After days of rain, July is finally starting to heat up with temperatures in parts of the UK set to reach highs of 31C.
And while that spells joy for sun worshippers, our furry friends may not be so thrilled by the sudden heat.
Dogs can suffer fatal heatstroke within minutes when temperatures soar in the summer months, so it’s important to keep them as cool as possible to reduce their risk of overheating.
And although it’s vital that pooches still get outside for their daily walks, taking them out in the searing heat may not be a good idea – so how do you know when the heat is too much?
Here is everything you need to know about caring for your dog during a heatwave, from safe temperatures for dog walks to tips on keeping your furry friend cool.
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When is it too hot to walk your dog?
According to VetsNow, it’s safe to take your dog for a walk in temperatures of up to 19C as long as they are well-hydrated.
However, your dog will be at risk of heatstroke in anything above 20C, with warm days between 20-23C receiving a risk rating of six out of 10.
Between 24-27C the risk goes up to nine out of 10, and anything over 32C is deemed a 10 out of 10 risk.
And while the temperature outside can be unbearable for a pooch, absolutely never leave your dog in a car – because when it’s 22C outside the temperatures in a car can reach a dangerous 47C within an hour.
If you see a dog in distress inside a car, official advice is to dial 999 immediately.
How to keep your dog cool
Paddling pools are a great way to help your dog cool down if you have access to a garden space, as well as garden sprinklers or even a damp towel they can lie on.
You should also encourage your dogs to stay in cool, shaded areas wherever possible, and make sure the pooch has plenty of access to water throughout the day.
If you are out and about with your pet carry a bottle of water and a bowl with you to ensure they stay hydrated.
Regular grooming can help your dog keep cool during the warmer summer months, as matting fur can trap heat.
What are the signs of heatstroke in dogs?
Much like humans, dogs can suffer heatstroke if they get too hot.
Signs you need to look out for include heavy panting and excessively drooling, while the RSPCA says dogs with heatstroke may appear lethargic, drowsy or uncoordinated, and could even collapse or vomit.
What to do if you think your dog has heatstroke
If you think your dog may be suffering from heatstroke, Blue Cross says you should move them to a cool place immediately.
Wet their coat with cool, but not freezing water, and also allow the dog to drink small amounts of water.
Continue pouring cool water over the dog until their breathing starts to settle, but not so much they start shivering, says the RSPCA.
Once the dog is cool, if they still appear to be struggling take them to your nearest vet as a matter of urgency.