Dog owners have been issued a warning about leaving their pets in cars as the temperatures heat up this summer.

The RSPCA have warned dog owners in the past about the ‘silent killer’ that is heatwaves.

And they’ve issued another warning to people who may be thinking of leaving their dogs in the car this summer.

The RSPCA says: “Many people think it's ok to leave their dog in the car if they're parked in the shade or the windows are open.

“But a car can become as hot as an oven, even when the weather doesn't feel that warm.

The Herald: This is the advice the RSPCA give if you see a dog stuck in a hot car during a heatwaveThis is the advice the RSPCA give if you see a dog stuck in a hot car during a heatwave (Image: Getty)

“When it's 22 degrees Celsius outside, the car could reach an unbearable 47 degrees within an hour. It's very dangerous and will cause your dog suffering and harm.”

Should I leave my dog in a car?

Johanna Buitelaar-Warden, Dog Crate Expert at Lords and Labradors, warned: “Although it's not illegal to leave your dog unattended in a car, any owner is highly advised against doing so.

“Cars heat up extremely quickly, particularly in the summer months, which can be detrimental for your pet. Ultimately, owners are legally responsible for their welfare of their pet therefore, if an owner is found to be neglecting its health, they may be reported and prosecuted against.

“According to the RSPA, it takes as little as six minutes for a dog to suffer heat stroke in a hot car, potentially leading to death from an excessively high body temperature.

“My recommendation would be to avoid leaving your dog, or any pet, alone in a car at any time. When taking long journeys, ensure your pet has as much room as possible, there’s air flow via a window and they have sufficient food and water.”

What should I do if I see a dog in a hot car on a warm day?

If you are out and see a dog in a hot car who seems to be struggling, the RSCPA has the following advice: “First, assess the dog's condition. If they're showing any signs of heatstroke dial 999 at once.

“If the dog's condition is critical, and the police haven't arrived yet, your instinct will be to break into the car to free them. But please be aware that this could be classed as criminal damage.

“You may need to defend your actions in court, so please be sure you're doing the right thing. Legally, you can commit damage if you believe the car owner would consent to it if they knew the dog was in danger.

“If you're sure you need to free the dog, tell the police what you intend to do and why. Take photos or videos of the dog. Are there any other witnesses? Take their names and telephone numbers.

“Don't be afraid to dial 999. If it's an emergency, we may not be able to get to you - and the dog - quickly enough. And as we have no powers of entry, we'd need to ask the police to help us rescue the dog. Don't worry - the police will soon let us know if the dog needs our help.”