With temperatures in the 30s this week, people are still walking dogs and some are even allowing dogs to run after balls or forcing them to run alongside as they puff their way along red-hot tarmac.
Most owners are sensible and take better care of their dogs, but it may still come as a shock to realise that dogs have died of heat-related illness in the UK in far lower temperatures.
New research undertaken on a sample of 1,222 dogs from veterinary records found that, in 2006, dogs became ill and died in the UK due to overheating in every month of the year, with cases peaking in July.
Just under 75% of the dogs became over heated due to over-exertion. 5.2% were due to being left in a hot car and 12.9% in another environment that was too hot.
Young male dogs had greater odds of exertional heat‐related illness. Older dogs and dogs with compromised breathing had the greatest odds of environmental heat‐related illness. Brachycephalic dogs had greater odds of all types of heat‐related illness than mesocephalic dogs. Obesity is a significant risk factor in heat-related death; many brachycephalic dogs are also obese, and the extreme prevalence of heart disease in breeds such as Cavalier King Charles spaniels also compromises breathing and cooling. Dogs are just as likely to die from heat-related over-exertion as being left in a hot car.
Meanwhile, the Veterinary Poisons Information Service warns that vets have seen dogs suffering from gut obstruction due to chewing and ingesting cool mats.
Keep your dog cool and keep your dog safe.