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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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How to keep pets safe in the heat, according to Spokane shelters

July 29, 2022 Updated Fri., July 29, 2022 at 7:16 p.m.

By Molly Wisor The Spokesman-Review

With daily highs staying above 100 degrees this weekend, pets are at risk of suffering from heat-related illness, especially those with fur coats.

If animals like cats and dogs spend too much time outside in high temperatures, they can suffer from heat stroke and dehydration. Corrine Trottier, a veterinary assistant at Spokane Cat Clinic, says owners should be on the lookout for symptoms of heat stroke.

“Panting is a big sign, especially in cats,” she said. “Cats don’t normally sweat. If their paws are sweating, or their ears are extra warm, that’s a sign they’re too hot.”

Symptoms of heat stroke present differently in dogs, Trottier said.

“Dogs will also have warm ears, but their core will be particularly warm,” she said. “Although dogs normally pant when they get hot, if you’re noticing excessive panting or their gums are blood-red, that’s a sign of heat stroke.”

According to Trottier, attempting home remedies can often be more harmful than helpful to an overheating animal.

“Do not put an overheating animal in cold water,” she said. “That can cause them to go into shock. Instead, just get them somewhere cool as soon as possible.”

Local shelters are also working to keep their animals out of the heat. Spokane Humane Society is using frozen treats, extra water and fans to keep their pets cool despite a lack of air conditioning in their building.

“We are working with a local architectural firm to solve the issues of our outdated facility,” Kristi Soto, director of communications and marketing for Spokane Humane Society, said in an email.

They’re also sending animals over to Bark, A Rescue Pub, and the Northpointe PetSmart.

Right now, Bark is housing six dogs and 14 cats in their air-conditioned building. They’re also cutting back on the amount of outside time for their animals to keep them safe from the heat.

SpokAnimal has also changed their normal routine to adapt to the extreme conditions.

“We’re doing good, keeping everybody inside for the most part,” said Dori Peck, SpokAnimal’s director of development.

Peck has noticed adoptions usually slow down during heat waves. After all, neither humans nor pets enjoy such extreme temperatures

“No one wants to be out in this heat,” she said.

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