HAMPSHIRE’S hounds were served a frozen treat last weekend to keep them cool and healthy.

As part of a new campaign, Petplan visited Royal Victoria Park in Southampton on Sunday, August 11, and gave out free dog-friendly ice cream to pet owners, as well as offering information on keeping their pooches healthy and happy this summer.

The pet company served 450 ice creams to Hampshire dog’s at the park.

The ice cream was pet-friendly and was flavoured in banana, honey, peanut butter, carrot, beetroot and coconut milk.

Petplan’s new campaign comes in response to new research that reveals that one in five dog owners said their pooch had suffered from heatstroke; a condition that can kill if left untreated.

Despite the associated risks, only just over a third of pet owners are confident in spotting signs of heatstroke in their pet, and under half wouldn’t know what to do if their pet was suffering from sunburn or heatstroke.

Dr Brian Faulkner said: “Sunburn and heatstroke – two conditions that are widely recognised in humans – are just as common in our pets.

“It’s vital that owners take the necessary precautions or change their routines to ensure their pets’ health and happiness during the summer months.

A Petplan spokesperson said: “It was great to see so many local dog owners and their pets attend our dog friendly ice cream event as part of Petplan’s nationwide pet summer safety campaign.

“We were delighted to have distributed over 450 ice creams to such a variety of dogs.

“From Labradors, pugs and poodles to a Doberman, Burmese mountain dog and an Alaskan malamute – we made sure they all got to enjoy some refreshing ice cream no matter how big or small they were!

“Pet owners loved the event, with a regular dog walker telling us that Royal Victoria Country Park had a lot more dogs visiting than usual as word spread about our popular summer giveaway.

“It was a great opportunity to speak directly to owners about the importance of keeping their pet cool and share some of our fun heat hacks whilst highlighting the real issue here.”