Dog owners should not walk their beloved pets in hot weather because excessive exercise is responsible for almost three-quarters (74 per cent) of all canine heat stroke cases.
Researchers found that warm weather alone was responsible for 13 per cent of cases, while travel in — or being left in — hot vehicles accounted for another 5 per cent.
Researchers from Nottingham Trent University and the Royal Veterinary College analysed cases of canine heatstroke treated by UK vets.
Other triggers for the condition included treatment at veterinary surgeries or grooming parlours, being kept in hot buildings, and being trapped under blankets.
Heatstroke — which can easily prove to be fatal for dogs — is a condition that vets expect to see more frequently as global temperatures rise.
Dogs can be affected by exercise-induced heatstroke even on cooler days, the researchers cautioned.
Veterinary surgeon Emily Hall says making a dog go for a walk in hot weather 'can be just as deadly' as leaving them in a locked car.
She advises either skipping walks completely during heatwaves or venturing out in the early morning, when temperatures are lower.
The advice comes as Britain is expected to swelter yet again this week, with temperatures forecast to exceed 30C (86F) by Friday.
Excessive exercise from walks and playing is responsible for 74 per cent of heatstroke cases in dogs, a study has reported. Warm weather alone was responsible for 13 per cent of cases, while travel in — or being left in — hot vehicles accounted for another 5 per cent.
Signs of heatstroke in dogs include:Panting, Red or dark gums/tongue, Confusion and unsteadiness, Collapsing, Diarrhoea or vomiting, Seizure, which can lead to coma.
Rapid treatment is essential.
Heatstroke can occur all year round, but is most common in the UK between May–August.
In the study, the researchers analysed anonymised clinical records of more than 900,000 dogs from across the UK — finding that 1,222 had received veterinary care for heatstroke at some point during their lives.
The team noted that 14.2 per cent of these canines died as a result of the condition.