DOG owners are being warned of the dangers of the September heatwave.

Dogs Trust Evesham said there is no safe amount of time to leave dogs in hot cars during the ongoing hot weather with even a few minutes possibly being fatal.

Heatstroke can affect any type of dog, but certain breeds and types of dogs are at increased risk, including brachycephalic or flat-faced breeds such as English Bulldogs, Pugs and French Bulldogs, as well as older dogs, overweight dogs and those with pre-existing medical conditions.

If you see a dog in a car in distress, the charity advises people to call 999.

Symptoms of heatstroke in dogs include panting heavily, drooling excessively, appearing lethargic, drowsy or uncoordinated, vomiting and/or diarrhoea and collapsing. 

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Paula Boyden, veterinary director of Dogs Trust, said: "We have all been taken by surprise by this glorious late summer weather, but while the sunshine might be great for us, hot weather can cause problems for our canine friends.

"Dogs can't regulate their body heat in the same way as humans, so extra care needs to be taken, especially when exercising or travelling in the car.

"The good news is that steps can be taken to prevent our dogs from suffering such as only walking dogs in the coolest parts of the day, reducing their exercise, ensuring dogs have access to somewhere cool and shady to lay down and making sure they always have access to fresh water.

"And of course, never leave your dog alone in a hot car, not even for a short amount of time.
"If you do suspect your dog has heatstroke, start cooling them and call your vet immediately as it is vital they receive the care they need as soon as possible." 

If your dog has collapsed or is struggling to breathe, call your nearest vet immediately.

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If your dog has collapsed or is struggling to breathe, call your nearest vet immediately.

They can advise if your dog is suffering from heatstroke and what to do. While you contact your vet, here are some things you can do to help cool your dog down: 

  • Move the dog to a shaded and cool area
  • Place them in the breeze of a fan, or in an air-conditioned room
  • Offer them drinking water 
  • Start cooling them down by soaking their body with tap water, avoiding their face
  • Lie them on a cold wet towel or cooling mat, but don’t place a towel over them as this can raise their temperature.