RSPCA advice on when to walk your dog during the hot weather and the signs of dog heatstroke

Us humans love when the sun is shining and the weather is hot. But our four legged friends aren’t so keen on the heat – and who could blame them when they’re constantly wearing a fur coat?

Temperatures are forecasted to soar to a whopping 40C in Essex this week, so dog owners should be vigilant on their health of their pets during this heat. One of those things is walking them during the heat.

Dog owners should ensure that their pooches aren’t walked during these major temperatures or they could get heat stroke. Heat stroke could be fatal to dogs, with every year vets treat thousands of heat stroke cases.

READ MORE: RSPCA explain what to do if you see a dog locked in a car on a hot day as heatwave approaches

Most vets recommend that dogs aren’t exercised during the hottest parts of the day – between 8am and 8pm. According to VetsNow, heat stroke is a major risk for dogs for all dogs of all sizes and breeds in temperatures above 32C. Therefore, it is vital that dogs are not walked during these huge temperatures.

Walking your dog in hot weather

Dogs need exercise, even when it’s hot. The RSPCA recommend walking your dog in the morning or evening when it’s cooler to reduce the risk of heatstroke and burning their paws on the pavement. Burnt paws, like humans’ burnt skin, can be very painful, and as dogs have to walk on their pads, so you need to ensure the pavement is cool enough for them to walk on. You can try the palm test, by placing your palm on the ground, if you cannot handle the heat for 5 seconds, neither can your dog, so they shouldn’t be walked on the hot pavement.

Signs of burned pads

Try the 5-second test – if it’s too hot for your hands, it’s too hot for paws!

You can also look out for:

  • Limping or refusing to walk
  • Licking or chewing at the feet
  • Pads darker in colour
  • Missing part of pad
  • Blisters or redness

Signs of heatstroke

  • Heavy panting and difficulty breathing
  • Excessively drooling
  • The dog appears lethargic, drowsy or uncoordinated
  • Collapsed or vomiting

If you suspect your dog has the signs of heat stroke you must act quickly.

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