Dear Mr Selfish Dog Walker, spotted in Shek O on one of the hottest days of the year. Surely the heavy panting of the pug you were practically dragging along the road under the scorching midday sun was a sign that the pooch was suffering? As temperatures soar in the city so, too, it seems, does a lack of awareness about canine care . Heatstroke can be fatal and each year vets must deal with the consequences of people who think it’s a good idea to take their dog walking, hiking or running to keep them company while they sweat it out – something dogs struggle to do. Dr Jane Gray, chief veterinary surgeon at Hong Kong’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals , says that unlike humans, dogs can’t sweat through their skin and instead release heat by panting and sweating through their nose and paw pads. Hong Kong’s love affair with brachycephalics – short-snouted breeds such as bulldogs, pugs and Pekinese that are burdened with breathing issues – is a recipe for disaster, she says. Putting clothes on a dog when Mother Nature has provided them with a perfectly effective fur coat can turn them into a “heatstroke victim waiting to happen” Did you hear that, Mr Selfish Dog Walker, shielded from the elements by a shirt, shorts, sunglasses and hat as you sipped from your water bottle? The situation could not have been more different for your dog. And what state must that poor animal’s paw pads have been in? Even brief contact with a sizzling pavement can burn a dog’s paws. While this might come as a shock to some dog owners, canines are not children, so there’s no need to dress them in cute clothes as if they were barking baby substitutes. According to Gray, putting clothes on a dog when Mother Nature has provided them with a perfectly effective fur coat can turn them into a “heatstroke victim waiting to happen”. Leaving a dog outside in the heat without shelter, whether on a rooftop or tethered near shops, is another pet hate. And for those who maroon canines in cars where summer temperatures can create an oven-like environment, well there are just no words.