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Warning issued to dog owners as weather set to heat up

Overweight, older or flat-faced dogs such as pugs are more at risk of getting heatstroke in the fine weather.

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Oscar the Husky and Canine Carer Niamh Mc Grath (Dogs Trust Ireland/PA)

Oscar the Husky and Canine Carer Niamh Mc Grath (Dogs Trust Ireland/PA)

Oscar the Husky and Canine Carer Niamh Mc Grath (Dogs Trust Ireland/PA)

Pet owners have been urged to keep an eye on their dogs as temperatures are set to rise this week.

Forecaster Met Eireann said temperatures are set to reach the mid-20s this week, and the sunny conditions will persist into the Bank Holiday weekend.

Dogs Trust Ireland has asked owners to be extra vigilant as people spend more and more time in their back gardens due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The charity warned that older, overweight or flat-faced dogs such as pugs are more at risk of getting heatstroke.

Signs of heatstroke in dogs include excessive panting, red gums and tongue, heavy salivation, vomiting or diarrhoea, lack of co-ordination or loss of consciousness.

Campaigns manager with Dogs Trust Ireland Deborah Martin said: “This summer, we are appealing to owners to walk their dogs at cooler times of the day such as early morning and late evening as dogs can’t cool themselves down the same way as humans can.”

She said: “Just a few minutes in a hot car can be fatal to your dog with temperatures inside rising from 22 to 33 degrees in just 10 minutes.

“Even if the car is parked in the shade and the windows are left down, it does very little to keep the car cool. Dogs should never be left alone in a car, even a few minutes can prove fatal.”

Ms Martin advises pet owners to take water with them if they are bringing their dog for a walk but to avoid taking them out if it is too hot.

She said: “If you think it’s too warm to walk your dog, don’t bring them out, a missed walk or two is much better than risking potentially fatal heatstroke for your dog.

“If your dog loves to get their paws wet, consider a paddling pool to keep them cool and if out and about near water, please keep your dog on a long lead so you can allow them the freedom to swim but you can keep control of the situation.

“When your dog is at home, make sure they have a shaded spot they can lie down in, both indoors and outdoors.”

PA