THE heatwave in Herefordshire is taking its toll on dogs.

We asked local vets for some tips on keeping them cool.

Dr Chris Dixon, of Wye Valley Vets, said they currently have not treated any dogs for heatstroke over the current warm spell.

“People have been very sensible, ” he said.

He recommends four things to help your dog cool:

  1. Take them down to the river. We should make the most of the river Wye we have running through the centre of Hereford, he said, as well as the Lugg on the outskirts. “It's is a perfect place to cool your dog down.”
  2. Only walk your dog in the coolest part of the day. You should walk your dog in the early mornings and late evenings when it is cooler, as it is simply too hot in the daytime.
  3. Take plenty of water... to spray not drink. Ensure you take a big bottle of water on your walk and spray your dog with it. It's is a great way to cool them down. We drink a lot because we sweat a lot, but dogs don’t sweat, and that is why they get over-heated. Spraying your dog with water will soak their fur because the evaporation on the skin mimics how humans sweat and that cools them down much faster than drinking water. Another option is to soak a towel so that it is dripping wet and put it on your dog, so the water is transferred straight to their coat. But ensure it is soaking, not just damp.
  4. If you have a long-haired dog give it a hair-cut. “That makes a difference,” said Mr Dixon.