SPOKANE, Wash. – The Washington State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital wants to remind pet owners that rattlesnake season is upon us.

Rattlesnakes are usually seen around their dens, which are generally in rock crevices exposed to sunshine. They are also typically seen at dusk and during the night as they are going to and from their hibernation sites.

WSU has already treated a dog and a horse for bites this year. The hospital said they have received several anecdotal reports claiming there are more rattlesnakes out this year.

One Spokane veterinarian, Dr. Mark Schrag, said there are easy tips pet owners can follow in order to keep their furry friends safe from bites.

• If clean water is available, rinse out the bite since infections are possible

• Keep the bite location below heart level – This reduces the possible flow of venom towards the heart

• Stay calm -- Schrag said this is important for pets’ well-being.

Schrag said it is not uncommon for a rattlesnake bite to not actually transmit venom.

“The good news is about three out of four bites are dry bites, so they’re not injecting poison. So, you can get a really bad infection, still need to take your pet to the vet right away, but stay calm and get them there safely,” said Schrag.