Dog warning: Owners told to urgent check pets noses as they swelter in boiling heat

Pooch Protector sun cream shields dogs from sunburn

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Experts have issued an urgent warning about the dangers of hot weather impacting animals ahead of the 30C scorcher to come. Vets ask that Britons check their pooches’ noses after spending time outside.

While a dry nose isn’t always a cause for concern, owners have been urged to keep an eye during the summer months as it could be a sign of dehydration or sunburn.

St Francis Veterinary Hospital issued a statement encouraging owners to buy dog-safe suncream for their furry companions.

It said dog breeds that tend to have “thin, light coats and pink or pale noses, paw pads, eyelids, and ears” are the most likely to burn in the sun.

The statement read: “If your pooch gets sunburn, it’ll cause his nose to dry out and possibly crack, depending on the severity.

“If you own one of these thin-skinned breeds, be sure to invest in dog-safe sunscreen for those long outdoor play days.”

Dogs can also get dry noses through dehydration, especially after strenuous exercise on warm days.

However, a dry nose isn’t always a cause for concern as older dogs, certain breeds and those with allergies can regularly have dry noses while still being healthy.

St Francis Veterinary Hospital said: “Dogs have a highly developed sense of smell that they depend on to make sense of the world. Just like any other working machine, a dog’s nose needs lubrication to work properly because scent particles adhere to moist surfaces much more efficiently.

“That lubrication generally comes from mucus-producing glands that provide the needed moisture. It also produces a clear watery fluid that interestingly enough, regulates Fido’s body temperature. It’s like a built-in cooling system that keeps a dry cracking dog nose at bay.

“You may also notice that your dog licks his (or her) nose consistently. They do this to clean it from dirt, debris, or other particles. It’s also a means to interpret scent particles through taste.

“So, when a dog’s nose is dry and warm, it’s interpreted by us humans as a sign that something is wrong. While a dry dog nose can mean that something’s wrong, there are several other common and non-health related reasons for it.”

As well as checking dogs’ noses, experts also warn owners to ensure their pet’s paws are safe in the heat.

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Kirsten Dillon, animal behaviourist and canine specialist, suggested owners should check ground temperatures for 20 seconds before they start their walk.

Ms Dillon said: “Paws are similar to our thumb pads; they are sensitive and will react to the heat.”

Burnt paw signs include blisters, redness and limping. Dogs will also licking their feet, explained the expert.

And she urged owners to use shade, grass and earth as surfaces to walk on, as opposed to concrete and asphalt, which can quickly become very hot.

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