How do you know if your dog has heatstroke? What should you do if your canine is suffering from a heatstroke? The RSPCA explains

Summer is here and temperatures are high this weekend, so heatstroke is likely for both humans and their pet dogs - the RSPCA reveals the vital signs your pooch is suffering from a heatstroke.

According to the RSPCA, a poll shows that more than a third of people wouldn’t know what action to take if their dog was showing signs of heatstroke.

Just like with humans, heatstroke in dogs are very dangerous and can be fatal if action is not taken immediately.

The RSPCA says it could be a matter of ‘life or death’ if pet owners do not take extreme caution and learn the signs of heatstroke in animals ahead of the severe heatwave this weekend.

Rescue puppies drinking water in the sun. (Pic credit: Jenny Evans / Getty Images)

The animal welfare experts are issuing high alert that pet owners take every precaution possible to protect their pets, from avoiding walks and keeping them indoors during the searing heat, to making frozen treats to keep them hydrated.

Alongside the RSPCA warning, the animal welfare charity also launches its Cancel Out Cruelty summer appeal which highlights how, as the temperatures increase, so do calls to the charity’s hotline.

The charity sees a rise of animal cruelty in July and August with 245 reports of cruelty every day.

Esme Wheeler, dog welfare expert at the RSPCA, said: “The hot weather has gone from glorious to extreme, and we can’t stress enough how vital it is that pet owners take the situation seriously. That means limiting or skipping walks, only taking very essential car journeys, leaving water available at all times, and preparing damp, cold towels and mats and frozen treats.

“We’re still getting reports of dogs being left in cars, and seeing a lot of dogs being taken to busy outdoor events like festivals, shows and fetes, and to the beach. Don’t be that person who is dragging their panting dog along the pavement or plodding around a garden show. We can’t stress this enough - please leave them at home in the cool where they’ll be safe.

“Knowing how to try and prevent heatstroke, and also how to spot the signs of heatstroke in pets could be a matter of life and death, so we’re urging anyone with a pet -whether it’s a dog or cat, a rabbit or guinea pig, and even chickens, horses and exotic animals - to put aside some time today to read up and make plans.”

What are the signs that your pet has a heatstroke?

There are five signs to look out for as listed below:

- Excessive panting

- Unusual breathing noise

- Lethargy or change in behaviour

- Stumbling

- Blue or grey tinge to gums or tongue

Contact your vet immediately if you spot any of these signs in your dog.

What should you do if your dog is showing signs of heatstroke?

These are the urgent measures to take to save your dog from heatstroke:

- Stop them from exercising

- Move them into the shade or cool space immediately

- Offer water in small amounts

- Lay them in cool but not very cold water and/or pour it over them

- Place a soaked, cool towel over their side and replace if it becomes warm

- Speak to your vet immediately for advice on what to do next