DOG owners have been given an urgent warning for when they take their pets out this weekend.
Experts have issued a plea to owners to avoid exercising their dogs during the hottest part of the day.
Brits are expected to bask in 20C temperatures this weekend – but this can be extremely dangerous for dogs.
External temperatures above 20C put your dog at risk.
Vets have warned that the average survival rate for dogs diagnosed with heatstroke is only 50 per cent and can be fatal in just 15 minutes.
Vets Now clinics in the UK are braced for an influx of heatstroke admissions as temperatures rise this weekend.
Emergency vet Dave Leicester said: “Every summer, we’re inundated with calls about dogs suffering heatstroke during hot spells.
“Heavy panting and breathing difficulties are among the main early signs of heat stroke, which is life-threatening if left untreated.”
Many of the severe emergencies seen by vets happen when dogs are exercised too vigorously in the hotter, middle part of the day.
All dogs are potentially at risk but those who are overweight or suffer from brachycephalic syndrome – upper airway abnormalities typically affecting flat-faced breeds – are most in danger.
Locking dogs in cars on hot days can put them particularly at risk.
Heat stroke can develop extremely quickly in dogs and once signs appear it may be too late to save their life.
The Dogs Trust has shared some top tips for keeping your pets safe in hot weather.
Providing shade and water is key, but planning your walks for the cooler parts of the day is also important.
They also advise doing the five second tarmac test – checking the pavement with your hand for five seconds before letting your dog walk on it.
Keeping your dog out of direct sunlight will help, and you can even use some dog friendly sun cream on their exposed parts.
This comes after a vet revealed why he would never take his pet to a dog park.