Contributed by Dogs Trust
27/05/2023 - Dogs Trust
Dogs Trust, the nation’s largest dog welfare charity, is warning dog owners that “twenty is plenty” when it comes to exercising dogs this summer.
With the arrival of warmer weather, Dogs Trust has issued guidance that exercising dogs in temperatures as mild as 21 degrees centigrade can be problematic for dogs, particularly brachycephalic, or “flat-faced”, breeds such as English Bulldogs, Pugs and French Bulldogs.
In fact, according to recent research from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) in collaboration with Nottingham Trent University, English Bulldogs are fourteen times more likely to suffer heat-related illness compared to Labrador Retrievers. Over a third of owners of flat-faced dogs reported that heat regulation is a problem for their pet.
While most dog lovers will be aware that extreme weather and heatwaves can be dangerous – sometimes even deadly – for dogs, many will be unaware that exercising dogs in early summer temperatures as low as 21 degrees can cause heatstroke in dogs. In some cases, heatstroke can prove fatal.
The symptoms of heatstroke can include panting heavily, drooling excessively, appearing lethargic, drowsy or uncoordinated, vomiting, diarrhoea, and collapsing.
Paula Boyden, Veterinary Director of Dogs Trust, says:
“It’s great to see the sun shining; it feels like summer has finally arrived. But while this weather might be great for us, hot weather can cause problems for our canine friends.
“Most of us know not to walk or exercise dogs in extreme weathers, but even temperatures as mild as 21 degrees can cause problems, especially for those dogs with flat-faces or underlying health conditions.”
“There are so many things we can do to make sure our dogs stay happy and healthy in hot weather, but it is crucial we keep a close eye on them, even if we are playing indoors. That way, hopefully we and our dogs will be able to enjoy a long hot summer.”
Dogs Trust has issued the following advice to support dog owners this summer:
Dogs Trust also advises that dogs should never be left alone in cars as even just a few minutes in a hot car can prove fatal. On a 22-degree Celsius day, the temperature inside a car could rise by eleven degrees in just ten minutes and as dogs can’t cool down the same way as humans, the heat can quickly become dangerous for them.
If you see a dog in a car in distress, the charity advises that members of the public call 999.
To find out more about how to keep your dog safe this summer, visit www.dogstrust.org.uk/summer-weather
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