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23 July 2019, 14:36
Sizzling weather can be fatal for some animals – here's how to keep your dog safe and cool in the heat
As Britain bakes under scorching temperatures, it's important to keep a close eye on your pets.
Hot weather can be fatal for dogs because they can't sweat through their skin like we can – instead they rely on heavy panting and their paws to regulate their body temperate.
Plus, many breeds have thick coats that cause them to overheat or dehydrate very quickly in the sun.
So, when is it too hot to walk your pooch, and how can you help keep them cool in the blistering heat?
Follow these simple tips and tricks to ensure you don't put your dog's life at risk this summer.
Dogs can suffer fatal heatstroke in a matter of minutes so it's really important you keep them cool when it's hot outside.
Many animal charities and vets advise you walk your dog during cooler parts of the day – before 8am in the morning, or after 8pm in the evening – to avoid highs of 20C (70F) or more.
Not only will this help to combat overheating but it will also stop your dog's paw pads from burning on the hot concrete pavements.
Blue Cross says: "As a general rule, if it’s too hot for your hand it’s too hot for their paws."
If you can't take them for a lovely run outside because it's reached 27C and upwards? "Keep your dog mentally stimulated by doing some brain games instead," adds the animal charity.
"Refresh their basic training with some sits and stays, or teach them new tricks."
Signs and symptoms of heatstroke include: excessive panting, red eyes, red gums, hot skin, reduced activity, vomiting, diarrhoea and collapse.
If you think your dog is suffering, immediately move them to a cool place, wet their coat with cool water and contact your vet.
If your dog is struggling in the summer heatwave, you can give them ice cubes to cool them down.
Your pooch should already have plenty of drinking water to slurp on during the day, but the RSPCA recommends adding ice cubes in those roasting hot hours too.
In fact, cooling treats in any form are a great way to keep your pup from overheating in the sun.
As well as popping ice cubes in their drinking water, freeze your dog's favourite food inside a Kong, cool some beef stock into yummy bars and stock up on dog-friendly ice cream, frozen yoghurt and popsicles.