Kennewick veterinarian gives pet safety tips as warm weather approaches

KENNEWICK, WA - As summer and warmer weather approaches, so comes the familiar warning from veterinarians.

Local veterinarians are warning pet owners of the dangers of keeping our four-legged friends in hot places.

"Do not take them in the car. Do not take them to run errands. Cars heat up crazy fast. So, it is just not worth the risk," Dr. Sheila Erickson the owner and veterinarian with Horse Heaven Hills Pet Urgent Care.

If it is too hot to put your hand on the sidewalk, Dr. Erickson said it is too hot for your pet's paws. When it is hot outside, just stay inside as much as possible.

"You know if you are going to take them out for walks, do it in the early morning or late evening. Just try to avoid that heat as much as possible," she said.

And if you are going to be outside, make sure you have plenty of shade and water. If you have to be outside with your pet, just watch for the symptoms and signs of heatstroke and heat exhaustion.

"You know if they are panting, if they can't cool off, or sometimes they will hypersalivate or if they vomit. They can collapse. If you notice any of those things, get your pet to a veterinarian," she said.

Dr. Erickson said she's seen pets have a heat stroke, but here's what you don't do.

"People want to submerge them in cold water, that actually is really, really dangerous. It can do more harm than good, so don't do that. If you are afraid that your pet has heatstroke get them in the shade, get them some water and get them to the veterinarian, as soon as possible," she said.

Other things they see in the summer, it is also cheatgrass and fox tail season. So there are fox tails and little pieces of grass that get stuck in their paws. Just make sure you keep an eye out for that too.