The Dogs Days of Summer and a Very Special Observance

Surfer and dog

You probably know the expression, “the dog days of summer,” and its common reference to that stretch of hot, muggy weather that generally arrives in late July and stretches into the first part of August. But you may not know the origin of that phrase. It dates back thousands of years, when the ancient Romans noted the annual recurrence of the appearance of the star Sirius (aka the “dog star”), in the east just before sunrise at the same time the hottest days of the year arrived. It’s a term that stuck, and the astronomical reference remains true.

Dog in pool
Beatrice knows how to keep cool in the dog days of summer.

During the dog days of summer, we crave shade, electric fans and air conditioning, and a dip in the pool, lake, or ocean. We also consume more water. Dogs have the same needs. Be sure to keep fresh water available for your dogs, and be prepared to fill the bowl more frequently than you normally do.

Dogs also need shade if they spend time outdoors during the summer, which means you may need to alter the time or itinerary of your daily walks with your dog and ensure that there is a shady spot in your yard if you leave your dog outside for long stretches.

One more point about dogs and hot weather: Never leave a dog in a car during hot weather, even if you have left the windows cracked. It may feel like a pleasant day to you at 75-degrees F, but that can quickly turn into 100-degrees F in a parked car with the windows up. A dog can succumb quickly to heat stroke in such conditions, which requires immediate medical attention.

But this blog is not about astronomy, nor the hottest days of summer; it is to call your attention to National Dog Day, which is observed on August 26 here in the U.S.  Also known as Dog Appreciation Day, this day of recognition is commemorated around the world. Check out

Dogs in the shade for ideas on how to celebrate the occasion, as well as to enjoy the great pics on the website.

One of their recommendations is to consider adopting a dog from your local shelter. They note, “Not on a whim, of course, but if you have been thinking that this is the year you are finally ready for a dog in your life, plan a visit and talk to the staff about the kind of dog you’re hoping to find.  By the way, if this will be your first dog, be sure to read up on how to raise a puppy or how to welcome an older dog into your life.  The time and effort you put into making this relationship a happy one will be well worth it.” 

Shelter dogs need adoption

Consider also supporting an organization that helps bring dogs into the lives of military veterans, or those living in nursing homes, or individuals with a disability. You’ll find a detailed list here on my website, These organizations are not-for-profit, so your financial support can be a tax-deductible charitable contribution. One way I’m acknowledging National Dog Day is with the next photo contest on, which begins August 15, 2023. The inspiration for this photo contest: October is National “Adopt A Shelter Dog” Month. If you have adopted a dog from a shelter, this photo contest is for you and your four-legged furry friend. From now through September 23, 2023, you can enter for a chance to win some great prizes, starting with a $300 gift card to PetCo. Click here to learn more and to enter the contest. We will feature the winning photos and runners-up on the website beginning October 1.      

Interested in being a guest-blogger? Contact me.  

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