Heatwave Alert

Heatwave Alert: American dog owners urged to take further precautions

provided by Meghan Blumsum

Temperatures have soared to an all-time high in the United States with nearly 100 million Americans placed under heat alerts as some states hit 128 degrees. The humidity will make the heat unbearable and during conditions like this, it is important that not only ourselves but our pets are cared for appropriately.

In this year alone, 60 dogs have reportedly suffered heat-related deaths, whilst another 203 have been rescued from heat complications. With record breaking temperatures, the experts at Puppy Hero wanted to outline the most typical risks to our canine friends throughout Summer. In order to do this, they examined a number of threats and determined which are the most dangerous, and how to keep dogs safe this season.

We really hope you find this release useful. Go to this link  https://puppyhero.com/ who commissioned the data.

Heatwave risks for your dog this Summer:

  1. Heat stroke 

A common summer problem for dogs is heatstroke. It is considered a life-threatening condition which can affect dogs regardless of age, breed, and gender. In extreme weather conditions it can take as little as 30 minutes for heatstroke to develop and if they lose the ability to regulate their body temperature and struggle to get rid of excess heat through sweating, it will then become difficult to lose the heat through their skin.

Although dog walking is an everyday essential, the safe temperature  to walk your dog is up to 19 degrees celsius, but if you’re unsure of whether it is in fact too hot for a little exercise, try touching the pavement with your hand; if it feels hot to you, keep you pet inside as it will definitely feel too hot for your pooches paws. It is best to walk your dog in the morning or late evening when it is cooler.

Symptoms: Heavy panting, breathing difficulties, excessive drooling, lethargy, drowsiness, lack of coordination, collapsing or vomiting.

Resolution: If your dog is experiencing heat exhaustion, transfer them to a shaded spot and give them a tiny amount of cool water to drink until their breathing improves. While you are cooling them off, make sure they are not shivering and avoid pouring water over their heads to prevent drowning. After that, transport them to a VET for medical care.

  1. Swimming Pools, Seas, Rivers and Lakes 

Although your dog might like to take a dip, open water is particularly dangerous due to the depth and the strong currents, this could cause drowning. Try to gradually introduce them to different levels of water rather than beginning with the deep end.

It is also important to keep an eye out for blue-green algae, these particularly are more common after a heat wave and the blooms produce harmful toxins that can stop a dog’s liver from properly functioning within 30-60 minutes. They are commonly found in non-flowing, fresh water such as lakes, ponds and rivers.

Symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhoea, seizures, excessive drooling, legarthy, panting or difficulty walking.

Resolution: Your VET may induce vomiting to remove the algae in the stomach or offer oral activated charcoal to absorb the toxins. Your pet’s recovery can be slow and often the poisoning will leave liver damage.

  1. Sunburn

Depending on the breed and colour of your dog, they may be susceptible to sunburn. White dogs have fair skin under their fur and dogs with naturally thin hair or are hairless are all at risk for sunburn and worse, skin cancer. It is advised that our pooches get a minimum of 20 to 40 minutes of direct sunlight a day due to the health benefits but it is key to avoid sunburn.

Symptoms: Red skin, tender skin, hair loss, dry and cracked or curled dog ear edges.

Resolution: Once you remove your dog from being in the sun, to reduce the sunburn use a cool compress on the affected areas. Wet, cool towels will be soothing on their skin or you can use aloe vera gel to hydrate the burnt skin and in most cases this could be the only necessary treatment. In more serious cases, cortisone cream can reduce the inflammation but always check with a VET beforehand.

  1. Barbecues 

Everyone’s favourite thing to do in a Summer heatwave is to have a barbecue, but it is vital that your dog doesn’t sneak a tasty treat away. Certain food and drinks can be hazardous and toxic to our pets, typically due to the high volume of ingredients such as salt and sugar. But other foods such as corn on the cob, raw garlic, beer and wine, plus many more can make our furry friends fall sick.

As many dog owners know, these friendly animals often try to sneak away extra food if it is in reach to them. One big barbecue necessity that is extremely harmful is uncooked meat, but this carries bacteria called salmonella and listeria which can harm both dogs and humans if not handled carefully. The best thing to do during a barbecue is make sure anything a dog can consume is high on a counter that is inaccessible to them.

Symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhoea, depression, seizures, loss of appetite or collapsing.

Resolution: Make a note of what your pooch has eaten, keep any labels or information about the product as this can assist vets further in giving the correct treatment. All treatment will be specific to the poison so avoid at-home remedies as these can be dangerous or worsen your dog’s condition. Instead, immediately take them to a VET clinic.

Mustafa Tshash, Pet Behaviour Specialist and Co-founder of Howto-pets.com commented on how the warmer months can affect dogs:

“During the summer months, we often notice a common theme in dogs’ behaviour and well-being. Some dogs may experience increased lethargy or restlessness, heat-intolerant breeds could become snappish and need more space which results in them resting more during the hotter parts of the day. Their appetite may also decrease due to heat, decreased activity levels, or other factors – as long as your dog is maintaining a healthy weight and shows no signs of illness, then eating less is not a cause for concern unless it is severe or persistent.

I have encountered all different unexpected situations while caring for dogs such as drowning from them falling into lakes, pools or other bodies of water. BBQ gatherings are extremely popular during summer but this gives dogs access to harmful foods or possible burns before the grill. Bee or insect stings are common to dogs and in the warmer months dogs are more prone to escape or get lost, especially if they become anxious or frightened – ensure your dog has proper identification such as microchips or ID tags and to keep them in a secure and calming environment during stressful situations.”


  1. Puppy Hero wanted to uncover the most common dangers for your dog this Summer.
  2. To do this, they identified which summer dangers are a risk to dogs through articles such as pdsa, Avonvets and ChronicleLive to find the best results for dog owners this Summer.
  3. Puppy Hero then researched the dangers mentioned, particularly the effect they can have on the dog as well as what to do as an alternative, to prevent this harm in order to conclude which summer time risks are the most harmful to dogs.
  4. All data was collected on 04/07/2023 and is accurate as of then, but subject to change.

This article was provided by Meghan who is a representative from Journalistic.org. If you have any question feel free to email her at Meghan@journalistic.org

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