The risk of the summer for our dogs

Although currently August has not shown us much of a summer we always encourage our owners to be prepared for when the warmer weather does arrive.

We all know what it’s like when we have spent too long in the heat, we are the lucky ones as we can cool ourselves down by removing clothes, having a cold drink or even getting into a cold shower. Now take a second to think about our dogs … they can’t tell us they need a drink and can’t cool themselves down apart from panting. The only sweat glands they have are in their feet and around their nose. So it is up to us to be aware of the signs that they are becoming too hot and avoid putting them in that situation in the first instance.

What are the signs to look out for if your dog is suffering from Heat stroke?

  • Faster and heavier panting
  • Signs of becoming agitated
  • Excessive thrust
  • Drooling
  • Increased pulse and heart beat
  • Dark coloured gums
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Staggering and collapse
  • Seizures
  • Unconscious

If it is a hot day and you recognise any of the above clinical signs please contact your local Swaynes branch as soon as possible.

How to cope with hotter weather:

The best times of the day to take your dogs for a walk are early mornings and evenings to avoid the heat of the day. You can also purchase cooling coats for those dogs with very thick coats or even if they are black in colour. Other simple things you can do for your dog include offering them ice cubes to eat, or even playing in the sprinkler.

The breeds most at risk of being affected by heat stroke are breeds with very short noses or flat faces including pugs and boston terriers. Also if your dog is over weight this can make them more at risk of suffering from heat stroke during the summer.

If your dog is showing any signs of heat stroke at all please contact your local Swayne & partners surgery immediately, we may request you come down immediately to prevent further progression of clinical signs or we may instruct you how best to cool them down.

Remember dogs die in hot cars! There is no safe time frame to leave any dog in a hot car and the temperature inside a car on a hot summers day can reach up to 56 degrees celsius! 

A quick reminder about any first aid will be provided by Rachel one of our vets who gives first aid talks twice a year at our Bury St Edmunds branch. The next talk is in October so please contact your local branch to sign up free of charge – places go quickly!