PET owners have been given advice on how to help keep their dogs and cats cool during hot weather.

The RSPCA has issued the following top tips on how people can look after their animals in the summer months:

• Never leave animals in hot cars, conservatories, outbuildings or caravans, even if it’s just for a short while. Temperatures can quickly rise to 47°C (117°F) which can result in death.

• Use pet safe sun cream on exposed parts of your pets’ skin, such as the tips of their ears and nose, to avoid sunburn. If you're unsure on the right product, ask your vet.

• Ensure pets always have access to shade and fresh drinking water to help keep them cool.

• Check every day for flystrike.

• Putting ice cubes into your dog or cat’s water bowl or making some tasty ice cube treats is another fantastic idea.

• Damp towels for your pet to lie on or an ice pack wrapped in a towel could provide a welcome relief from the heat.

• Dogs may also appreciate a paddling pool to splash around in. Take a look at one of the dogs in our care enjoy a dip in the water.

A spokesperson for the RSPCA said: “We recommend walking your dog in the morning or evening when they will not burn its paws on the pavement or be at increased risk of heatstroke.”

Dog owners should look for the following signs of burned pads; limping or refusing to walk, licking or chewing at their feet, pads darker in colour, missing part of a pad and blisters or redness.

And it’s not just dogs, as cat owners can also take steps to help their feline keep cool.

The RSPCA said: “Always check sheds, greenhouses and summerhouses before closing them up. Cats can find their way inside if they’re looking for a cosy spot but could become too hot or dehydrated if trapped.”

Keeping windows and doors ajar where safe is also recommended to allow a breeze through the house.

Fish, amphibians and reptiles also need a little extra help, too.

Advice includes:

• Keep fish tanks and reptile or amphibian enclosures out of direct sunlight and carry out water changes regularly, to prevent overheating.

• Top up the water levels of ponds and make sure pond fish have access to shaded areas created by aquatic plants.

• Check temperature levels inside enclosures regularly to ensure they are at the correct temperature gradient for the species.