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Know the signs: RSPCA issues warning after dog dies of heat stroke while out on a walk

Keep your dog out of hot weather dog-sad
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The RSPCA is raising awareness about the dangers of heat stroke after a dog sadly passed away when returning from a routine walk.

By Ashley Murphy , 25 May 2019

A family from Greater Manchester took their beloved pooch for a walk last week. The dog had no underlying health problems, and the temperature was around 21'C. This might not seem that hot to us humans, but such temperatures can be dangerous to dogs, especially if they're overexercised.

A potentially lifesaving message

The RSPCA posted the following message on its Facebook page:

“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. We do understand the crucial nature of walking your dog, however please bear in mind that walking in high temperatures can cause serious and irreversible damage, and in some cases death.”

Dogs aren't designed for hot weather. Their furry coats keep in much of the heat, and short-haired dogs are at risk of sunburn. Plus, our pet pooches don't have sweat glands, which makes it much harder for them to regulate their body temperature during warmer parts of the year.

Owners should take extra care on warm days. Don't exercise your dog during the hottest parts of the day and do your best to keep them cool. It's also vital to look out for the signs of heatstroke, which include excessive panting, an unsteady gait, sticky gums, vomiting, and a dark tongue.

Get them cool, then get them help

The RSPCA also posted this warning:

“Yesterday the high for the day was at 4pm 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 their needs."

If you do see any worrying signs, get your dog to a  cool space, offer them some water, and contact a vet or animal health service.