BELLEVUE (NBC 26) — Temperatures soaring into the 90s with heat indices nearing triple digits can create a problem for both pets and pet owners alike.
Pet owners like Tom have to take extra precautions to keep their two-year-old dog Louie safe in the sweltering summer heat.
The Quatsoes took Louie to the Mossakowski Family Dog Park in Bellevue earlier than usual so they could escape the worst of the heat in the afternoon. They noticed the park was a bit different than most days.
"There was just a couple dogs so far since we've been here, normally there's probably about a dozen by this time," Quatsoe said.
Dr. Becky Krull of Buddy's Vets says the best thing to do when it's this hot is to stay inside and avoid the peak heating of the afternoon and early evening.
For some pet owners, however, staying inside all day just isn't an option.
"He's a terrier beagle mix so he's got a lot of energy so if we don't bring him to the park he's bouncing around the house pretty good."
Dr. Krull says if your pet does play outside the most important thing is for it to stay hydrated and for the owners to pay attention to any warning signs.
"Once they're done exercising if they come in you might actually feel that they're hot, they're not cooling down, they're panting, they might have respiratory distress, there may be vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or even fainting and passing out," Krull says.
If your pet is showing signs of illness, Krull says to use cool water but not an ice bath.
In more serious cases it's important to contact your veterinarian quickly.
"It is an urgent situation because heat exhaustion and heatstroke can lead to show many bad things quickly," Krull said.
With the dog days of summer on the horizon, it may be best to take your pet outside during the early morning or late evening hours to keep them safe in the hot weather.