Here is when it's too hot to walk your dog and how to keep them cool in the summer

We have all been desperate for the weather to heat up and the lashings of rain we experienced throughout May and June to dry up. 

But while humans love to sun ourselves, splash around at the beach and polish the day off a barbecue and ice cream, our furry companions are less keen. 

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Dogs often struggle to regulate their temperature in the sunshine and exposing them to hot temperatures can prove fatal. 

If you are considering whether it is too hot to take your dog for a walk, you will need to consider the temperature, conditions and how long a walk you are planning to take them on. 

Here’s what you need to know about dog walking in hot temperatures. 

When is it too hot to walk your dog?

The first thing to consider when taking your dog for a walk in ny heat is to ensure they are well hydrated and you have water with you on the walk. 

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According to VetsNow, it’s safe to take your dog for a walk in temperatures of up to 19C, provided they are well hydrated. 

Temperatures ranging from 20-23C pose some risk of your dog experiencing heat stroke, approximately six out of 10. 

Between 24-27C the risk goes up to nine out of 10, and anything over 32C is deemed a 10 out of 10 risk. It would not be advisable to take your dog out in anything above 24C, regardless of their hydration levels. 

It is also never advisable to leave your dog in the car, even if the temperature is in the low 20s. When it's 22C outside the temperatures in a car can reach a dangerous 47C within an hour.

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What else should you consider when deciding whether to walk a dog? 

Dogs are similar to humans in that their age, size and health conditions also affect their tolerance to heat. 

Older and younger dogs could find it difficult to regulate their body temperature and are therefore more at risk of heat stroke. 

If a dog has a thick coat, it is best advised to keep them groomed and their coat cut short in the summertime. 

The breed of dog also contributes to their risk of overheating, even if they are short haired. 

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Overweight dogs will also find it difficult to keep cool as they are insulated with extra layers of fat. 

How to keep your dog cool

Paddling pools or rivers are a good option for allowing your dog to take a dip if they are feeling too hot. 

You should not submerge your dog in water as it can actually be counterproductive, locking the water under their fur and holding heat in. 

One of the best ways to keep your dog cool is to ensure there is plenty of shaded areas, such as keeping them indoors or taking them a forest walk where they are sheltered from the sun. 

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If you are out and about with your pet, carry a bottle of water and a bowl with you to ensure they stay hydrated.

Signs of heatstroke in a dog

Following the above advice is crucial to keeping man’s best friend from struggling in the heat. 

However, there are some signs to look out for which could indicate your dog is under pressure or at risk of heat stroke. 

The RSPCA advise to look out for your dog looking lethargic, drowsy or uncoordinated, dogs could even collapse or vomit.

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Heavy panting and excessively drooling are also indicative of heat stroke, as dogs naturally pant as a means of taking short quick breaths to cool themselves down. 

If you think your dog may be suffering from heatstroke, Blue Cross advises taking them to a shaded area immediately, providing them with water and bathing them in cool water (not ice cold). 

The dog should start to settle and you should then keep an eye out for any vomiting or shortness of breath afterwards. 

If you are concerned about a fatal heatstroke, take your dog to a vet immediately.

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