How to keep dogs cool in a heatwave and signs of heatstroke as Leeds issued red weather warning

If you’re suffering in this hot weather, just imagine how your dog must feel!

Tuesday, 19th July 2022, 4:45 am

As Leeds experiences some of its hottest temperatures on record and is issued a red weather warning for heat, pet owners have been scrambling for hints and tips on how to keep their furry friends cool.

Dogs, especially those with thick fur coats, do not cope well with hot weather without assistance. Huskies will especially struggle, as they’re acclimatised to colder weather.

Thankfully, there’s plenty of measures you can can take for them to make sure they’re as comfortable as possible and avoid heatstroke.

How can I help my dog with the hot weather?

Unlike cats, dogs don’t mind getting wet so much. Don’t fret to give them a cold bath or shower if they’re overheating.

The RSPCA said skipping walks during extreme weather shouldn’t cause your dog any problems, rather than risking heat stroke. However if pet owners insist on exercising their dog, they are advised to keep their pet calm and walk slowly on the lead.

Doing this in the very early morning or late evening when temperatures are cooler is advisable.

Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that your dog will be thirsty throughout the day - so be sure that they’ve always got clean water available. If you have an older dog, consider leaving several water bowls around the house, so they don’t have to walk as far.

If you can, it’s a good idea to freeze your dog’s food before giving it to them. Much like we might eat an ice lolly to cool down, the same strategy will work for a dog.

During the summer, both dogs and cats will start moulting their fur. While they can remove it themselves, it’s a good idea to help them out by brushing them regularly. Any excess fur removed will keep them just that bit cooler in the heatwave.

What are the signs of heat stroke in dogs?

According to Vetsnow, there are 11 signs of heat stroke in dogs, ranging from faster panting and excessive drooling, to seizures and unconsciousness.

  1. Faster, heavier panting
  2. Barking, whining or signs of agitation
  3. Excessive thirst
  4. Excessive drooling
  5. Increased pulse and heartbeat
  6. Dark-coloured (red or purple) gums or tongue
  7. Glassy eyes
  8. Elevated body temperature of 40ºC (104ºF) and up
  9. Staggering, weakness or collapse
  10. Seizures
  11. Unconsciousness