SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — With triple-digit temperatures, people should be wary of heat-related illness in themselves and others, including pet dogs, which can experience medical issues related to heat just as people do. 

Sacramento County recently published advice on how to spot if a dog is experiencing a heat-related illness.

Owners should watch for dogs that appear to be weak, are collapsing or are having seizures. Other signs of heat stroke can be disorientation, confusion, anxiety and unresponsiveness. 

People naturally cool off by sweating, but dogs cool off by panting and using the pads of their feet. 

Other things to look for are if they have a dry mouth, pale gums, a bright red tongue or thick saliva. If they are vomiting, that could also be a sign of a heat-related illness. Owners should also pay attention if a dog’s heart rate is too fast, or if they are panting a lot and are having difficulty breathing.

If you think your dog is experiencing a heat-related illness, take the dog to a shaded area and use cool-to-room temperature water. It is not advised to use cold water to cool them off. It is also recommended for owners to call a veterinarian. 

To minimize the risk of heat-related illnesses in dogs, Sacramento County listed several tips. 

  • Never leave your dog in a parked car
  • Bring pets inside and avoid extreme heat
  • Don’t exercise with your pets when it is too hot
  • Use sunscreen
  • Don’t take your pets to crowded summer events

Sunscreen is recommended for dogs with light skin. The sunscreen should especially be applied to sensitive areas, such as their ears and nose.

During high temperatures, Sacramento County advises owners to exercise with their pets during the cooler part of the day.