-Image: Kelowna Riding Club

-Image: Kelowna Riding Club

Keeping pets safe during Okanagan wildfires

Kelowna Riding Club, Rose Valley Veterinary Hospital and Desert Park Osoyoos pitch in

  • Jul. 19, 2018 11:30 a.m.

For pet owners that are unsure of how to ensure the safety of their loved ones, preparedness is key.

If you are under evacuation alert or order, make sure you have a bag already prepared with your pet’s food, lots of water, their dishes, a toy and any medication they may need. If your pet requires insulin injections purchase a small cooler so it can remain refrigerated.

Related: Smoky skies cause Okanagan-wide air quality issues

To protect your animals from the smoke caused by the Okanagan wildfires, keep windows closed and set air conditioning units to a temperature between 20°C and 22 °C. Watch closely for coughing, excessive panting or shortness of breath. If your pet shows these symptoms take them to a veterinary clinic immediately to be treated.

Pets can quickly get hypothermia or heatstroke so ensure they have lots of available water and shade while temperatures rise.

Related: Barn space offered to wildfire-threatened animals in Okanagan-Similkameen

Related:Updated: Complete list of B.C. Interior wildfire coverage

Horses:

The Kelowna Riding Club has 75 stalls available for horse owners affected by fires.

The club simply requests that stalls are properly cleaned after use.

In the past items have been left behind by those in a hurry to leave, such as hay, water buckets, halters, and leads.

For those not affected by the fires, the club would appreciate any donations of these essential items for evacuees.

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Desert Park Osoyoos is offering barn space at no cost to horse owners impacted by wildfires anywhere in the Okanagan, near Princeton, Ashcroft or 100 Mile House.

Dogs, cats, small animals and reptiles:

Rose Valley Veterinary Hospital has opened their doors once again to provide food, shelter, and medication at no cost for all pet owners that have been evacuated.

“We do this every year, everyone needs shelter,” Dr. Moshe Oz said. “We started doing this in 2003, and every year since— This is a community, this is what we are here for, everyone helps each other.”

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—With files from Kirsti Patton