To tell you the truth, we’re almost embarrassed to admit that until about 10 minutes ago, we were not entirely sure - and by that we mean we had no idea - what the Dog Days of Summer actually are. Then we philosophized that when all days are dog days, as indeed we believe they are, does it matter? Then we considered that some questions, though by no means all, are only a Google away, and then we discovered that sometimes the answers require more Googling, so get ready because there are a few parts to this. Okay? Cool. By which we of course mean hot …
… The Dog Days of Summer run from July 3rd to August 11th, and are the days when the Sun is in the same part of the sky as Sirius, which is the brightest star visible from Earth and part of the constellation Canis Major, AKA, the Greater Dog (fact fans, this is why Sirius is sometimes called the Dog Star). During summer, Sirius rises and sets at the same time as the Sun, and on July 23rd, it is “in conjunction” with the Sun, which means it appears to be in the same spot. Well, because it is so bright, it turns out the ancient Romans believed that like the Sun it radiated heat, adding to the latter’s warmth and explaining the many days of hot weather. Not unreasonably, they referred to this time as dies caniculares, or “dog days”. Now at this point, we are of course tempted to go down another rabbit hole (especially Lucy the dachshund who lives for rabbit holes) and explore the relationship between Romans and dogs, but that is for another day (spoiler: they loved them, and yes, we will return to the topic!). More pressing right now is our determination to make the most of these sultry summer days, and for that, we need to stay focused. Ahem! So without further distraction, we present our King Duke’s Dog Days of Summer Essential Mix.😎
Just like humans, the sun can wreak havoc with exposed skin, and for doggos, that means noses. Happily, we have just the thing - My Dog Nose It! Come for the pun, stay for the non toxic formula that’s safe for use on any Fido or Fifi. What’s not safe? Human sunscreen! That’s right - PLEASE don’t use your SPF on your pets, as many commonly used ingredients are poisonous to animals. This revolutionary new product not only protects your pet, but it also soothes and heals by adding moisture. Whether catching a frisbee, learning to heel, or going for a swim, it will keep your dog healthy and safe. You nose it makes sense.
As much as we love the sunshine, we all know that a summer walk is a thirsty walk, and that’s why we don’t go anywhere without our Messy Mutts Stainless Steel Porta-Water Bottle. It has an ingenious fold out silicon water bowl attached to it so your pooch can rehydrate on the run, plus, any undrunk water can be decanted back into the bottle which is ideal if your dog insists on drinking 50% of whatever she is offered, no matter how much the amount. Not saying your dog does this, just, you know, in case.
Sweet, sweet relief :)
It’s said that “mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun”, and one of these days we plan to take a field trip to check on this. We are also going to see if it’s true that English pubs are essentially social clubs for dogs with humans there purely for show, but honestly, that is not the purpose of the trip. Anyway, until then, we too will be out and about, and as such, we plan to be prepared! Happily, the clever folks at Kurgo are too with their amazing Dog Cooling Vest. As cute as it is cool, it works through evaporation and can be used and reused multiple times as the day wears on. Simply wet it with cool water, wring it out, and pop it on. As the water evaporates, your dog's temperature lowers. When it's dry, you just wet it again and keep going. Genius!
Sweet feet relief!
Whether you’re a city pup, a beach hound, or country pooch, the ground can get hot, hot, hot, and that makes it hard to trot, trot, trot. To ensure neat feet, look no further than Lavasox, a perfect summer boot designed for maximum protection from steamy sidewalks, sand and more! Offering stylish protection from hot surfaces, dirt and debris, they feature a built-in radiant heat barrier in the sole to block surface heat, while their breathable mesh fabric keeps paws cool, and the stretch velcro closure keeps boots on. Last but not least, the rubber sole provides fantastic grip on wood and tile floors making them ideal for indoor use as well. Soled!
Okay, it was all starting to get a little serious, and as much as we understand why all that smart stuff is smart, the fact is, summer is also for fun and so we are going to need some toys. Bring ‘em on! First up, we love this cute lil’ 3 Play Turtle, which can be enjoyed in, you guessed it, three ways! Hide your pups favorite kind of treats in the belly and watch them have a blast getting them out; have them tackle the ToughSqueak internal squeaker that’s internally molded for extra durability; use it in the pool - it floats - for games with dogs who love to swim. Or how about the Zogoflex Hurley, which is afloatable, bouncing dog bone that doesn’t get all grimey from being in a dog’s mouth? Safer and gentler than rawhide bones, this classic dog bone doubles as a fetch stick. A major bestseller, dogs love it for gnawing and fetching (especially in water), and owners like the easy dishwasher clean-up. The Hurley is a great toy to keep dogs mentally and physically stimulated and, most importantly, away from shoes and furniture. So go ahead and give your dog a bone!
Fun and games sure do build up an appetite, especially in the heat of the sun, and so we would be remiss if we didn’t include some of our favorite hot weather treats! Plus, it’s been at least 5 minutes since we recommended dog ice cream, and that’s 4 minutes too long. YUM. Simply put, Puppy Scoops real ice cream mixes for dogs are what joy - and magic - taste like. Just add hot water to the mix, freeze, and open your own canine ice cream parlor. There are 8 flavors to choose from, including Maple Bacon, Vanilla, and Peanut Butter, and there are goats’ milk versions for dogs who don’t do well with cows’ milk (though all Puppy Scoops mixes are lactose free). More portable, but no less delicious are our best-selling Crown and Tail Treats which come in a whole bunch of fantastic flavors. Our current faves are Organic Banana Bread (wheat, corn, soy and dairy free), and PB&J Sandwich (free from wheat, corn, and soy), but we wouldn’t say no to any of them. In fact, the more the merrier!
Now speaking of refreshments, we think it’s about time for us to grab a frosty one and enjoy the sunshine ourselves, and we strongly suggest you do the same. After all, it’s 5 o’clock somewhere! However you plan to spend your Dogs Days, we wish you all a sunny, smiley, safe, and totally superb summer. Until next month, pack, that’s a wrap! ☀️💦🐕🍻
Comments will be approved before showing up.
This Saturday, September 23rd, King Duke’s celebrates its FIFTH BIRTHDAY! According to the AKC, this makes us 36 in small, medium, and large dog years, and 45 in extra large dog years, and whatever the number, we are putting on our biggest and best party yet! What do we have in store? TONS!
Calling All Pet Photographers: whether yours is a mutt, a Westminster winner, a tiny kitten, or a pair of Persians, we want to see them! Send us your snaps and every month, the winning portrait will get a special King Duke’s prize package with which to spoil your photogenic pet!!