Cumbrian Vets Advice About Keeping Pets Cool

A leading Cumbrian vet is warning dog owners to take extra care of their pets in the heatwave.

“Every year we see dogs suffering from heatstroke either in vehicles or outside in hot weather,” said Graham Lewis, a small animal vet at Paragon Veterinary Group in Dalston.

“Extra hot weather is being forecast currently so it is important for people to be especially careful.  If owners are aware of the dangers and take a few preventative measures, they will be able to keep their dogs safe.”

“There are many shops and destinations which do not allow dogs, so it is best to leave your dog at home in a cool place during hot weather,” said Graham. 

“Dogs can develop potentially fatal heatstroke exerting themselves on hot days, so it is a good idea to avoid exercising them during the hottest parts of the day,” he said. 

“If temperatures remain high in the evening it can be better to skip your dog’s exercise for that day or keep them on the lead. If your dog will be left outdoors in the garden or kennel, make sure they have access to cool shade and drinking water.”

Many people think it will be ok to leave their dog in the car if it is parked in the shade or the windows are open, but cars can become extremely hot even when the temperature outside feels much cooler, said Graham.

The RSPCA says that when the temperature is an acceptable 22C outside, the inside of a car can reach an unbearable 47C within one hour.

The signs of heatstroke include excessive panting, drooling, bright red gums, shaking, weakness and collapse, confusion, vomiting, diarrhoea and seizures.

Any dog can develop heatstroke but overweight, young, elderly, flat-faced, giant breed and heavy-coated breeds are extra vulnerable. 

“If your dog develops signs of heatstroke act quickly, cool them with cool but not icey water and contact your vet immediately,” said Graham.

Tips for Keeping Canines Cool:

  • freeze food / kongs with treats in
  • use cool mats and shirts
  • ensure access to plenty of water
  • fill a paddling pool for a cooling dip
  • check road and path surfaces before walking (5 second hand test)
  • walk your dog at the end / start of the day when it’s cooler