During Sun Awareness Week, which runs until Sunday, PDSA is urging owners to keep their pets safe in the sun, to protect them from dangerous conditions such as heatstroke and cancer.
PDSA vet, Olivia Anderson-Nathan, said: “Although we might be aware of the risks of the sun to ourselves, many owners are unaware that our pets face the same dangers of sunburn, heatstroke and even skin cancer.
“Heatstroke, for example, can have devastating consequences. Bear in mind on a hot day that dogs can’t control their body temperature the way we can. They are wearing a fur coat, and as they only have sweat glands in their paws they mainly cool down through panting, which isn’t very effective.”
Ms Anderson-Nathan added: “One of the most dangerous causes of heatstroke or hyperthermia is leaving pets inside a vehicle during warm or hot weather. But leaving them in the garden for too long without shade, or taking them for a walk during the hottest part of the day, can also be very dangerous.
“Any dog can get heatstroke, but this is especially important for owners of flat-faced, overweight or chronically ill dogs to consider, as they will be at even greater risk.”
PDSA warns that common measures like parking in the shade or keeping the windows open are not effective, as temperatures inside the car can still sky-rocket in these circumstances.