Editorial – Caring for your pets

The last two weeks I saw two separate incidents where individuals were driving their car while their dog ran beside it.

When it comes to discussing pet safety, people often focus on concern over animals becoming dehydrated out in the sun or after being left in a vehicle by their owner in the summer months. Yes, leaving your dog in the car is obviously a terrible thing to do, yet individuals still seem to forget this summer after summer.

But what about the not so obvious reminders?

The last two weeks, while I was walking my dog beside the Fernie golf course I saw two separate incidents where individuals were driving their car while their dog ran beside it.

Although it seems obvious that this is a terrible idea and something many people would consider to be animal abuse, people still do it.

There is no excuse for this kind of behaviour. There are so many things that could potentially go wrong in this situation, no matter how careful you may think you’re being.

Accidentally running over your dog and killing it, I would think, would be reason enough not to do this. In addition, when you are driving your car, as slow as you think you may be driving, it is likely too fast for your dog to keep up, causing them to overexert themselves.

There are many dog walking services available to individuals with a physical injury. In fact, in the Elk Valley, I’m sure there are dozens of residents that would rather walk your dog free of charge than watch you drive your vehicle while your dogs runs alongside it.

To me, this type of behaviour is just as bad, if not worse than leaving your dog in a hot vehicle.

We need to make sure our pets are being properly taken care of. If you’re unable to properly care for your animal, you can access adoption services. Dogs shouldn’t be viewed as an inconvenience but rather a small, loving member of the family.

I find it appalling that individuals can show such a serious lack of judgment. It’s completely irresponsible. If you can’t spend 5-10 minutes walking your dog, you don’t deserve to own it.

There’s no denying that owning an animal can be a big responsibility, but when you purchase or adopt a dog, you agree to take on all the responsibilities that come with caring for that animal. That includes properly walking your dog each and every day.

Please, be kind to your dog and stop walking them alongside your car.