HSSW offers tips for protecting pets in extreme heat

Humane Society for Southwest Washington encourages area residents to keep pets safe in extreme heat

VANCOUVER – With record-breaking temperatures slated to hit Clark County this weekend, you’ll want to find ways to stay cool.  Your pets need the same attention. Hot weather can be dangerous for pets, so the Humane Society for Southwest Washington (HSSW) wants to walk you through a few important tips to help safeguard your pet’s health.  Here are some best practices to protect your pet, and you can find out more about these and other resources on HSSW’s website at www.hssw.org/extremeweather.

Several Vancouver-area cooling shelters are accepting people with their pets beginning Fri. June 25. File photo
Several Vancouver-area cooling shelters are accepting people with their pets beginning Fri. June 25. File photo

Never leave pets in the car on hot days. The truth is that cracked windows and shaded parking aren’t enough to protect your pet because your car’s internal temperature skyrockets on a hot day. If you see a pet in a hot car, don’t physically intervene, but quickly call 911 with all the vehicle details.

Know the signs of heatstroke. Even light activity can cause your pet to overheat, and the signs of heatstroke include: heavy panting, glazed eyes, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, lethargy, lack of coordination, vomiting, collapse and more. In addition, certain animals are at higher risk for heatstroke. (Get the full list at www.hssw.org/extremeweather.)  If you suspect heatstroke in your pet: move them to a shady or air-conditioned area; apply cool water-soaked towels to the head, neck, and chest but never use ice or ice-cold water; offer cool water to drink; and take your pet directly to a veterinarian.

Keep pets off hot pavement and sand. High-temperature surfaces can blister your pet’s paw pads. Walk your dog early in the morning or late in the evening and always carry water with you. Try to walk your pet on grass and dirt. Check the link above to learn the signs of burnt pet pads and how to care for them.

Don’t forget about pets outside. Never leave your pets unattended outside in extreme heat as heat stroke can occur. The best place for your outdoor pet on a hot day is a cool, indoor space. If you can’t bring them inside, check on them often and make sure they have a shaded space and lots of cool water. And speaking of water…

Always provide ample water inside.  A deep bowl should ensure your pet has lots of water throughout the day.

To get more details on important hot-weather pet care visit www.hssw.org/extremeweather.

Several Vancouver-area cooling shelters are accepting people with their pets beginning Fri. June 25. They include:

  • Trinity Baptist Church – 6700 MacArthur Blvd., Vancouver
  • St. Joseph’s Catholic Church – 400 S. Andresen Rd., Vancouver
  • Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church – 12513 SE Mill Plain Blvd., Vancouver
  • Living Hope Church – 2711 NE Andresen Rd, Vancouver

Days and hours vary, so be sure to confirm their opening times at http://cresa911.org/2021/06/23/cooling-center-locations-clark-county/

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