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home : blogs_old : quad-city creature blog February 5, 2016

Quad-City Creatures
By Heidi Dahms Foster, Prescott Valley, Arizona
A local blog all about pets and pet activities in the quad-city area.PV, Prescott and beyond.
Saturday, June 28, 2008

Hot dogs make for unhappy pets

 Heidi Dahms Foster

It's always astonishing to me what usually intelligent people don't think about when it comes to their pets.

For instance - how many times have you driven on the highway and noticed an obviously well cared for dog riding in the back of a pickup truck, with no restraint? The driver would no doubt tell you how much he/she loves the dog. So why do people give no thought to the fact that one quick stop or emergency swerve would throw the animal right out on the highway?

A month or so ago, we received a news release from the Prescott Valley Police Dept. begging folks not to leave their dogs in hot cars. But people still don't get it. Even if you only plan to be in the store for a couple of minutes, it only takes a few for your car to heat up to oven temperature. What if you stop to talk to someone and lose track of time, or worse, something happens to you in that store and your dog is left to roast in the car with no way out? It happens, and it's a horrible death for a beloved pet. A couple of windows cracked two inches isn't going to allow enough air in. If you doubt it, park your car in the sun on a hot day and sit in there for a half hour with the windows cracked. If it's too hot for you, it's too hot for that furry animal. If you see a dog locked in a car on a hot day, call the police. You might save a life and educate an owner.

This week, we got a news release from the Sheriff's Office. On June 23 in Sedona, a hiker called the Sheriff's Office to report that his 9-year-old dog was extremely dehydrated and could not walk further. The hiker was a quarter mile from the trailhead and needed help to get the dog out. Other hikers provided water and helped to bring the dog in, the release said, and fortunately it survived.

"These calls are becoming more common because many times pet owners are not thinking about the welfare of their pets on hikes. The often extreme heat of the Arizona summer intensifies the reflected heat from sandstone rock formations which can cause burns to the pads of a dog's feet, and without frequent water stops, dehydration is a sure bet for the animal," the release said.

The Sheriff's Office reminds people that they will not send a rescue team for an animal. Your pet is your responsibility, so think ahead about its physical condition and need for water before you go.

I might add that this applies to activities other than hiking. I always feel sorry when families drag their dogs along when they are going to a public event, such as a parade, a concert in the park, or other activity. Often, the dogs are overstimulated and nervous about the large crowds. Their feet get hot on the pavement, and they get tired of being dragged around. I'm still angry about a man I saw one day jerking and yelling at his dog for fidgeting on the leash at a car show. The dog was obviously in pain from the hot pavement, and kept trying to pick his feet up to cool them.

Before you take your dog out with you this summer, please make preparations for his comfort and safety.

And one additional thought. At home, make sure your dog has adequate shade if he is outside during the day. Remember that shade moves, and what is shaded in the morning and evening might be fully exposed at noon. Be sure your dog has shelter from summer storms that often contain hail. Plenty of clean water is a must, placed where your dog can't knock it over.

Take some thought for your pet, and he'll thank you with good health and faithful companionship.

Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, June 30, 2008
Article comment by: Brayden

It's a "Good Thing" we have good citizen's like you and Ms. Vangalio looking out for other peoples pets. Thank You! Have A wonderful Day.

Posted: Monday, June 30, 2008
Article comment by: Ethan

Hello There! How's it going, Heidi? Thank you for your care and concern regarding our precious animals. Thank you for taking the time to inform your readers of the dangers pet owners place their animals in. You, and the readers of the PV Tribune, are on the "same page," if you will. Have you read the Letters To The Editor? Take care, Heidi, and keep writing. Ethan Hunter huntere@rocketmail.com

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