The dogs were sluggish today; lots of laying around. They are all slowed down by the dog days of summer. I use to get regular comments from new dog owners on their dogs energy level being low. Many worried about their dog which is a good thing of course but when I let them know that it was quite common for dogs to lay low in the heat; they let were quite happy to have this information. Most dogs know to conserve their energy in the high temperatures of the summer. Cooling their body takes a lot of energy itself so staying in the shade and limiting movement helps to conserve energy.
When dogs are active in the heat their core temperature rises; causing their body to go into cooling mode. Panting is the first action that starts the cooling process; if the panting does not work to cool the body then heat stroke occurs. Both wolves and our dogs naturally seek out cool locations to lower their body temperatures. Many dogs dig holes in the ground; knowing that the ground beneath the surface is a cool place to lay. They also fully understand the effects on temperatures in shaded areas. Even the youngest of puppies can be seen seeking out a shady spot in a yard.
Wolves are less active when the temperatures rise; they are built for the cold. Wolf packs tend to rest during the hottest time of the summer days and do most of their hunting and activities before dawn and after dusk. And like wolves; our dogs naturally rest when it is hot. When new owners worry about this sluggish behavior; I tell them to enjoy it, it will pass. And as the temperatures cool; your dogs energy level will rise. Families with senior dogs need to take extra care to keep them cool; they can become disoriented and not get to the cool spots where they may need to be.
Fresh clean water is a must on hot days; like wolves our dogs know what is drinkable and what is not. Luke likes fresh water; really fresh and often is at the water cooler trying to figure out how we get the water out of it. Bacteria can grow in our dog's water bowls; especially when you have more than one dog drinking from it. Many dogs will not drink old water; wise, as water can contain harmful bacteria if it is not changed regularly.
So on the hot days; let your dog chill and pour them a fresh one.