DOG owners are being warned of the dangers of pets being left in hot cars as temperatures across Hampshire/Dorset are set to rise.

The Kennel Club is urging owners to check before they travel as many garden centres and destinations no longer dog-friendly due to coronavirus.

With warm weather and sunshine set to sweep the UK ahead of the bank holiday weekend, a new warning from dog welfare experts has been issued to owners to protect their dogs during the hot weather.

The Kennel Club has teamed up with a coalition of vets, rescue and rehoming charities, police, and welfare organisations to highlight the dangers of warm weather to dogs as part of the annual Dogs Die in Hot Cars campaign.

The easing of lockdown, which allows people in England to travel by car for dog walks and visit some businesses like garden centres, could see more dogs left in cars – which can be fatal in warm weather, the Kennel Club warns.

The organisation, which is the largest in the UK dedicated to the health and welfare of dogs, is urging all owners not to leave their dog in a car, even with the windows down, and to check before you travel – as many usually dog-friendly garden centres have changed their rules due to Covid-19.

Bill Lambert, Head of Health and Welfare at the Kennel Club, said: "Regardless of the easing of lockdown, we would urge owners to only travel if they can ensure that their dog can be kept cool, and to check any destination they are travelling to is dog-friendly so they are never left in a vehicle.

“Due to coronavirus, we have heard many places that are usually dog-friendly have changed their rules and unless owners are aware of this, more dogs will be left in hot cars. Please check before you travel – this situation can be easily avoided.

“In an ideal world, owners can take their dogs with them when they shop or go to a garden centre. This is one of the reasons why the Kennel Club encourages businesses to be dog-friendly and welcome our four-legged friends rather than insist that they wait outside or in the car.

"However, we recognise the need to adapt during the pandemic and quite simply, we just want to make dog owners aware of the potential new challenges lockdown brings and how they can best care for their dogs at this time, especially during hot weather.”

The organisation has released practical tips and advice to keep dogs cool at home during the expected hot weather.

Create a shaded area for dogs to sit and lay while out or in the garden.

Give dogs a paddling pool that they can safely get in and out of to cool down and add ice cubs to their water bowls.

Walk them in the morning or evening to avoid the midday sun and try to walk in shaded areas.