Woman issues fatal heatstroke warning after dog dies while sleeping in shady garden
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A woman has issued a heartfelt heatstroke warning after her dog devastatingly died while sleeping in a shady part of her garden.
Kim Reid, who is a professional dog walker, said she followed the guidance when it came to heatstroke with dogs, but still lost her French Bulldog Bruno.
On 30 May, the healthy two-year-old pooch was spending some time in the garden with Kim's other dogs - Enzo and Louie, who were enjoying some playtime with each other.
But despite finding a shady spot and having plenty of water, Bruno succumbed to heatstroke that ended up being fatal.
Kim, 24, said: "I had no idea a dog could die when they were simply enjoying an hour in the garden in the shade. I've worked with dogs all of my life, I have worked in rescue and rehoming and I'm a professional dog walker.
"The day Bruno died was warm but not very hot, and I was off work and was working in the house while my three dogs were outside enjoying the garden.
"They had access to the house, they had plenty of cool water, I was checking on them regularly and Bruno was enjoying the shade while Enzo and Louie played with each other."
But when Kim, from Aughnacloy, Co Tyrone, went back out to check on the dogs, she found Bruno lying dead.
"I was so shocked, I started screaming and the neighbours ran to see what was wrong. I just couldn't believe it," the dog owner said.
She continued: "I took Bruno into the sitting room and held him in my arms. After an hour or more I thought to take his temperature and even at that stage it was sky high.
"He had died of heatstroke, he had died while lying in the shade in our garden."
Now, Kim is warning other dog owners about the dangers of heatstroke, suggesting the signs are not as clear as you may think.
She said: "The signs that he might be struggling were in no way obvious, but looking back now maybe he seemed a bit more lazy than usual?
"Maybe he was panting a bit more than usual? It was nothing out of the ordinary for him, he loved to laze about and he would pant on the coldest day of the year.
"Brachycephalic dog breeds like French Bulldogs are more likely to suffer heatstroke than any other dog and I knew that.
"But I just didn't know how quickly it can affect them even if they are not obviously overheating, and now I know it can be fatal in as little as 15 minutes without any warning."
Kim added Bruno's tragic passing is the most 'upsetting heartbreaking lesson' she has ever experienced, but she hopes her terrible ordeal will help prevent future dog deaths through heatstroke.
She concluded with an emotional plea: "Please, please, watch your furbabies in this weather, 15 minutes is enough to cause irreversible damage and a lifetime of pain."