OUR VIEW: Keep your pets cool

While people have the option of rolling down a window, turning on the air conditioning or leaving the vehicle itself, pets don’t.

There’s been a lull in the really hot temperatures on the Saanich Peninsula but it is still summer and it’s only a matter of time before the sun — and the heat — return.

While the weather has tempered down a bit, it’s time for cooler heads to prevail and pet owners to re-think the need to bring their four-legged friends on short trips to the store.

In the pages of the PNR, the local RCMP have been asking people to stop locking their pets in vehicles on hot days — warm days, even.

This, for pet owners, should be a no-brainer.

Many of us must have experienced sitting in a vehicle on a warm day, with beads of sweat forming on our brows, as the sun beats down upon the metal of a car or truck. This is especially true when it comes to sitting in a car and waiting for someone to finish shopping or running a quick errand.

It’s uncomfortable for people. Imagine what the inside of a hot vehicle feels like to a pet, covered in hair or fur. It’s probably not pleasant.

While people have the option of rolling down a window, turning on the air conditioning or leaving the vehicle itself, pets don’t. They are trapped in there.

The issue has become so prevalent in years past, that regular citizens have been known to take action when the owner of a vehicle — and presumably the owner of the pet inside — is nowhere to be found. Judgements are made and sometimes windows are broken to get the animals out. At best, calls are made to local police or the SPCA and the authorities do the window-breaking in the case of pets being in visible stress. Or they simply wait for owners to return and try to educate them.

Pet owners need to ask themselves: is it really necessary to take Rover of Fluffy with them on a milk run?

If circumstances are that a pet is with you (because they have to be taken to the park or on trips to the groomer or vet), try to arrange for someone to stay in the vehicle with them to ensure it doesn’t get too hot. Or take them with you. There are at least 67 animal-friendly stores on the Saanich Peninsula (check out Darcie Jennings’ CommuniCanine’s List of Dog Friendly Stores In and Around Greater Victoria).

Better yet, if you can, leave Fido and Scratchers at home where there are plenty of shady and cool spots — and hopefully a big bowl of water.

Resist those sad eyes as you walk out the door.

Leaving the pets at home when it’s hot outside is just better for them.

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