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Dog owners hit with warning as 26C heatwave makes its way to Britain

Dog owners have been urged to keep an eye on their pets during the summer months as they could suffer from heatstroke if they are exposed to high temperatures for long periods of time

Flat-faced dogs are twice as likely to develop heatstroke

Dog owners are being warned about the dangers certain breeds face in the summer months.

It comes after meteorologists predicted the mercury reaching as high as 26C in parts of the country this week.

Although not all of the UK is expected to bask in the sun this week, next week looks set to be a scorcher across the entire country.

For dog owners, the warm weather can cause problems with their pets, especially if there is nothing in place to quickly help cool down their four-legged friend.

While some breeds are capable of handling hot weather, many breeds have either originated from cold regions of the world and have adapted accordingly, or have been bred in a way that means they must be kept cool.

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Dogs could suffer from heatstroke if they are exposed to high temperatures for too long


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These breeds will quickly tire – and could even suffer from heatstroke – if they are exposed to high temperatures over an extended period of time, reports The Express.

According to the Kennel Club, “during hot summer heatwaves your dog is more at risk of developing heatstroke”.

While any dog can develop heatstroke, those which are typically larger, overweight or have a thick coat or flat face are more at risk.

It explains: “Dogs are not as good at dealing with high temperatures as us and can only sweat to cool down on areas not covered by fur, such as their paws and nose.

“When they are hot, dogs mostly cool down by panting, but sometimes this just isn’t enough. As their body temperature rises it damages their tissues and organs, making them unwell.

“In severe cases, heatstroke can cause their organs to fail and can lead to death.” The Kennel Club states that around one in seven cases of heatstroke treated by vets ends with the dog dying.

Dogs can only sweat from areas not covered by fur, such as their paws and nose


Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Breeds that are at a greater risk of heatstroke include bulldogs, French mastiffs and pugs, owing to their flat faces.

The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says that “flat-faced dog breeds have more difficulty taking in enough air to cool themselves down by panting.

“Flat-faced dogs such as pugs, Boston terriers, French bulldogs, English bulldogs and shih tzus are more sensitive to heat because they suffer from brachycephalic airway syndrome (BAS).”

A 2020 study in Nature found that flat-faced dogs in the UK were twice as likely to develop heatstroke than other dog breeds.

However, large dogs – such as boxers, golden retrievers and Staffordshire bull terriers – are also susceptible to the heat as they require more intensive exercise.

Around 75 percent of cases of heatstroke among dogs in the UK are due to over-exercise, or exercising on a warm day, the Kennel Club says.

Meanwhile, breeds with long hair, including cavalier King Charles spaniels and English springer spaniels, can also overheat from their own insulating fur.

Dogs are said to be mostly comfortable when temperatures range between 15 and 25 degrees, but “some dogs may struggle to maintain a low body temperature, even in lower temperatures”.

Warm plumes of air started moving towards the UK from Europe on Wednesday, when temperatures of 26C were predicted for London.

Expecting this to continue into the weekend Jim Dale, senior forecast at British Weather Services, said: “The near continent is getting hot and we’re getting a little bit of that warmth into London that will give us the warmest day of the year so far next week.

“It rides up over the north, giving them some rain, but underneath that, you’ve got a warm plume moving up from France and Spain.”

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