Dog ownership Aug. 7 photo

The Dog Days of Summer is a time when our four-legged friends need to stay out of the sun for long periods of time and need lots of water. Water is the key during these uncomfortable hot days, not only for our dogs but also for humans.

The expression “Dog Days” refers to the hot, sultry days of summer, originally in areas around the Mediterranean Sea, and as the expression fit, to other areas, especially in the Northern Hemisphere. The “Dog Days” are based in astronomy. The Old Farmer’s Almanac lists the traditional timing of the Dog Days: the 40 days begin July 3 and ending Aug. 11, coinciding with the heliacal (at sunrise) rising of the Dog Star, Sirius.

I think when most people talk about the “Dog Days of Summer” it is a time when the weather is very hot and humid, normally July and August, and also a time when our four-legged friends need to stay out of the sun for long periods of time and need lots of water. Water is the key during these uncomfortable hot days, not only for our dogs but also for humans.

We all love to take our dogs to various events in the area such as the Caladium Festival, events in downtown Sebring, the upcoming Barktoberfest in Lake Placid and many more. However, most of the time, the weather is very hot. Plan and take lots of water for both you and Fido and make sure you know where the shady areas are located.

In no time at all, an overheated dog can have problems with their heart, nervous system or liver function. Overheated dog symptoms include excessive heavy panting, drooling, increased heart pulse, dry pale gums, glassy-looking eyes and disorientation. Whenever any of these symptoms are observed, your four-legged best friend needs to get out of the sun immediately and be given plenty of cool water to drink.

Use cool water to lower your dog’s temperature: Pour or sprinkle cool water on your dog’s belly and groin area or place him in a bathtub full of water. You should however never use ice or cold water for the purpose. It can constrict the blood vessels in the skin and make the condition worse. Placing towels soaked in cool water on the back, neck, under the forelimbs and in the groin region can also help to stop a dog from overheating.

According to PetMD, massage your pooch’s legs: a leg massage helps to boost blood circulation and thus puts the dog at lower risk of shock. After using the home remedies mentioned above to control a dog overheating, you may still want to take your dog to the veterinarian. The dog may be dehydrated or have other complications that warrant treatment.

Dogs should never be left in a parked car, unattended, during hot weather months. It doesn’t matter if the car is in the shade or the windows are fully open; the temperatures inside a parked car shoots up quickly. In 80-degree weather, for example, the temperature inside a car can reach 110 degrees in just 15 minutes. Leaving a dog alone in a car with the A/C running is also not a good idea due to the possibility of mechanical failure and the A/C could stop working.

Our dogs are very important to us. They are considered family and they are our very best friends. Keep in mind our four-legged friends need training and they also need to socialize with other dogs and other people. The Heartland Dog Club will begin new trainings Tuesday, Aug. 6 at Lakeshore Mall. Choose from Basic, Intermediate or Advanced Obedience, Canine Good Citizen (CGC) or Rally. Call today for at 863–304–8582.

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