The Scottish SPCA is urging the public to ensure their pets stay safe during the warm weather.
We have seen an 80% increase in calls to our animal helpline from members of the public concerned about dogs in hot cars.
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.
"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.”
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.
“Please don’t forget about wild animals too, who will benefit from bowls of water left in the garden.”
We've issued some advice for pet owners:
• Dogs benefit from being walked early morning or late at night as pavements can 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, which can be purchased from Amazon or local pet shops, are soaked in cold water and cools dogs and lets heat escape.
• Paddling pools aren’t just good for humans, dogs love some supervised time to splash about in them too!
• As well as having access to shade, 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.
• Frozen peas and cold water is great for rats to stay cool.
• 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.