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Temperatures are set to reach a scorching 33°C in some parts of the UK this week and the Met Office has issued a safety warning stating that conditions could pose a 'danger to life' or lead to serious illness.
While it may be tempting to take our fur babies for a walk or go to the beach or the park, temperatures could become 'exceptionally high' in the coming week which can lead to a number of risks for your dog.
"Heatstroke is a serious illness in which a dog begins to overheat and isn't able to effectively lower its temperature," a spokesperson from Kennel Store said.
A dog's normal body temperature is approximately 38.6°C and if they begin to overheat, they are in serious danger of becoming unwell.
Heatstroke can lead to dogs experiencing seizures, organ failure or death when left without treatment. Potential triggers can include overheating during exercise, extended time out in hot weather and being trapped in a hot car.
Signs of heatstroke that some dog owners might misinterpret can include bright red gums, drooling and/or foaming at the mouth and shaking.
The Kennel Store also notes that symptoms may include the following; panting, weakness, collapsing, confusion, vomiting and diarrhoea – which may include blood, seizures and death.
Flat-faced dogs, such as pugs and bulldogs, are particularly at risk of suffering heatstroke because they struggle to cool themselves down. This is due to some dogs struggling to pant effectively, leading to a much higher risk of sunstroke and heat exhaustion.
Overweight, young, giant-breeds - this is any dog that is heavier than 45kg - and elderly dogs are all also at higher risk.
It’s important to act quickly if your think your dog is experiencing heatstroke. The first step is to keep your dog calm and still because frantic movements may cause them to panic further.
Move your dog indoors or to a shady area if you cannot go inside. Give them cold water - however, it is important to avoid using ice or extremely cold water because the shock could be detrimental to dogs.
Help them cool down by putting them on top of a wet towel and gently wet the top of their head, feet, ears and fur with cool - not icy - water.
Once they begin to show signs that they're cooling down, proceed to pour cool water over their body.
Your dog should then be taken to a vet as soon as possible, who will then attempt to lower their temperature by using fans, cool water and a fluid drip.
“If your dog receives the appropriate treatment promptly, they will very likely make a full recovery,” Kennel Store says.
“If, however, they become seriously unwell or they don't receive the medical treatment required or it is delayed, they are at risk of suffering damage to their organs or even death.
“It's important to contact the vet as soon as your dog starts showing symptoms of heatstroke. The sooner treatment is administered, the higher chance your dog will make a better recovery.”
To avoid your dog suffering heatstroke, Kennel Store says dog owners should avoid walking their pets during the hottest parts of the day and instead opting for morning or evening walks.
Try to ensure your dog is always able to access shade and cold water and check the pavement by placing your hand there for seven seconds to check if it is too hot for your dog to walk on. Tarmac, sand and artificial grass can become especially hot.
Dog owners should never leave dogs in hot cars because this can lead to death and you should consider getting your dogs coat clipped shorter during hot weather.
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