Keeping pets safe in the heat and smoke - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Keeping pets safe in the heat and smoke

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KENNEWICK, WA - We all know that this heat and haze has been affecting many people in our area, but it's also affecting pets as well.

Doctor Lauren Serreyn of Meadow Hills Animal Hospital says that animals can experience negative side effects of the poor air quality just like humans. She says the smoke irritates their nasal passageways, which can make existing allergies worse.

Dr. Serreyn says that she's been seeing this more in dogs since they typically spend more time outside. During these next couple of weeks with smoke in the air, she says keeping your pets indoors will be the best thing for them.

"The other thing is we've had these really extreme temperatures too where it's been really hot and that can definitely increase the stress on their respiratory system," Dr. Serreyn said. "So keeping them inside where it's cool and the air's a little cleaner is going to be a lot easier on them."

If you plan to take your pets out for walks, try doing that during the coolest parts of the day: early in the morning or late at night.

Dr. Serreyn says pets are just like humans, so the best way to keep them safe is to stay indoors and limit their time out in the heat and smoke.