The signs of heatstroke you need to look out for in your dog | TeamDogs

The signs of heatstroke you need to look out for in your dog

As summer starts and temperatures soar, you need to look after them

Danielle Elton

Posted 3 months ago ago

Written by Ariane Sohrabi-Shiraz and Jack Colwill

As the UK summer gets into full swing, the temperatures are rising and it presents a new set of challenges for dog parents everywhere.

While we go to lengths to stay cool when the sun comes out, our doggos rely on us to keep them safe under the sun. 

Dogs can suffer fatal heatstroke within minutes, which is why it's incredibly important to make sure they aren't too hot.

The reason it is a problem is because, no matter what the weather, dogs need to be walked regularly and sometimes more than once a day for the more energetic pups.

However, taking them out in sizzling temperatures may not be a good idea – so how do you know when the heat is too much?

Here is everything you need to know, from safe temperatures for dog walks to the signs of heatstroke to look out for to keep your pooch safe.

When is it too hot to walk your dog?

It's safe to take your dog for a walk in temperatures of up to 19C as long as they are well hydrated, according to VetsNow.

However, anything above 20C and your dog will be at risk of heat stroke, which can be fatal in as little as 15 minutes.

VetsNow says that between 16-19C it's generally safe for our four-legged friends, while between 20-23C it's a six out of 10 risk rating.

Between 24-27C the risk goes up to nine out of 10, which goes to 10 out of 10 when the weather reaches 32C and above.

Dogs are more at risk of heatstroke because, unlike humans, dogs can't sweat through their skin.

They rely on panting and releasing heat through their paw pads and nose in order to regulate body temperature and keep cool.

Blue Cross likens this to wearing a thick winter coat on a summer's day.

Remember to never leave your dog in a car, because when it's 22C outside the temperatures in a car can reach an unbearable 47C within an hour.

If you see a dog in distress inside a car, official advice is to dial 999 immediately.

What are the signs of heatstroke in dogs?

Getty - Vichakorn

There are several signs of heatstroke in dogs, including heavy panting and excessively drooling.

The RSPCA also says to look out for dogs appearing lethargic, drowsy or uncoordinated, collapsing, or vomiting.

If you think your dog may be suffering from heatstroke, Blue Cross says you should move them to a cool place immediately.

Wet their coat with cool, but not freezing water, and also allow the dog to drink small amounts of water.

Continue pouring cool water over the dog until their breathing starts to settle, but not so much they start shivering, says the RSPCA.

Once the dog is cool, take them to your nearest vet as a matter of urgency.

It's important to act straight away, because when a dog shows signs of heatstroke the damage has often already been done, says VetsNow.

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