Kong or other toy with space inside for a treat!  This will help your pet keep cool, and give them some fun at the same time!
  • Have your pet’s vaccination records and a week’s supply of their food and medication available in case you have to travel.  Last year many people had to scramble to get these supplies together while looking for a hotel after the Derecho!  Alternatively, you can always bring your pet to stay with us; we have a generator and stay pretty comfortable even during extended power outages.
  • If you see signs of heat stroke (excessive panting, difficulty or inability to move), contact us at 301-258-0333 or an emergency veterinarian immediately!  Wrap them in a towel soaked in cool water and get them to help.