Dog walkers will no doubt be concerned about the time of day they should avoid walking a pet outside, following news that the UK is set to face record-breaking temperatures.
This marks the first time ever that a warning of this kind has been issued by the organisation - indicating a health risk to everyone affected, not just those who are normally vulnerable to heat or have an existing medical condition.
Concerned for the well-being of their furry friends, pet owners are now being urged not to walk their pets during the most intense hours of sunshine.
Basically, you should avoid walking your dog between the hours of 10am and 4pm, when the sun is at its hottest.
And don’t even think about quickly walking your precious pooch on your lunch break, as the hottest part of the day is around midday, and is therefore unsuitable for dogs.
It’s also important to be empathetic about dogs’ delicate paws, and the temperature of the ground that they walk on.
Different surfaces trap heat more than others, and can therefore damage the soles of their paws under the blazing hot sun.
If it would hurt you to walk on tarmac and sand in the sun, it’s going to hurt them, too. It’s often better to walk your pets on grass instead of pavement in the summer months.
In fact, veterinary expert, Dr Scott Miller at Barking Heads says that heat stroke is unfortunately a prevalent occurrence in dogs.
Dr Scott said: “I do warn that heat stroke is a common condition in dogs in the British Summer and can cause significant acute and chronic health issues.
“Many of our dogs are simply not used to the warmer weather when it finally appears, and with us enjoying the sunshine sometimes we can put our canine companions at risk of exposure to hyperthermia.”
If you do have an older dog, or a dog with flat facial features like pugs, bulldogs or boxers, he adds that it’s important to remember that they ‘tend to be more sensitive to extremes of temperature’.
Dr Scott says that symptoms of heat stroke can include excessive panting, drooling, shaking, rapid breathing, restlessness, and an inability to stand up, as well as being lethargic, having a lack of appetite and generally not acting like themselves.
“If you think your pet may be in distress from the heat, I recommend contacting your local vet for advice and they can then decide on the best course of action to take for your dog,” Dr Scott concludes.
If you’re worried about a pet, you can check your pet’s symptoms on the PDSA website here. In an emergency, always contact your vet immediately.
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