Top tips for keeping your dog safe during the heatwave

Following a weekend of scorching temperatures across the UK and a Met Office warning that temperatures could hit record levels today and tomorrow, it’s vital to keep your pooches safe from the sun during the heatwave.

Next has partnered with Veterinary Physiotherapist, Tilly Wild, to share some expert tips below on keeping your four-legged friends safe during a heatwave.

How to spot signs of heatstroke in dogs

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Heatstroke is a serious illness that develops when a dog is too hot and struggles to lower their temperature. While heatstroke can affect any breed, or age of dog, it’s vital that we keep our dogs cool in the summer in order to prevent this. Tilly adds: “Heatstroke is potentially fatal if not caught quick enough. Signs include excessive panting, drooling, bright red gums, shaking, vomiting and collapse in severe cases.”

Keep your dog cool in a heatwave with these tips.

How to prevent heatstroke in dogs

Our dogs can still enjoy spending time with us in the glorious weather, but it’s important we’re taking the right steps to ensure they’re kept cool, especially when the temperature begins to exceed 19 degrees.

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Tilly explains: “Prevent heatstroke by avoiding walking your dog during the hottest part of the day. Also ensure they have access to shade and water when playing in the garden, and that pavements are not too hot (check with your hand) and avoid travelling in the car on hot days.”

Avoid using ice cold water in a paddling pool

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It’s important to supervise your dog in the sun to ensure you can spot any signs of concern, that may indicate when they’re too hot. While Tilly recommends using a paddling pool to help your dog stay cool in the heat, she explains why the water should always be temperature checked first.

“Providing cool mats and paddling pools is a great way to keep your dog cool in the summer whilst still being able to enjoy the sunshine. But it’s important to supervise and check the water in paddling pools isn’t ice cold - cool or room temperature is ideal to prevent shock.”

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Invest in a cool mat to help older dogs

Cool mats are a great way to help dogs maintain a healthy temperature in the hot sun. For older dogs who may suffer from arthritis, Tilly explains why a cooling mat can do more than just help them beat the heat.

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“Cool mats are also useful for older dogs with arthritis, who may find that their painful joints become warm or inflamed during the hotter months. A cool mat can help reduce inflammation and keep them comfortable.”

Tilly recommends checking out the PDSA website for further advice.

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To help combat the extreme heat, Next is selling a paddling pool made especially for dogs. The Fold-away Dog Paddling Pool by Mountain Warehouse retails at £60 and aims to help our four-legged friends beat the heat during the warmer months. Made from durable, tear-resistant material, the pool is easily designed to fold away, and is suitable for small to medium sized dogs.