With summer now in full swing, pet owners need to be more aware of the heat-related dangers that can impact dogs, cats, and other pets.  Did you know that some dog breeds are at higher risk for heatstroke than others?

A recent article in Nature’s Scientific Reports studied the incidence and risk factors for heat-related illness in UK dogs.  A review of the veterinary records of over 900,000 dogs found nearly 400 heat-related illness events and a 14% event fatality rate.

Several risk factors were identified, including:

  • Higher than normal body weight
  • Age of 2 years and over
  • Brachycephalic (flattened) skull shape
  • A weight of over 50 kg (110 lbs.)
  • Breed

What are some of the breeds at higher risk for heatstroke?  Not surprisingly, larger dogs with a brachycephalic skull shape were at highest risk.  They include:

  • Chow Chow
  • Bulldog
  • French Bulldog
  • Dogue de Bordeaux
  • Greyhound
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Pug

The popularity of brachycephalic breeds combined with the growing problem of pet obesity can put your dog at increased risk for heatstroke.  Remember to never leave your dog in a hot car.  Here are some other helpful heatstroke prevention tips for dog owners.


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