Dog Days (and wet days) of Summer

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from David Dickinson

        Do you know where the term, “The Dog Days of Summer” comes from?  The Romans associated the hottest time of the year with Sirrius, the brightest star in the night sky.  Sirius is the brightest start in the constellation Canius Major (which means Large Dog…it’s also featured in the logo for Sirius satellite radio ).  The time of year when Sirius rises just before the sun is commonly referred as the dog days.  The ancients blamed the heat on the bright star.  Now, different cultures use different methods to determine when the dog days end.  In the US, the Old Time Farmer’s Almanac lists the Dog Days as lasting from July 3rd to August 11 in 2013.  Several European countries list the dog days as a little later, from July 24 through August 24.  Climatologically speaking in Atlanta, the average high temperature is 89 degrees from June 30 through August 13.  It’s 88 from August 14-25.  So the days are a little cooler by mid-August.  We’ve hit the end of the Dog Days this year with a screeching halt.  Atlanta’s high on Friday was in the 60s!  That was the lowest high temperature on record in Atlanta on August 16 and broke the record set in 1892. 

      The end of the hot temperatures does not mean an end to the rain we’ve had this year. The weekend forecast is wet. Vets expect an increase in heartworm cases because of the wet summer.  Standing water puddles leads to mosquitoes, more heartworm.  Heartworm is easily treated with medication, but can be deadly.  This is something that is much easier to prevent than treat.  Make sure your pet is taking its medication.  Here are some other problems that wet weather can cause for your pets. If you notice anything unusual with your pet’s behavior, make sure you get it to the vet. 

   Fetch! Pet Care provides pet sitting, dog walking and cat care services for Roswell, East Cobb, Marietta and Woodstock, GA.  You can see the happy pets by following us on Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/fetchnwatlanta/  

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