Beware of Heatstroke

In warm environments, dogs regulate their body temperature by panting. Heatstroke happens when a dog is unable to do this efficiently which can be very serious and even life threatening.

Although hot cars can reach dangerous levels in minutes, we must also be mindful of dogs being left outside without any shade, or exercised in hot or humid conditions.

Certain tarmacs and other floor surfaces can get very hot in the summer months, and we should be aware that it may be too hot for our dogs’ feet.

As much as it may seem a shame, always consider leaving your dog in the comfort of a cool house of very hot summer days. Please do not feel guilty about not taking your dog on a walk in the heat.

Pets with light coloured fur and those that do not have hair can be at risk of UV damage. Applying a pet safe sunscreen to their extremities can help reduce the risk of skin cancers.

Pets can also get quite hot and bothered during the summer months and may be less tolerant to interactions with family members, particularly young children. Always ensure young children are supervised if around your pets.

Remember the warning signs of heatstroke, lack of coordination and eventually collapse, vomiting or diarrhoea.

If you start seeing these signs:

  • Move them to a cool area- preferable shaded.
  • Apply cool (not cold) water to your dog with wet towels. These can be applied to their back, neck and tummy. The breeze of a fan can be useful.
  • Make sure your dog has access to small amounts of cool water.
  • Continue to apply cool water to the dog’s coat until their breathing starts to settle. Don’t use ice and do not cool so much that they begin to shiver.
  • Take them to the nearest vet as a matter of urgency.