As temperatures continue to rise, the British Veterinary Association (BVA) has once again reminded dog owners of the dangers of heatstroke.

Every time that the weather gets hot, vets witness dogs arriving in their practices suffering from heatstroke. Sadly, every year dogs die because they overheat.

Sometimes it is because they have been left in the car. Often, the owner reasons that they will not be long. They leave the windows open and water in the car, not realising that on hot days that is not enough and a dog can overheat in minutes.

Dogs cool down through their paws and tongue. If they are left in a confined space on a hot day, there is no way that this cooling process can keep pace with the dog’s rising body temperature.

Robin Hargreaves, president of the BVA, said:

“Dogs are also vulnerable to heatstroke while out with their owners. I see animals in my practice every summer that have overheated while out walking or exercising.”

He also reminded owners of the need to keep a close eye on their dog during hot weather. This is because the animal will not realise that it is getting too hot until they actually begin to suffer. The best way to avoid heatstroke is not to walk dogs during the heat of the day.

On hot days, they need access to shade, good ventilation and water. Should a dog begin to pant heavily, it needs to be cooled down quickly. The BVA’s advice is that if the pooch does not respond to such measures, to take them to a vet straight away.