Pet owners have been warned by animal welfare charities to take extra care of their furry friends ahead of a UK heatwave.
This week, the UK is set to face its hottest temperatures on record in over 40 years.
The RSPCA and Blue Cross have issued a warning to pet owners ahead of the rising temperatures with advice on how to properly safeguard animals amid the warmer temperatures.
Dog welfare expert for The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Esme Wheeler, told The Sun that even 'walking dogs in hot weather can be a silent killer'.
She explained: "While the majority would never leave our dogs in a car on a hot day, or even take our dogs for a really long walk in the heat, many people may still be putting their dogs at risk even on a short walk, or taking them to places such as fields and beaches with little or no shade.
"The message remains very simple - never leave a dog in a hot car because 'not long' is too long, and when it comes to walks, 'if in doubt, don't go out'".
Blue Cross has multiple posts on its Facebook page warning against walking dogs in hot weather.
In one, the charity stated that if it's 'too hot to stand barefoot on the path for five seconds' then it's 'too hot for your dog's paws'.
It continued: "Unlike humans, dogs can't sweat through their skin and so they rely on panting and releasing heat through their paw pads and noses to keep cool.
"[...] Hot paws burn easily. Don't risk it. Walk them later."
Temperatures are set to reach 'record breaking' levels of between 35C and 36C.
The heat is reportedly set to be fierce in south-eastern areas of the UK, such as London, Surrey, Kent and Sussex.
Friday, 17 June is expected to be the hottest day of the heatwave.
On the RSCPA's website, it lists a series of steps dog owners can take to ensure their pet stays cool during the hotter days.
Suggestions include using 'pet-safe sun cream' and 'never leav[ing] dogs in hot cars,' as well as making sure your pet has plenty of access to shade and water and is being brushed regularly.
It also gives the signs of burned pads and heatstroke to look out for.
If you see an animal in distress and/or in need of help, contact the RSPCA's 24-hour animal cruelty line on 0300 1234 999 or visit their website for further advice
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