As dog owners most of us are aware of the importance of walking our hounds. They need exercise, a break from their surroundings and of course a chance to use the bathroom.
But, as temperatures hit record highs in parts of the U.S. as well as the U.K., a long walk in excessive heat is not always the best thing for your dog.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), in the U.K., said it received more than 700 calls from concerned pet owners as temperatures soared. Then a dog owner called with devastating news.
“This morning we were informed a local dog died of heat stroke after being taken on a walk at 9 a.m. when the temperature was 21 degrees (Celsius or 69.8 degrees Fahrenheit),” the RSPCA said in a statement.
Despite numerous warnings by the animal welfare charity, dog owners were still seen walking their dogs during the hottest times of the day.
“The dog was otherwise fit and healthy. Despite lots of warnings about the heat we still see dogs being walked to the shops, on the school run, or as soon as owners get in from work,” the RSPCA said.
“Yesterday the highest temperature for the day was at 4 p.m. but this is when most of the dogs we spotted were out and about. It does not matter if your dog is white, young, not a bull breed or ‘used to the heat’. Please be mindful of its needs,” the statement said.
Heat stroke can have dangerous consequences for any animal. If temperatures rise too high and your pet cannot cool himself down, then your animal is in trouble.
If you dog is showing any of the following signs or symptoms you should call your vet immediately: excessive panting, staggering while walking, seizures, high body temperature, a dark or bright red tongue, sticky or dry gums, bloody diarrhea, vomiting.
As well as being mindful of your dog overheating it’s important to remember dogs can also suffer sunburn, especially lighter dogs.
When applying sunscreen, be sure to get your dogs ears, nose and back, as well as the skin around his mouth.
If walks are the only way your dog can relieve itself consider taking him in the morning or evening when the sun isn’t so strong.
Watch the video below for more essential tips on keeping your dog safe in the sun.
If it’s too hot for us, it’s probably too hot for our pets. Please share this important information with all the dog owners you know.