WITH the temperatures soaring this week, it’s important to protect your dogs from heat stroke.

Here’s some advice on how to keep your furry friends safe.

READ ALSO: Can I go home from work if it's too hot?

Lizzie Walters, head nurse at Medivet Reading, said dog owners should abide by the five second rule before taking them out for a walk.

This means, if it is too hot to place your hand on the ground for five seconds, then it’s too hot to walk your dog outside.

She also told owners to keep their dogs in the shade, ensure they are hydrated and put ice in their water bowls to keep them cool.

However, if your dog is suffering from heat stroke, here are some symptoms to look out for:

- Dizziness and unsteadiness

- Vomiting

- Heavy panting

- Bright or dark red gums

- Lethargy

- Diarrhoea

- Fainting

READ ALSO: WATCH: What is cold water shock and why is it dangerous?

If your dog shows any signs of the above, then call the vet straight away.

Resist the urge to cover your dog in cold water as this will cool them down too quickly.

Instead, put a damp towel over them to cool them down gradually.

You can also invest in useful items to help cool your pets.

Woodley Pets in Woodley have gel cooling mats which don’t require refrigeration.

The mats simply cool down with body contact, so the more body contact, the cooler they get.

They also offer toys that can be filled with water or dog friendly gravy and frozen.

Cooling jackets can be placed on your dog wet and are a great way to bring their temperature down and doggy sun cream can stop dogs burning.

What should you do if you see a dog locked in a car?

A spokesperson from Thames Valley Police has given advice on what to do if you see a dog locked inside a car in the heat. 

They said: "It is not advisable to force entry to the vehicle yourself in the first instance.

"Your first step should be to call the police on 101 or 999 in an emergency. If the police don't have time to get there, then you have to decide if you should take action. Make sure you tell the police what you intend to do, why and, where possible, take images/footage of the dog and the names and numbers of witnesses to the incident."

Police advise that you don't force entry to the vehicle "unless certain of your ground and are prepared to defend your actions at court in the unlikely event any action was taken".

The RSPCA can offer guidance on information on cruelty at any time on 0300 1234 999.