press release
Published: 26 June 2024

Expert comment: How to keep your dog safe during warm weather

The UK is currently experiencing a much-awaited heat wave with most of the country under a yellow alert but how do we keep our pets safe in such weather. In the below statement, Dr Emma Tallini, Senior Lecturer in Veterinary Clinical Practice at our School of Veterinary Medicine, explains the dangers of such heat for dogs and how to care for them if they overheat.

"As the weather turns warmer, it is appropriate for dog owners to be mindful of the risk of heat stroke, a preventable but potentially fatal condition of dogs. It occurs when dogs become unable to regulate their body temperature and can lead to organ failure and, in some cases death. Short nosed breeds such as bulldogs and pugs are particularly at risk and exercise is commonly a precipitating factor. 

"Early signs include excessive panting, drooling, red gums, restlessness, and vomiting. The advice for dog owners is to move their dog to a cool area and pour water over them, ice-cold water should be avoided, and cool/tepid water is recommended. Wetting the coat combined with fan is an effective form of cooling. Once emergency treatment has provided it is recommended to seek veterinary attention, but the cooling is a priority and should happen before transporting your dog. 

"Prevention involves providing access to shade and water, including taking water bottles out on walks. In hot weather it’s important to avoiding walking in the heat of the day and being mindful of the effect of hot pavements on dogs’ paws."

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