We all love spending time outside with our dogs when the sun is out whether it be relaxing in the garden or going for nice walks .

We do however have to take precautions and be vigilant that our four legged friends are not exposed to the sun too much and develop heat stroke.

Heat stroke happens when the body’s core temperature rises to above normal levels and the body then has an inability to cool down which can very quickly lead to serious complications and death.

Dogs are unable too cool themselves like us by sweating, they cool down by panting which isn’t the most efficient way hence why they are more susceptible to heat stroke.

Brachycephalic dogs such as Bulldogs and pugs have very short flat noses, which in turn means they have small tight nostrils that make it hard to breath effectively. This makes these breeds more likely to develop heat stroke as they are very inefficient at cooling themselves.

Special care needs be taken during the summer months with these breeds. Other factors that make a dog more prone to developing heat stroke are being elderly, overweight or having cardiac or respiratory problems.

Signs of heat stroke are …

. Excessive Panting

. Excessive Drooling

. Brick Red or purple/blue gums

. Dry sticky gums and tongue

. Not wanting to stand or shaky when standing

If you notice any of these signs get your dog to a vet asap, call ahead so they can have the necessary equipment ready, time is of the essence with heat stroke.

In the meantime you can help by…

. Placing damp cold towels on the feet and head

. Move to a cool shaded area

. You can offer ice cubes for the dog to eat

. Provide plenty of water

Never Pour ice cold water over the dog this can cause blood vessels to constrict making it harder to cool down, you can also in some cases cause the body temperature to drop too low causing hypothermia.

To enjoy the summer with your pet you can do the following to keep them safe …

. Never leave them alone in a car during warm weather

. Walk your dog early morning and late evening when its cooler

. Provide shady areas and plenty of fresh water

. Do not allow your dog to lie in the sun for long periods of time

. White dogs or those with sparse amounts of hair on the ears and Muzzle should have a sunblock applied to prevent burning .

Now you are up to speed on Heat Stroke you can go and enjoy the summer safely with your dog !