As temperatures rise after a brief respite, pet owners are being warned to take extra care of their pets in the hot weather after almost half of UK vets reported animals being affected by heat-related conditions last summer, according to new figures from the British Veterinary Association (BVA).
Dogs may particularly struggle to stay cool in these high temperatures and humid conditions since, unlike humans, they are unable to cool down quickly through sweating, rendering them vulnerable to overheating. Brachycephalic breeds such as French bulldogs and pugs are even more at risk, as their short noses can make breathing properly difficult, and therefore cooling down much harder.
According to BVA’s Voice of the Veterinary Profession survey, which polled over 1,000 vets across the UK, significantly more vets reported treating animals for heat-related conditions last summer compared to 2015. 50% of companion animal vets had seen an average of five cases of dogs requiring treatment – with one in four vets seeing as many as eight cases of animals in need of treatment for heat-related conditions over the course of the summer.
BVA president Gudrun Ravetz said: “With hot weather looking set to stay for a while, we’re advising pet owners to take some simple steps to ensure that their furry friends stay happy and healthy this summer. Even temperatures in the mid-teens can prove uncomfortable for animals, especially if they are kept in direct sunlight without any shade.”