A VET has warned dog owners about the devastating impact of walking your dog during a heatwave.
Whilst many of us love to make the most of the scorching sunshine, a vet in Reading explained it can be fatal to dogs if they overheat in the 30C temperatures right now.
Vets4Pets in Tilehurst warned owners about taking their dogs out during the heatwave and leaving them in hot cars.
It comes after the Met Office issued an amber weather warning for extreme heat in the UK this week.
Sophia Bofch, Reading veterinarian at Vets4Pets, shared her tips on how to keep your dogs cool in the heat.
She said: “The main advice is to be out of the sun and out of the heat. Ideally the best time to walk your dog is early morning and late in the evening. There is no need to walk your dog for a long time as they can go without a walk and the risks are much greater outside – so adjust your walking routine.
“Go for a short walk on the lead with no running and keep them rested. Then keep dogs in a cool room, ideally with a fan or an air con at home or you can use cool damp towels.
“Don’t give them anything frozen or ice water as it can send their body into a shock just like humans. You have to gradually bring their temperature down and you need to keep them hydrated by offering water throughout the day and putting extra water in wet foods or dry biscuits to up their intake of water.”
Some dog owners swear by cooling mats and cooling coats to keep their loveable pets from overheating.
However, Sophia thinks they are unnecessary and can provide more harm than good.
She said: “Dogs don’t evaporate through their coats, they do it through their mouth by panting and paws. Ideally, I wouldn’t recommend it because cooling mats can be toxic if a naughty dog rips the contents of it open.
“You also have to think when they get hot, they have a whole layer of fur so they are twice as hot as you so having the cooling coat on might be helpful for a bit but it could get quite warm if left on for too long.”