WITH temperatures forecast to reach highs of 30C today, dog owners are being advised on how to keep their pets cool in the sun.

Clean water at all times and access to shaded areas are important, as well as planning walks with your dog during cooler times of the day, pet food brand Canagan said.

A dog’s paw pads are sensitive and so can easily burn on hot pavements. As a general rule, if it is too hot for your hand, then it is too hot for them to walk on. Try holding your hand on the floor surface for a minimum of seven seconds to absolutely make sure before you head out together. Signs of burnt paw pads can include: limping or refusal to walk; pads appearing darker in colour; blisters or redness of the pads, and parts of the paw pad missing.

Unlike humans, dogs barely sweat through their skin and so they rely on panting and releasing body heat through their paw pads and noses to regulate their body temperature and keep cool.

However, if diligent steps are not followed to keep your pet’s body temperature down, dogs can succumb to heatstroke very quickly. Symptoms of heatstroke in dogs can include: glazed, glassy eyes; excessive dribbling; vomiting; lack of coordination, and collapsing.

If you suspect your pet is suffering from heatstroke you will need to conduct doggy first aid, working to slowly reduce their body temperature. This must be done gradually and by following these steps, otherwise you may risk them going into shock.

  • Move your dog to a cool place - even better a place where there is a draft
  • Encourage them to drink small, but frequent, amounts of cool water (not freezing water)
  • Wet their coat with cool water
  • If your dog has collapsed, you must call your vet immediately

Canagan has also given dog owners advice about outdoor exercise in the summer.

They said if your dog is normally very active during their daily walks, playing fetch and running around, try and calm this down by playing less energetic games.

Before purchasing any pellets or domestic pesticides for your flower beds and lawns, read the labels carefully to make sure they are safe for your pet. We suggest always trying to go pesticide and poison free if you can, the hedgehogs and bees will thank you for it!

Swimming is excellent exercise for dogs and a great alternative to walking in the summer months and in keeping them cool.

Remember to be wary of tides at the beach and the currents in the river before you let your dog dive in. Drinking too much salt water, or waters filled with multiple species of algae, could make your dog sick so take plenty of fresh water in order to keep them hydrated and are not inclined to drink from their surroundings.