Summer is winding down for many of us or has already ended for some. Wonder where the phrase "Dog Days of Summer" comes from? We wondered too, so we did a little research. To start with, the actual dates are July 12 through August 20 of this year, 2019. According to Wikipedia, "The dog days or dog days of summer are the hot, sultry days of summer. They were historically the period following the heliacal rising of the star system Sirius, which Greek and Roman astrology connected with heat, drought, sudden thunderstorms; lethargy, fever, mad dogs, and bad luck. They are now taken to be the hottest, most uncomfortable pert of summer in the Northern Hemisphere." If you'd like to read more about what Wikipedia has to say, click here.
If you're one of the people who scoffs when they hear Wikipedia, check out what National Geographic had to say, "...the dog days refer to the dog star, Sirius, and its position in the heavens. To the Greeks and Romans, the "dog days" occurred around the day when Sirius appeared to rise just before the sun, in late July. They referred to these days as the hottest time of the year, a period that could bring fever or even catastrophe."
Around here, thankfully it doesn't get too hot during July and August. While it does get warm and rains very little during our summer season, we have another season that often coincides with this special time of year. We have fire season. Yes, I said fire season. If you live in the U. S. mid-west area, you are familiar with tornado season. If you live near any part of the U.S. east coast or the Gulf of Mexico, you are familiar with hurricane season. Out west, we have fire season. During this season, the dog days of summer definitely feels real. The effects of smoke from forest fires will linger in the air making it difficult to breath easily. When the smoke is thick, it can have devastating effects on the health of our loved ones and pets.
While we often go to great lengths to take care of our loved ones (who are not four-legged), we often forget about the negative health effects of fire season on our pets. What can you do for your pets? While wearing a face mask or respirator works for us, there are few options for dogs and nothing for cats. Here are some ideas...
1. Keep your pets water dish full of fresh water.
2. Reduce your length and duration of your daily walks.
3. Reduce the level of exercise for your pets when outside.
4. Reduce your overall time outdoors.
5. If you can, close up your windows & doors and turn on your AC.
6. A kiddie pool is great for keeping pets and children cool during the summer heat.
7. If you have an outside dog(s), bring them inside where the air is hopefully healthier.
Nonetheless, take care of all of your family members. They will appreciate you for it. They just might snuggle a little bit longer or give you a few extra kisses as their way of saying thank you. I am grateful for all you do for me.
Stay healthy and stay safe out there!