The Dog Days of Summer

The Dog Days of Summer

The ancient Romans called the hottest, most humid days of summer “diēs caniculārēs” or “dog days” The name came about because the star Sirius, which was known as the Dog Star, was the brightest in the sky at that time of year. It was so bright that they believed it added extra heat to the sun’s rays.  While the Romans were way off on the reason for mid-summer heat, the name has stuck.  While all that is interesting enough, we’re actually not here to talk about astronomy or the heat.  Instead, we’re going to talk about actual canines and how to have fun with them in the Dog Days of Summer.


Take Your Hound for a Hike: But Keep it Chill

Hot weather is tough on dogs.  But that doesn’t mean they can’t get some exercise.  The days are long this time of year, so we suggest heading out in the early morning or late evening, the coolest times of the day.  If your dog is a swimmer, go to a place where they can take a dip.  If that’s not an option, bring plenty of water.  In Hillsborough, there are a host of great spots for walking paths. You can check out The River Walk, The Poet’s Walk at Ayr Mount, the Occoneechee Speedway Trailor Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area to take your hound on a hike.


Take Your Dog for a Drink:

What goes together better than man’s best friend and beer? Nothing! That’s what. There are a few choice spots to sit outside and enjoy a drink with your dog.  Mystery Brewery in West Hillsborough has a patio out back that just perfect for pups. Just go straight to the back, dogs aren’t allowed inside. The Wooden Nickel and Radius Pizza offer outside tables for food, drink and dogs downtown. And The Hot Tin Roof has the perfect patio for cocktails and dog tails.  If booze isn’t your game, Weaver Street Market has an outdoor space that is about as dog-friendly as it gets.



Stock Up for Your Pup & Visit The Park: 

Head over to West Hillsborough for a doggie adventure. Stop by Paws at the Corner, Hillsborough’s independently owned pet supply store to get some toys and treats or any other kind of doggie gadget.  Then head over to Gold Park. There is a playground, a soccer field, picnic tables and a wonderful enclosed dog park. You can walk there via the River Walk or drive via South Nash Street, there’s lots of parking.     


Some Tips To Keep Your Dogs Cool

  • NEVER leave your dog in a hot car. It can take a surprisingly short time (like minutes) for a dog to get heat stroke in a hot car.  Leave your dog at home if you need to run errands or take them with you when you leave the car.
  • Avoid asphalt, metal and other hot surfaces. Not only can their paws burn, but the radiant heat can raise their body temps to dangerous levels.
  • Provide plenty of water: Panting and drinking are really the only way dogs can cool themselves down. So make sure they get plenty of water.  You can even get collapsible dog bowls and pet-centric water containers at the pet store.
  • Provide plenty of shade. Keep your pet in the shade as often as possible. Your pup may love to sunbathe, but direct sunlight can overheat them and cause heat stroke. How about a pool:  If you have a yard and a hose, some dogs love to cool down in one of those plastic kiddy pools.