What with the temperatures rising each year, due to the changes in our climate, I thought that now would be an ideal time to write a post about the importance of keeping our four-legged canine friends as safe as possible during these hot spells. Recently here in the UK we had a level 4 heatwave, something our grounds are not quite familiar with, nor are our pets for that matter – and now, it would seem we are in the midst of another.

Now, the amount of stories I have heard over the past month alone, where a poor dog has either injured itself, collapsed or even died due to these considerably extreme temperatures have felt surreal. Whether these injuries and tragedies have been a result of poor ownership is a different matter entirely, one I will not go into at this stage, as it can cause quite a lot of distress for myself and for those, like me, who love and care about dogs.

This post is merely to help us all be more mindful, responsible and aware of what signs to look out for when a dog is showing signs of suffering from heat exhaustion – and possibly therefore heatstroke, and what we can do about it in the moment.


For those that may not be aware, a dog regulates its temperature differently to us humans. They sweat through the pads on their paws. When extreme hot weather conditions get in the way, they can prevent them from sweating – which can be fatal. There are multiple symptoms dogs can show when heat has started to affect their wellbeing, these can range from:

  • Heavy Panting
  • Difficult Breathing
  • Excessive Drooling
  • Being Lethargic
  • Drowsiness
  • Uncoordinated
  • Vomiting
  • Collapsing

Disclaimer: I am not claiming to be a canine expert in any way, I have merely just done my research over the years. So if you do spot any of these signs, it is always best to consider URGENT VETERINARY CARE as soon as possible.

You can give your local or emergency vet a call, and see what they can advise, whilst also doing the following:

Dogs suffering from heatstroke require urgent care. They will need to have their body temperature gradually lowered for the best chance of survival. Therefore, there are a few tips below, to keep in mind, you can do if the situation ever arises:

  • Move the dog to a shaded and cool area
  • Encourage the dog to drink small amounts of water
  • Pour cool water over the dog. Repeat this but do so carefully, as you do not wish to cause them to shiver. Avoid their head if possible. Note: If the dog is unconscious they will need water to be aggressively poured over them, and whilst this is being done someone can phone a nearest vet.

Once the dog is cool, take them to the nearest vet as a matter of urgency.

– End of Post –

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