The 11 dog breeds most at risk of heatstroke

Dog owners are being reminded of the dangers of heat stroke amid the incoming heatwave. 

Dog owners are being reminded of the dangers of heatstroke amid the incoming heatwave. - Credit: Archant

Dog owners are being warned about the breeds which are more likely to suffer from potentially fatal heatstroke amid this week's heatwave.

With temperatures set to hit a sweltering 33C, it can be a dangerous time for our beloved pooches.

And for some breeds, the risk is even higher. 

Heatwave in Southwold PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND

A level three heatwave warning has been issued for the east of England. - Credit: charlotte Bond

Heatstroke happens when a dog's body can’t cope with an internal rise in temperature.

As their body temperature rises it damages their tissues and organs, making them unwell.

In severe cases, heatstroke can lead to organ failure and even death.

On the Kennel Club's website, it gives advice on preventing heatstroke and what to do if owners spot the signs. 

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It also gives a list of high-risk breeds. This includes:

  • Chow Chows
  • Bulldogs
  • French Bulldogs
  • Dogue de Bordeaux
  • Greyhounds
  • Boxers
  • English Springer Spaniels
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
  • Pugs
  • Golden Retrievers
  • Staffordshire Bull Terriers

Other dogs at risk include those that are overweight, flat-faced, more energetic, have long thick hair and dogs with health issues including heart or breathing problems. 

Signs of heatstroke can progress quickly. The things to look out for include:

  • Heavy panting, even when not exercising
  • Breathing problems, particularly in flat-faced dogs
  • Tiredness
  • Stiffness or an unwillingness to move
  • Dribbling
  • Confusion
  • Being sick, can be bloody
  • Upset stomach, can be bloody
  • Not walking in a straight line
  • Collapse
  • Fitting

If an owner suspects their dog has heatstroke they should contact their vet immediately while also attempting to cool them down. 

Cooling methods include stopping the dog from exercising, moving them out of the heat and into the shade, laying them on a cold floor, offering them small amounts of water to drink, carefully pouring water over their body and fanning them with cool air.