Dog swimming in pool

We have seen some exceptionally hot weather this year so it is important that we look after our dogs to minimise the risk of heatstroke.

If dogs get too hot and are unable to reduce their body temperature by panting they can easily get heatstroke. Which can be fatal. Some dogs are more prone including very young or old dogs, dogs with thick coats or dogs with short, flat faces such as Pugs and Boxers.

The five signs to look out for are:

Is the dog panting heavily?

Is the dog drooling excessively?

Does the dog appear lethargic, drowsy or uncoordinated?

Is the dog vomiting?

Has the dog collapsed?

If your dog is showing these symptoms you need to reduce their body temperature. If they have collapsed you need to call a vet immediately.

In milder cases follow these steps:

  1. Move the dog to a cool, shaded area.
  2. Pour small amounts of room temperature water onto the dog’s body. Cold water may cause them to go into shock. You can also use wet towels – but soak them regularly and remove them periodically as covering them with towels could actually cause them to heat up. Don’t cool them down too much that they start to shiver.
  3. Allow the dog to drink small regular amounts of room temperature water.

On hot days walk your dog in the early morning or in the evening when temperatures are lower. Ensure that the tarmac is not too hot for your dog’s paws. Place your hand on the tarmac for seven seconds – if it is too hot for your hand it is too hot for your dog’s paws.

Always make sure your dog has access to shade and fresh water throughout the day. Remember the sun moves so an area that is shady in the morning could be in full sun in the afternoon.

There are a number of pet-friendly sun creams available. Use these on exposed skin such as the tips of their ears and their nose to avoid them getting sunburnt.