Dog owner issues warning about evening walks after pet collapses with heat stroke


A DOG owner has warned others not to walk their dogs at any time during the day in heatwaves after both her dogs got heatstroke in the evening.

Ashleigh Murray purposely waited until the evening on Sunday when temperatures had lowered to take her beloved pooches Nala and Freddie for a walk.

Despite following advice and keeping her dogs inside until 7pm, her two pups managed to get heatstroke within minutes of leaving the house.

Ashleigh with Freddie and Nala | Animal News UK
Ashleigh was shocked after her beloved pets got heat stroke after the temperature had dropped in the evening.                 (C) Ashleigh Murray

Nala completely collapsed outside a shop and was unable to stand up – despite the temperature only being around 20C in Belfast, Northern Ireland at the time.

The cocker spaniel’s eyes glazed over and her gums turned from pink to black and purple.

Ashleigh, 30, quickly checked Freddie who was coping better with the heat but then also started having glazed eyes and purple and black gums.

The frantic dog owner quickly rushed her beloved pooches to a shaded area where she covered them head to toe in water.

Ashleigh took to Facebook on Monday to warn other dog owners about the dangers of walking their four legged friends during the recent hot weather.

She said: “Yesterday at 7pm I took my two dogs for a walk to the shop, this walk takes us 15 mins tops to get there and back. 

“They were kept in all day out of the sun and heat as a precaution.

“As per advice of walking your dog in the evening, I listened. Well I won’t be doing that again!

“Nala collapsed at the shop unable to stand properly, her eyes were glazed and she seemed confused. I checked her gums and they were turning purple and black.

“Freddie looked to be coping better and then all of a sudden his eyes were glazed, he couldn’t listen to commands, he was so confused and when I checked his gums they were even more purple and black than Nala’s.

The dogs gums turned black and purple | Animal News UK
The dogs gums began to turn black and purple.                                                                                  (C) Ashleigh Murray

“This is heatstroke.

“Heatstroke is so dangerous that they can die within minutes.

“I tried to call the vets but the automated service was so long it was stopping me performing canine first aid to them both at the same time so the only option at that time was to provide first aid alone, under a tree, in the shade.” 

Ashleigh’s post has now collected almost 3,000 likes and 25,000 shares from viewers.

Over 4,000 social media users commented on the post – many of whom were aware of the dangers and had limited their dog walks.

Claire Bella said: “My dog has not been for a walk since last Friday as it has been far too hot.”

Kim Child said: “Sadly even in the evening it is too hot for animals, especially dogs. Thankfully you didn’t lose your lovely pets, but no one should take the chance. 

“Glad all is well.” 

Lynn Butler commented: “It’s not the time of day that matters so much it’s the temperature. It can still be far too hot in the evening. Glad your dogs are okay.”

And Leanne Stanley added: “Just remember dogs don’t die from not being walked but that walk in this heat could kill your dog.”

Despite being a common risk for dogs during summer months, heatstroke in dogs is usually highly preventable. 

Ashleigh shared a warning on Facebook | Animal News UK
Ashleigh took to Facebook to warn other pet owners of the danger.

To address heatstroke in dogs simple remedies can include providing plenty of cool water whilst also creating a sheltered and shaded area for them to rest in.

Speaking today Ashleigh revealed that she had to carry Nala, 1, and Freddie, 11 months, home.

She said: “I was really shocked! I needed to take them to the toilet after being in the house all day while I was at work.

“One minute they were fine and the next minute the both of them were so confused.

“Nala couldn’t take straight steps, her tongue was flapping loosely around her mouth and both their gums had a tinge of purple/black on them.

“The temperature was in the lower 20s when we left the house.

“The only mistake I made that day was not bringing my prepacked bag for emergencies. 

“I am so so thankful that I caught the signs so early on and I knew exactly what to do.”