Heatstroke in dogs

If dogs are unable to reduce their body temperature, they will develop heatstroke.

Here are some signs to look for: heavy panting, profuse salivation, rapid pulse, very red gums/tongue, lethargy, lack of coordination, reluctance or inability to rise after collapsing, vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of consciousness in extreme circumstances.

If your dog shows any symptoms of heatstroke, move it to a shaded, cool area and ring your vet immediately.

Heatstroke can be fatal and should always be treated as an emergency.

Dogs suffering from heatstroke need to have their body temperature gradually lowered: Douse your dog with cool (not cold) water, and let it drink small amounts of cool water.

Top tips: Your dog should always be able to move into a cooler, ventilated environment if he/she is feeling hot.

Never leave your dog alone in a car.

If you have to leave your dog outside, you must provide a cool shady spot.

Make sure your dog always has a good supply of drinking water, in a weighted bowl that can’t be knocked over.

Never leave your dog in a glass conservatory or a caravan. Groom your dog regularly to get rid of excess hair. Dogs need exercise – even when it is hot.

Walk your dog early in the morning or later in the evening.

Dogs can get sunburned too – particularly those with light-coloured noses or light-coloured fur on their ears.

Ask your vet for advice on pet-safe sunscreen.

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