Dog news: Urgent heatstroke warning as warm weather threatens breeds that MUST coo | United Kingdom | news


It comes as forecasters have set a date for the hottest day of the year so far in Britain, with 25 degree heat expected to scorch the south east next week. Dog ownership has skyrocketed during the coronavirus pandemic, with many seeking four-legged company while cooped up at home.

The Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association estimates that there will be 13 million dogs in the UK this year – up a million from last year.

With more dogs and more dog owners, animal welfare organizations are concerned that so many new owners don’t have full knowledge of their pet’s needs.

In September, the Kennel Club – which organizes the Crufts dog show – found that two in five Britons had picked up “bad habits” during the pandemic.

Half of the dog owners who “click and collect” their dog during the pandemic without having met them first told the organization they would happily do so again.

READ MORE: Hot UK weather: Exact date Britain set for ‘hottest day of the year’

Meanwhile, 17 percent said they spent less than two hours researching before getting a dog.

While some breeds can tolerate heat, many breeds either hail from cold regions of the world and have adapted accordingly, or were bred to need to be kept cool.

These breeds tire quickly – and can even suffer from heat stroke – when exposed to high temperatures for long periods of time.

According to the Kennel Club, “During hot summer heat waves, your dog is at a higher risk of developing heat stroke.”

Breeds that are at a higher risk of heatstroke because of their flat faces include bulldogs, French mastiffs, and pugs.

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

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

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

But even large dogs — like boxers, golden retrievers, and Staffordshire bull terriers — are vulnerable to the heat because they need more intense exercise.

Around 75 per cent of cases of heat stroke in dogs in the UK are due to overexertion or exercise on a warm day, says the Kennel Club.

Long-haired breeds, including Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and English Springer Spaniels, can also overheat due to their own insulating coat.

Dogs are mostly comfortable when temperatures are between 15 and 25 degrees, but “some dogs can have trouble maintaining a low body temperature even at lower temperatures”.

Forecasters are predicting a warm cloud of air will drift from Europe towards the UK next Wednesday (May 11), with highs of 25 degrees forecast for London.

Jim Dale, Senior Forecaster at British Weather Services, told “The nearby continent is getting hot and we’re bringing a bit of that warmth to London which will give us the warmest day of the year yet next week.

“We get a frontal system that comes Tuesday through Wednesday. It’s sweeping over the north giving them some rain, but underneath is a warm cloud coming in from France and Spain.

“If we arrive on Wednesday, [we could see] 25 degrees in London. It continues in the following days.”


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