Orchard Vet's Blog

Dogs die in hot conservatories too!


We had a reminder this week of just how much we need to think carefully about protecting our precious pets. We see a number of dogs with heat stroke every year and most people know not to leave dogs in cars on a hot day. You may also be aware that most dogs that overheat are affected simply by lying in the sun or being exercised. But you expect your home to be safe.

Sadly, three of our patients, all dogs, died suddenly this week. It was the hottest afternoon so far this year and our three beloved canine friends settled in their normal beds together in the conservatory while their master went out for a few hours.

The heat of the day was too much for them in that glass building and all three had passed away when the owner returned.

Dogs do not perspire as people do and have to rely on panting to cool themselves. It is important to plan ahead because dogs can die of heat stroke in just a few minutes.

Protecting your dog from heat stroke:

  • Find the coolest place in the house in hot weather, remember, glass roofs are particularly dangerous.

  • Don’t let dogs lie in the sun.

  • Don’t leave them in a car—even for a couple of minutes.

  • Only exercise at the cool parts of the day (early morning or later evening)

  • Give the minimum amount of exercise necessary to reduce production of body heat.

  • Fans don’t work for dogs because they don’t perspire, but you could spray them with water and then turn the fan on.

  • Keep your dog slim—fat pets are affected much more.

  • Panting causes water loss and can lead to dehydration so provide plenty of cool water, including when out walking. §