What to look for and what to do if your pet overheats

SEATTLE — With temperatures hitting the 90s at the end of the week, it’s easy for your pet to overheat, which can be life-threatening if not treated immediately.

Here’s how to see those signs of heat exhaustion and what to do to reduce chances of heatstroke and death for your pooch:

The first signs of your dog having difficulty with the hot weather will include symptoms such as hyperventilation, excessive panting, dry gums, increase in saliva production, rapid or erratic heartbeat, confusion, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, and even rectal bleeding.

If you notice your pup with any of these symptoms, move them into a cooler area immediately.

Dogs with longer coats and short muzzles are more susceptible to the heat and may show any of those signs sooner than other breeds.

A dog’s normal temperature is 101.5 degrees and severe overheating begins around 106 degrees.

If your dog’s temperature reaches 106, contact your vet or nearest emergency center immediately.

Tips to help your pup manage the heat include putting cool wet towels over their neck, under their armpits and between their back legs.

You can also wet their ears and paw pads with cool water, or if you’re outside, a stream or pond can be used to help your pup cool down.

Always have fresh drinking water available, but never force your pup to drink water, as they may take it into their lungs.

If they refuse to drink, try wetting their tongue with water.

If your pup is overheating, do not give them ice cubes, as the sudden temperature change may shock your dog’s system.

Finally, if you do have to take your dog to the vet, just know your pet may receive oxygen, intravenous fluids and other treatments.

Severe overheating may lead to seizures or cardiac arrest.