With yesterday to be the UK's all-time hottest day on record, it's important that people know how to take care of their animals during a heatwave.

Soaring temperatures can cause animals heat stress and permanent physical harm – which can even be fatal.

Just brief periods of direct sun exposure can have life-threatening consequences, but if animals must be left outdoors, they should be given ample water and shade.

Never leave an animal in a parked car in warm weather, even for short periods with the windows slightly open.

On a 26-degree day, the temperature inside a shaded car is 32 degrees, and the inside of a vehicle parked in the sun can reach 70 degrees.

A dog trapped inside a parked car can succumb to heatstroke within minutes – even when the car isn't parked in direct sunlight – because unlike humans, dogs can cool themselves only by panting and by sweating through their paw pads.

For more information on keeping animals safe during hot weather, please visit PETA.org.uk.

Jennifer White

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)