Ever hear of the Dog Days of summer? Ever wonder why they call them that?
A good reason is probably that these are the days when dogs hang their tongues out - sometimes panting - trying to keep cool.
Pet welfare should be everyone's concern as temperatures approach the triple digits. Dogs who are chained up in the sun with no water are an abomination.
So here are some tips (and yes, they should be rules) on how our furry, four-footed friends should be treated this time of year.
First of all, they should be provided plenty of water - and clean water. They really need it to keep their body temperature regulated.
And they need shade, too. If dogs are kept outdoors, kennels should be shaded by trees, the wall of a building or at least a tarp. If it feels too warm for us, you had better bet it's too warm for Fido, too.
And they should be exercised. And what better activity for both pet owner and pet than to be able to jog in the park or along the river, taking nature in firsthand.
And absolutely, without exception, dogs shouldn't be kept in an enclosed vehicle for any period of time whatsoever. There is no reason for it and it simply shouldn't happen.
Dogs should also be given adequate companionship - especially this time of year when kids are home and should have time to play with them. If we expect dogs to be loyal to us, then we should be loyal to them. And that means being there for them when they need us - not just when we need them.
So, please. If you have a dog - or any other pet - make sure it's cared for this summer.