Pet experts spread safety tips during heat wave

PASCO, Wash. – Sometimes, our pet dogs and cats just don’t know when to stop having fun.

“Dogs, they’re just gonna keep going,” Erin Vasquez with Pet Overpopulation Prevention Tri-Cities said.

Still, owners need to heed caution in the heat, like walking dogs in the morning hours, not the afternoon or evening.

“Pavement is much hotter than the temperature of the air by 40 to 60 degrees hotter,” she said.

Remember, dogs sweat by panting and through their paws, so putting on dog shoes may not be the solution.

“Also, you can put rubbing alcohol on their paws and that will help them cool down faster,” Vasquez said.

Even if they lick it off, in small amounts, it’s harmless.

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Vasquez said make sure your pet always has access to clean and cold water, shelter and if you suspect they have heat stroke, contact your veterinarian.

“There’s gonna be a lot of panting, they may not be interested in any water or food and lethargic,” she said.

Of course, as Fourth of July nears and fireworks are available, Vasquez and her colleagues urge pet owners to have a plan for their furry friends who get nervous.

They all say, it’s best to keep them inside, in a calm and quiet environment.

“Don’t call your vet office the day before saying ‘hey I need something for my dog’ please plan for that, now is the time to call if not last week,” she explained.

In these extremely dry conditions, if you opt out of fireworks, Vasquez encourages you to put that money toward a good cause.

“What we’re asking to the community is to think about donating what you would spend on fireworks this year and donating to a local shelter, donating to a local organization that you know will benefit from the money instead of a potential hazard in our community,” she suggested.

Additionally, POPP employees want owners to make sure their dog or cat is microchipped, so if they do escape on the Fourth, they’re easily identified and returned.