Posted 2 months ago ago
(Image: The Mirror)
Dog owners have been warned that the advice to avoid exercising pets in the heat of the day is especially important for flat-faced breeds, older dogs, or those with known heart or lung issues.
The British Veterinary Association says that, unlike humans, dogs can’t cool down quickly through sweating, making them vulnerable to overheating.
The reminder comes after the tragic story of an owner who lost her beloved French bulldog Betty to heatstroke, which was reported in The Mirror.
Laura Kyle took her three-year-old dog Betty out for a walk with her other dog, a pug called Frank. When they returned home, Betty became ill.
The 32-year-old beautician gave her dogs water and left them to it, but later found Betty limp and unresponsive. Betty was rushed to the vets, who told Laura that her Frenchie was suffering from heatstroke and it had affected her brain, leaving it damaged.
Betty had to be put to sleep later that day. Heartbroken Laura says she wants Betty’s untimely death to serve as a warning to other owners about walking dogs in hot weather.
Laura said: “I was so close to her, I loved my dog so much. My dogs are the only things that keep me going.
“I’ve had Betty for about two-and-a-half years, and she had a few owners before me. I don’t understand why because she was amazing.
“It’s totally scarred me for life. She was such an amazing wee dog with so much love to give and she will be very sadly missed. It’s just absolutely gutting.”
Laura has urged other dog owners to make sure they check on their pets throughout the day while the weather is hot. She said: “There were no warning signs at all. She jumped out of the car and she was completely fine when I brought them back home.
“I had gone out and when I came back, I found her lying limp, so I immediately put a wet towel around her.
“I phoned the vets and they said to bring her in straight away, and they put her on a drip, but they said it was too late.
“It was heart-breaking. I loved her with all my heart, and never thought that taking her for a walk would lead to this.”
The RSCPA recommends walking your dog in the morning or evening when it’s cooler to reduce the risk of heatstroke and burning their paws on the pavement.
Warning signs of heatstroke in dogs include heavy panting, excessive drooling, your dog appears to be lethargic, drowsy or uncoordinated, or has collapsed or is vomiting.
The RSPCA says for the best chance of survival, dogs suffering from heatstroke need to have their body temperature lowered gradually and should be moved to a shaded and cool area.
The charity says to immediately pour cool (not cold) water over the dog, use wet towels and a fan, allow the dog to drink small amounts of cool water, and continue to pour cool water over the dog until their breathing starts to settle before taking them to the vets as a matter of urgency.