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How to keep your pets cool when the weather gets hot!

  • Always keep your pet out of the sunshine where possible.
  • Never leave your pet unattended in your car, even if the window is left open.
  • Always ensure your pet has a good supply of water at all times.
  • If your dog lives outside, ensure they have a shaded area to go to.
  • Never walk your dog in the middle of the day when the sun is at its hottest. Walk them either first thing in a morning or late in the evening and let them do gentle exercise  only.
  • Make sure your pets’ fur is clear of excess hair, especially with long-haired breeds. Groom them on a regular basis or take them to the doggy salon!
  • Make sure light coloured dogs and cats have sun cream applied to noses and ear tips; they too can get skin cancer.
  • When dogs get hot they pant to try and reduce their body temperature as they cannot sweat effectively enough to be able to cool down.  If they become too hot they can suffer from heatstroke.
  • Some types of dogs will be more prone to getting heatstroke, for example dogs with short noses (e.g. Pugs), long-haired dogs, very old or young dogs and overweight dogs.


Signs of Heatstroke

  • Panting heavily
  • Lethargy followed by collapse
  • Salivating profusely
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhoea
  • Rapid heart-rate
  • Very red gums/tongue
  • Loss of conciousness, leading to death if left un-noticed and untreated

First Aid for Heatstroke  - Heatstroke can be fatal – always treat as an emergency.


  • If your dog shows any signs of heatstroke quickly remove them from the heatsource (e.g. hot car) to a cool area.
  • Your dog will need to have their body temperature lowered immediately, but gradually so as to avoid shock. This should be done by:
  • Immediately dousing your dog with COOL water. This can be done by putting your dog in the shower and turning the water onto a cool setting. You can also place cool, damp towels over their body, head and foot pads (they lose heat through their feet).
  • Do not use ice or cold water. This can cause the blood vessels to shrink which means the body core will be unable to cool down.
  • Give your dog small amounts of cool water to drink.


Once you have started to cool your dog down, or if these steps are not possible, ring your vet and take him/her down to the surgery immediately.


If the heatstroke is not resolved quickly, permanent damage will be done to vital organs (brain/kidneys/liver/heart) or worse- your dog may die

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