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St Anne's Veterinary Group Blog

» How to Beat the Heat

Things have been hotting up in the UK, giving the great British public more to talk about. I was sharing lots of posts on Facebook and was getting saddened and kind of mad at seeing dogs out in the middle of the day when the heat is greatest and the pavements have had a chance to absorb the heat. Also with what I was seeing online, people saying it was ok to walk dogs in that heat and having a go at people who had confronted people who were walking them.

People have been trying to intervene because they care, we advise people not to do these things because it is our duty to advocate for these animals. Heat stroke isn’t a joke, it kills dogs every year and it needn’t. It’s totally preventable and if you could prevent it, why wouldn’t you? We had lots of support online and had posts seen by so many people which was great to see that others were just as passionate as us. We understand that it’s not that easy, maybe your dog refuses to go to the toilet in the garden or are barking from frustration.

There are lots you can do indoors to keep them occupied and exercised mentally which can be just as tiring. Having treats frozen in a block of ice is a great way to cool them down along with distracting them from their lack of walk. Paddling pools in the shade with cool water in is a great place for them to lounge around in too. Cooling mats and jackets can help if your dog is inside and standing a large bottle of frozen water in front of the fan can create your own ‘air con’.

Certain breeds of dogs like brachycephalic are more prone to overheating along with overweight dogs. Dogs cannot sweat like we can so they’re unable to naturally cool down the way our bodies were designed to.

Symptoms of heatstroke are drooling and hypersalivating, increased heart rate, panting, bright red tongue, very red or pale gum, vomiting and diarrhoea, seizures, glassy eyes and a fearful expression and collapse or staggering. Did you know that on average only 50% of dogs with heat stroke die?

If you are worried that your pet has heatstroke, do not give ice or cold water, move them to somewhere shady, give them tepid water to drink and douse with cool (not cold) water and contact your vet immediately.


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