Walks on a hot day causes 74% of all heatstroke cases in dogs
As if we needed to be reminded, new research by a university and canine charity reveals too many walkies to be responsible for three quarters of cases of canine heatstroke.
Published on the 07/08/2020, 09:00
Studies carried out by Nottingham Trent University and the Royal Veterinary College focused on the effect of summer heat on dog health.
Researchers discovered that 13% of heatstroke cases treated by UK vets were caused by the heat alone. Squashed-faced breeds are especially vulnerable to overheating due to their inability to breath properly and regulate their body temperature.
14% of dogs suffering with heatstroke succumbed to their ailment. The clinical records of more than 900,000 dogs from around the UK were the source of the statistics.
The main cause of canine heatstroke was, however, the tendency of owners to take their dogs on excessively long walks in hot weather. Of dogs seen with heatstroke, 75% had been out with their owners in the midday sun.
Veterinary surgeon Emily Hall told the Mail Online that taking a dog out in the summer sun “can be just as deadly” as leaving them in a locked car. Dr Hall suggested the public should be more aware of the dangers of outdoor activities in high heat. She advises against outdoor walks in the hottest part of the day.
Frequently asked questions
How do I know if my dog is too hot?
Heatstroke manifests in many ways, but the most obvious symptoms are lethargy, drooling and heavy panting.
Find out more about the symptoms of canine heatstroke.
How effective is panting?
Dogs have only a fraction of the sweat glands humans do, so they must cool themselves down in other ways. A dog's tongue is a reasonably effective ‘cool pack’, but it cannot be relied on in excessive heat.
Find out why your dog is always panting.
What should I do if my dog is overheating?
The first thing to do is move your dog to a shaded (and preferably cooler) area. Next, put your dog in a bath filled with cool water, or better still run a shower over its back.
Read our advice about heatstroke: causes, symptoms and treatments.