• Bark Pack

Dog Days of Summer

Updated: Oct 5

The dog days of summer are in full swing; but what does that phrase really mean? One theory is that dogs tend to be sluggish during the hottest days. Another theory is that the days are so hot, it can cause dogs to go mad.

Actually, this phrase is a reference to Sirius, the Dog Star. During this time of year, the sun occupies the same region of the sky as Sirius. On July 23, Sirius and the sun rise and set together. Since the star is so bright, the ancient Romans believed it actually gave off heat and added to the sun’s warmth. They referred to this toasty time—the 20 days before and 20 days after the alignment of Sirius with the sun—as diēs caniculārēs, or dog days.


While the phrase might be cute, the dog days of summer can be a dangerous time for our pets. Here are some tips to stay cool and safe this summer:

  • If your pet will be spending time outdoors, be sure he always has access to plenty of shade, water, and good ventilation. Never leave a pet outside unattended.

  • Limit exercise. Dogs do not know how to limit themselves. If you’re hot, your dog is probably hotter (they wear a fur coat!). So, stop throwing that ball and head indoors for a water break.

  • If your pet becomes destructive when he doesn’t get enough exercise, pick the cooler times of the day to burn stored up energy. </