It’s that time of year again – a time when people either “forget” their pets or children in the car or don’t realize how dangerous it is to leave living beings in a car in the heat for even a minute.

I’ve already heard one story in Van Wert of someone leaving their pup in a car while they ran into Wal-Mart on a 90 degree day. We really shouldn’t have to have this conversation any more but nearly daily in the summer you can find a story about someone leaving a child or pet in a hot car. I’m not sure some people understand the risk they are taking when they do this.

Even with a window cracked, cars get very hot, very fast. After 10 minutes on a 70 degree day the internal temperature of a car can be near 90 degrees and near 105 degrees after 30 minutes. On a 95 degree day, which we have already seen many of, temps inside a car can reach 114 degrees in 10 minutes and 129 degrees in 30 minutes. Basically, you’re cooking your dog (or child) alive by leaving him in a car.

When the body of any living creature gets that hot they can suffer heatstroke, organs can fail, and it can result in death. All it takes is a handful of minutes for this to happen.

With all of that said, it’s not just the inside of cars that can be harmful to dogs on a hot day.

Thursday and Friday were blistering hot; that trend looks to continue this weekend into next week. I’m not sure why anyone would have a dog that they keep chained outside all day, but if you’re one of these people, the least you can do is make sure your dog has plenty of shade and water. Maybe even show it some compassion and bring it inside for the day when it’s this hot out.

I love taking walks with Caesar, but in the past two weeks we’ve only been able to go out a few times and it was after 8 p.m. With his Shepherd coat and his age, I don’t feel it’s safe to have him going out for the long walks we go for in the winter. It makes me cringe when I see people take their dogs for walks at 3 p.m. on a 90+ degree day where there is full sun. Last weekend, someone brought their poor dog out to Town Creek Live; I felt bad for the little guy. It was way too hot out for him and the pavement was probably burning his paws.

If I had it my way, I would take Caesar everywhere with me; I’d take him to every event and every place I attend, but owning a dog shouldn’t be about what you want, it should be about what is best for a living creature that can’t speak for itself.

The best place for my dog and for any dog when it’s this hot out is inside in the air conditioning. I would never forgive myself if I took Caesar to one of these summer events and he fell over from heatstroke or if he burned his paws on the hot pavement. If it hurts your feet to walk on, it hurts theirs.

If you wouldn’t put your dog in a frying pan or an oven, don’t make them walk on hot pavement or leave them in a car. I hope we don’t have to have this conversation again next year.