Danger for Dogs in Hot Weather

Posted on the 19th May 2022

Every summer many dogs tragically suffer and die from heatstroke, caused by overheating, for example, during exercise or from being left in a car.

Dogs die in hot cars 

Each year we hear tragic reports of dogs who suffer and even die from being left in hot cars. Parked cars can reach unbearable temperatures very quickly, even when left in the shade or with a window open. If a dog’s temperature goes above 40°C, irreversible damage to the brain and internal organs can occur.  

If you spot a dog who has been left alone in a hot car, please call 999 immediately. Their life could depend on you.  

For more information, please read the latest advice from the RSPCA



Dog on walk

Dogs can die walking in hot weather 

In hot weather, your dog’s normal walk or ball game can be potentially dangerous and lead to heatstroke. Studies have found that most cases of heatstroke are triggered by exercise, such as walking, playing or running. However, heatstroke can occur even when a dog sits in the heat for too long. 

To avoid heatstroke: 

  • Walk your dog first thing in the morning, while it is still cool, and leave balls and toys at home. Consider skipping walks altogether during heatwaves.  
  • When you do go out for walks, take plenty of fresh water and a water bowl for your dog to drink from. 
  • Ensure they have access to shady areas while outside and ventilated rooms while indoors.  

Signs of heatstroke:  

  • Panting 
  • Drooling and foaming at the mouth 
  • Bright red gums 
  • Shaking 
  • Weakness and collapse 
  • Confusion 
  • Vomiting and diarrhoea 
  • Seizures 

 Dogs who receive early treatment are likely to make a full recovery. However, if treatment is delayed, organ damage and even death is more likely.  

If you notice any signs of heatstroke, contact your vet immediately and start first aid. For advice on giving first aid to dogs with heatstroke, visit the PDSA’s website.

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