A DOG welfare charity has issued advice about caring for your furry friends during the hot weather this summer.
Dogs Trust is warning dog owners that ‘twenty is plenty’ when it comes to exercising dogs in the heat.
The trust states that dogs in temperatures as mild as 21 degrees centigrade can be problematic, particularly brachycephalic, or ‘flat-faced’, breeds such as English Bulldogs, Pugs and French Bulldogs.
It continues to state that exercising dogs in early summer temperatures as low as 21 degrees can cause heatstroke in dogs. In some cases, heatstroke can prove fatal.
The symptoms of heatstroke can include panting heavily, drooling excessively, appearing lethargic, drowsy or uncoordinated, vomiting, diarrhoea, and collapsing.
Paula Boyden, veterinary director of Dogs Trust, said: “It’s great to see the sun shining; it feels like summer has finally arrived. But while this weather might be great for us, hot weather can cause problems for our canine friends.
“Most of us know not to walk or exercise dogs in extreme weathers, but even temperatures as mild as 21 degrees can cause problems, especially for those dogs with flat-faces or underlying health conditions.”
“There are so many things we can do to make sure our dogs stay happy and healthy in hot weather, but it is crucial we keep a close eye on them, even if we are playing indoors. That way, hopefully we and our dogs will be able to enjoy a long hot summer.”
Dogs Trust has issued the following advice:
Avoid walking or doing activities either indoors or outdoors with your dog at the hottest times of the day
Always take plenty of water with you
Tarmac can get very hot in the sun – check it with your hand before letting your dog walk on it so they don’t burn their paws.
If you cannot avoid taking your dog out in the car on a hot day, even if travelling a short distance, avoid travelling during the hottest times of the day.
Never leave your dog in a vehicle on a warm day. Not even with the window open.
Use a cooling mat or wrap an ice pack or frozen water bottle in a tea towel for your pet to lie on if they wish.
Use cold treats from the fridge for added moisture or make an ice lolly from pet-friendly ingredients.
Don’t let your pet get sunburnt - use pet-safe sun cream.
Know the early signs of heatstroke
For more information, visit dogstrust.org.uk/summer-weather