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Heatstroke, Sunburn & Hot Tarmac All Affect Your Pets

 Protect your pet from harm

Protecting Your Pet – Summer Special 

With the current heatwave seemingly never ending, it is important to consider your dogs comfort and safety in the heat – they are just as susceptible to it as us.

Kennel cough

Contrary to what its name suggests, dogs don’t have to stay in kennels to catch kennel cough! Kennel cough is typically spread in areas where many dogs interact like parks. With the warmer weather, more dogs will be out and about on walks, and this increases the risk of spreading this highly contagious disease. To reduce the risk of your dog catching kennel cough, book an appointment to vaccinate your dog now by phoning 01626 835 002.


Snakes like to bask on warm rocks, particularly on moorland and dunes, and may be out and about even on overcast days. The European Adder is venomous, and dogs can get bitten when rooting in the undergrowth, causing rapid swelling and pain in the affected area as well as lethargy. If you think your dog has been bitten, please seek veterinary attention immediately.

  • Cooling gel coat
  • Non-spill water bowl

Hot cars

Please don’t leave your dog in the car, even for short periods. The car is like a greenhouse and temperatures can soar in a matter of minutes. In the extreme heat, dogs can quickly succumb to heat exhaustion, heatstroke and death.

Cars will also get hot during journeys. To keep your pets cool when on the move, make sure you factor in regular breaks into the journey and consider the following methods to keep your dog cool:

  • Cooling mats
  • Cooling blankets

Dogs can succumb to heatstroke quickly as they cannot sweat in the same way we can. A car can become an oven very quickly, even with windows open. Do not leave your dog in a car fro even a single moment.


If your pet has any pink skin or a white hair coat, they will be particularly at risk of developing sunburn, which can lead to serious health problems such as ulceration or skin cancers. Cats’ ears and noses are particularly vulnerable. It’s important to regularly apply animal-safe sun cream to sensitive areas to reduce the risk of skin cancers. Look out for reddened skin and scabs, as well as lumps and bumps on sensitive pink areas.


Heatstroke is incredibly dangerous for your dog and can result in death. All dogs are prone to heatstroke as they rely on panting to cool down, but those particularly at risk include:

  • Brachycephalic breeds (short snouts/flat faces)
  • Thick coated breeds
  • Large breeds
  • Overweight dogs
  • Dogs with known health problems (eg. heart disease)

Signs of heatstroke include:

  • Heavier panting
  • Barking/whining/agitation
  • Excessive thirst or drooling
  • Increased heart rate
  • Dark (red/purple) gums or tongue
  • Glassy eyes
  • Staggering/collapse/unconsciousness
  • Seizures

If you are concerned your dog has heatstroke, you MUST visit your vet immediately for life saving treatment.

Hot tarmac

As we wear shoes, it is easy to forget that pavements and sand can get incredibly hot during the summer months. Before walking your pet, take the time to check the temperature of the ground with the back of your hand. If it is too hot for you to leave your hand on for 15 seconds, it is too hot for your pet to walk on! It is best to let your dog walk on grass wherever possible, and on hot days, stick to early morning and late evening walks when the temperature is coolest.

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Source Details

AJ Steer, Molecare Vets

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