Scotland’s animals charity has reported an 80 per cent surge in calls about dogs placed at risk by being locked in cars during sweltering weather.
The SSPCA has previously warned animals can die if trapped in a vehicle in heatwave temperatures.
Now it is repeating the message after a spate of calls to its helpline from anxious members of the public.
Scottish SPCA Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn said: “We’re very concerned at the number of reports we’re receiving about dogs being left inside cars during the hot weather.
“Owners need to understand that it’s completely unacceptable to leave a dog in a vehicle in these searing temperatures, even for a short period of time with the windows down.
“In this kind of heat, just don’t risk it”.
He added: “Our advice is that owners should leave their dogs at home if they are going to be left in the car for any length of time at all.
“When left at home, owners should ensure their dogs have access to fresh water at all times and that there is adequate ventilation in the room.
“If dogs are being kept outdoors, they must have an area of shelter where they can escape the heat of the sun.”
Scottish SPCA Deputy Superintendent Peter Fleming went on to give general advice for pet owners: “In this hot weather we would advise the public to ensure their pets stay hydrated, cool and a fresh supply of water should always be available.
“Sometimes just keeping a window open at home or putting on a fan to let the air circulate the room will help provide a cool temperature for them.
The charity has drawn up a list of tips for keeping pets safe -
Dogs benefit from being walked early morning or in the evening as pavements get very hot which can burn their paws. If it’s too hot for your hand, then it’s too hot for dogs paws.
Cooling bandanas soaked in cold water let heat escape.
Paddling pools aren’t just good for humans - dogs love some supervised time to splash about in them too.
When dogs are outside a great way for them to stay cool is to place a cold, wet blanket for them to lie on.
Rabbits and other small animals love frozen water bottles or ice packs which they snuggle into to lower their temperature.
Some cats like to play with ice cubes and can drink the cold water as it melts.
If your pet seems uncomfortable, dipping their feet into water or spraying a mist of water onto their face can help.
Anyone concerned about the welfare of an animal should contact the Scottish SPCA animal helpline on 03000 999 999