Taking your dog for a walk every day may seem routine, but when the temperatures start to climb, it’s important to keep in mind the dangers of heat stroke.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) has shared a difficult story to spread awareness, so that other dogs don’t suffer the same fate.
The RSPCA received a call about a dog that had died from heat stroke, despite being otherwise healthy. Its owners did not heed the warnings given by news outlets and animal rescues about the high temperatures for the week.
A family had taken their dog out for a walk just like any other day — except it wasn’t just like any other day. Sadly, the day ended in tragedy.
“This morning we have been informed that yesterday a local dog died of heat stroke after being taken on a walk at 9am when the temperature was 21 degrees (Celsius),” RSPCA’s Altrincham branch wrote on their Facebook page.
In Farenheit, that is only about 70 degrees — which is not that hot! The temperatures that week had been at record highs, however, and pet owners had been advised repeatedly to not go for walks unless necessary.
“The dog was 5 years old and otherwise fit and healthy,” the post continued.
“Despite lots of warnings about the heat we still see dogs being walked to the shops, on the school run, or as soon as owners get in from work. We do understand the crucial nature of walking your dog, however please bear in mind that walking in high temperatures can cause serious and irreversible damage, and in some cases death.”
The RSPCA’s warnings are given out for a very important reason: dogs can’t handle high heat and humidity. They aren’t made to handle that type of weather.
Dogs of all ages and conditions need owners to keep this in mind. A perfectly healthy puppy is just as much at risk for heat stroke as an elderly dog.
There is no dog that is “used to the heat” or “enjoys the heat” enough that these precautions can be ignored.
All pet owners need to now the signs of heat stroke, before it’s too late. Be on the lookout for warning signs like constant panting, an unsteady gait, sticky gums, and a dark tongue.
Signs of Heatstroke Include:
- Excessive panting
- Staggering while walking
- High body temperature
- Tongue that is dark or bright red
- Sticky or dry gums
- Bloody diarrhea or stool
Please be aware of these signs and don’t ignore them if they appear, hoping that your pet will just “push through” it.
“Yesterday the high for the day was at 4pm but this is when most of the dogs we spotted were out and about. It does not matter if your dog is white, young, not a bull breed or ‘used to the heat’. Please be mindful of their needs,” the RSPCA post stated.
If you see any of these signs, contact your local vet immediately. Get your dog to a shaded, cool space and offer them water. Try to get them cooled down quickly.
Letting your dog outside to do their business is obviously necessary — there’s no avoiding that. But engaging them in physical exercise on a hot day isn’t necessary.
Please share this warning with other pet owners who may not be taking the proper precautions. A simple text message or post on social media could potentially save an animal’s life.
Watch the video to learn more about heat stroke, and also get some tips on what to do if your pet ends up collapsing.
This story originally appeared at Goodfullness.