The Dog Days of Summer

We are in the middle of the dog days of summer here in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. What are the “dog days of summer?”. You may have never heard that phrase.  As defined on, the dog days of summer are

the sultry part of the summer, supposed to occur during the period that  Sirius, the Dog Star, rises at the same time as the sun, now often reckoned from July 3 to August 11. A period marked by lethargy, inactivity, or indolence.

Yes, we are in the middle of the dog days of summer.  We are also in the midst of a heat wave referred to as a Heat Dome. A Heat Dome, in the US, is when high pressure develops and pushes the jet stream (with comfortable, cooler air) farther north, into Canada.  This high pressure pushes the air down and as the air moves downward it heats up. The hot air is then held here.

Because the dog days of summer coincides with a heat dome, the temperatures are high and remain high.  It is important to take precaution against the heat and humidity. Being careful not to overdo it physically outdoors during this time is important.  Drinking plenty of water and remaining hydrated is extremely important.  Make sure that pets have access to plenty of fresh water and shade. Do not allow anyone, pet or human, to wait in a parked car.

During these days my thankful thoughts turn to those who do outdoor work. Those folks who continue to do utility to work to maintain the power, HVAC workers who work hardest during these blistering day in order to keep us cool, and others who work in the heat while I rest.  The farmers who bring their ripe watermelons to the stands so I can cool off with a watermelon and mint smoothie. There are many others who work while I rest in the coolness of the indoors.

My dogs and I are taking full advantage of the “inactivity” portion of the dog days.  We will be lounging around inside, with the blinds pulled closed to shield us from the warming light and the electrical appliances such as the dishwasher on vacation.  The chores can wait as we place ourselves in front of a fan. I will read and doze and they will curl up next to me.  We will pass these days of summer and heat dome in a state of blissful inactivity.






  1. Sandy KS

    My dogs and i are lounging around in the AC. As neither stays out side for very long. Today, they are inside because it is raining.

  2. Ruth Cox

    Oh yes, we are in the midst of the heat and humidity of the dog days of summer here in Ohio for sure. I am off work today and had to break the news to my dog Valentino that we would not be going to the dog park today. I am not sure he understands my heat exhaustion reasoning but he seems content to laze on the cool tile inside while I sit here at my computer desk in front of a fan.

  3. Andria Perry

    In Alabama and I know about the heat, I was told growing up that dogs days are the months without an R in them and that its easiest time of the year to get any type of sore infected, especially on the feet.

  4. Marsha Cooper

    I do not like having an outside dog, not only in summer, but winter also. I think it’s so cruel.
    We, however, did have a larger dog that my daughter brought here. Not only did he have to be outside, but he also had to be chained as he jumped the fence.
    We were taking the best care of him that we could…keeping water and food out, he had a large dog house…let him off the chain while we were in the yard with him.
    Sadly, the neighbors made sure he was taken away while I was on my mission trip.
    I may not have liked having to have him outside but we did love him, were taking care of him—he was chipped and all shots up to date. Since I wasn’t here, I don’t know what happened. I just know I was sad that he was gone!
    I hope someone adopted him…maybe someone that has room in their house for a dog that size.

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