Vet issues urgent warning to nine breeds of dog owners

French bulldogs are one of the breeds likely to suffer from heatstroke  (Getty Images for Westminster Ken)
French bulldogs are one of the breeds likely to suffer from heatstroke (Getty Images for Westminster Ken)

A vet has issued a warning to owners of nine dog breeds that are most likely to be affected by sunstroke this summer.

Social media star Cat has amassed more than 325,000 followers on TikTok, and a further 31,000 on Instagram from posting veterinary advice.

Last year, the vet filmed a video going through each breed of dog that commonly struggle in warmer temperatures.

The clip cited a 2020 study by Vet Compass, which found that Chow Chows are 17 times more likely to suffer from heatstroke than the average dog.

“It’s hardly surprising when you consider they’ve got a double whammy of a slightly flat face and a massive coat,” she said. English Bulldogs took second place, with French Bulldogs and Dogue De Bordeaux following in third and fourth place.

Cat explained: “[This proves] what we have always known - flat faced breeds are massively more vulnerable in the hot weather and we really need to take great care of them.”

The flat-faced breeds can suffer from breathing issues, typically struggling with brachycephalic airway syndrome, meaning they have long soft palates and small nasal openings, which drastically limits airflow. Dogs heavily rely on panting to lower their body temperature.

Greyhounds came in fifth place, which Cat explained is due to their “large muscle bulk”, which is relative to their body size.

“That means that with exercise, their core temperature can rise quite high - particularly on hot days” she said.

King Charles spaniels followed on in sixth place, due to their flatter faces and thick coats, as well as being more “prone to obesity”.

Pugs, who also suffer from brachycephalic airway syndrome, came in at seventh place, followed by golden retrievers and springer spaniels, which she referred to as “the poster children for going crazy with exercise whatever the weather and both have very thick coats.”

Cat ended the video warning pet owners: “Regardless of the breed of your dog, please please be careful as the temperatures spike.”

The RSPCA also issued advice for pet owners about the signs of heatstroke in dogs, including vomiting, panting, excessive drooling, drowsiness and vomiting.

The animal charity advises owners who suspect their dog is suffering from heatstroke should pour cool water on their pet, but avoid ice cold water, which could send the dog into shock.

Owners of flat-faced dogs are also advised not to pour water on their dogs head, as this may increase chances of drowning, should the dog accidentally inhale it.