Dogs Trust has urged dog owners to only walk their pets “very early or after sunset” amid our current spell of ever soaring temperatures.
The dog welfare charity says that missing the odd walk isn’t fatal for dogs but walking in hot conditions could be.
“Heatstroke is a real danger for our furry friends as they can’t regulate their body temperature the same way as we can and so it’s important to take preventative steps to ensure your dog stays cool in hot weather.”
The charity has also asked members of the public to never leave their dog alone in a car, no matter what the weather is like.
“Even just a few minutes can prove fatal to them. On a 22-degree Celsius day, the temperature inside your car can rise by 11 degrees in just ten minutes. Opening a window or parking in the shade does very little to offset this.
“Try to exercise your dog in the cooler parts of the day such as early in the morning or late in the evening when the sun isn’t so hot. Make sure not to over-do it either,” advises the dog charity.
“It’s also important to remember the five-second test. Press your hand down on to the tarmac for five-seconds – if it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws.”
Pet owners are also advised to bring plenty of fresh water for their dogs to drink when they are exercising them.
“Pop-up transportable bowls are great for when you’re out and about with your pooch.
“Make sure your dog has a constant supply of water to drink at home too. Place a few water bowls in different locations around the house and make sure there’s one outside in the shade too.
“Another great way to make sure your dog stays hydrated is by freezing some of their favourite toys in water or making an ice-lick with frozen treats inside. This will encourage them to lick the ice which will help to hydrate them.
“Make sure your dog always has a nice, shaded spot both indoors and outdoors where they can escape the heat of the sun. On especially hot days, you can put out a damp towel for them to lie on to keep them even cooler.
“Make sure to replace or rewet it often though, as it can dry out quickly. Never place a damp towel over a dog as it could actually cause their temperature to rise.”
Avoid car journeys
The charity added that it can be a good idea to trim back the fur of hairy dogs.
“If possible also avoid long car journeys with your dog, especially during the hottest parts of the day and try to avoid busy roads where you might get stuck in traffic. You can use a car sunblind to provide your dog with some shade while you’re driving. Don’t forget to stop for water and toilet breaks too.
“When it comes to sun safety, don’t forget that just like humans, dogs can get sunburned too, so try to limit the amount of sun exposure they’re getting. Be especially careful with dogs that have white or very thin fur particularly around the ear tips and bridge of their nose.
“If you’re considering using sunscreen on your dog, always seek the advice of a registered vet beforehand, even if it’s labelled at Pet-Safe or Dog-Friendly”.