Editorial: With the heat, don’t forget about your pet in the car

Animal agencies are reminding pet owners to pay more attention when leaving dogs in their cars.

It seems kind of simple: It’s hot and you’re hot. Common sense says the dog must be pretty hot, too. But, according to a Shelton veterinary hospital, it takes mere minutes for a dog to get heatstroke.

The Emergency Animal Response Service (EARS) had teamed up with VCA Animal Hospitals in Connecticut to launch the “HotK9 Campaign” that aims to educate pet owners and animal lovers on the dangers and response to animals suffering from heat-related health issues, particularly with attention to ending the death of dogs left in hot cars while owners are in businesses.

VCA has a Shelton location at 895 Bridgeport Ave.

Tragedy in mere minutes

Every year there are local cases of dogs that die as a result of being left in hot cars while their owners or those watching them are inside stores or other businesses, according to a press release.

People simply don’t realize that it takes mere minutes for a dog left in a car to begin suffering from heatstroke, even with the windows partially down or the car parked in the shade.

The campaign will provide pet safety tips, instructions on what to do if a dog is found in a hot car, details on the symptoms and treatment for heatstroke, as well as resources and graphics covering these important topics.

This will be brought to the public through online methods, as well as outreach events at veterinary hospitals, pet stores, community events, libraries, and other activities taking place across the area.

Taking precautions against heatstroke

From June through September, VCA Animal Hospitals see a dramatic rise in the cases of heat-related illness in pets, and it is not always due to neglectful owners leaving their animals inside cars.

Often, people simply don’t realize the precautions that need to be taken to prevent these problems, and sadly heatstroke can quickly become deadly if a pet is not treated properly.

Don’t be afraid to call your veterinarian if unsure of what to do for your dog (even cat, rabbit, or whatever you have in your home), or even call a veterinary hospital.

The HotK9 Campaign website can be found at www.hotk9.