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Hot Summers and Dogs: Why Are You Bringing Your Animal Shopping?

Updated on July 2, 2018
Christina St-Jean profile image

I am a mom of two awesome children who teach me more than I ever thought possible. I love writing, exercise, movies, and LGBT advocacy.

A Smart Dog Owner

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I Love My Dog, But He Doesn't Know How To Shop

I adore dogs.

Really, I enjoy most of the domesticated furry creatures on the planet, but dogs are the one animal that I regularly will stop and say hi to. I know that sounds weird, and I know I'm not alone in this.

My parents also loved having dogs, and encouraged my sister and I to take them out for walks and so forth while we were growing up.

At no point did they ever say, "You know what would be a great idea? Taking them shopping."

Granted, when I was growing up, it was the 1980s, and a very different world. I don't even recall a time when I could bring a dog into a pet store, which is something that is fairly commonplace now. There are times, now that I have my own children, where my youngest daughter will suggest taking our dog to our local pet store for a browse for an outing. I don't ever recall that being a "thing" when I was a kid, but again, these are very different times we live in. We can purchase gourmet treats for our pets if we so desire, which is again something that my youngest likes to do for our dog on occasion.

Taking your dog to your pet store if you have shopping to do there is one thing; if you intend on going to a regular store, that's something else. I'm going to add here that I'm talking solely about pets in writing this, with particular emphasis on dogs, as most people will likely not take their cats out with them for a spin in the car outside of their carriers - at least, not that I've seen. Also, service animals are allowed into stores regularly - in general, pets are not.

There are many locations in North America right now that are under heat advisories of one type or another. For instance, where I live in southern Ontario, Canada, we've had a heat advisory in effect since June 29, and today, it's 27 C with a humidex expected to hit the high 30 C mark, if not the low 40 C range. While high heat does put a damper on what you might plan to do outside from one day to the next, it does not eliminate the necessity of going shopping for things you need, so off I went for things like milk and meat for supper.

As I was entering the store, I was shocked to see no less than five people with their dogs in their arms. Don't get me wrong: I was grateful they had the good sense to bring their animals into the building, which is something that stores have put in place to eliminate the possibility of people leaving their pets in hot cars. I just don't understand any circumstance where someone would be going shopping in a store that's not a pet store and think they should bring their dog.

I get loving your animal. I do. I adore my dog; he's my running buddy when I'm going for a 5 km jaunt (something he handles well), he's the comforter when anyone in the house is feeling low, and he's the goofball who makes us laugh.

However, he doesn't know how to coordinate furniture.

He doesn't know what brand of peanut butter the kids prefer.

He doesn't know what size shoe (or clothes) either of my kids wear.

He doesn't even know what my favorite brand of chocolate bar is.

While he is a fun companion, his collective lack of knowledge tells me that he is perhaps not the ideal shopping partner. As a result, he's left at home to nap and enjoy the air conditioning in this extremely hot weather.

Again, I'm not saying service dogs shouldn't come into stores - far from it. This is about people thinking they should bring the family pet with them for a shopping excursion at any time, let alone a hot summer day.

Unless you're specifically shopping at a pet store, which means you can and should bring your dog inside, don't you think the family dog is better left at home while you go off to buy whatever it is you need?

It's just common sense.

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