As temperatures continue to soar, pet owners are being advised to ensure their animals are safe in the heat.

Veterinary surgeon Dr Fern Holden urged owners to be on the lookout for signs of heat stroke.

"Some flat faced breeds such as Pugs, English Bulldogs, Boxers, French Bulldogs and Pomeranians are more likely to develop heat stroke, as are very old and young dogs, overweight dogs and long-haired or heavy coat dogs," she said.

Dr Holden warned that heat stroke "can progress very quickly and often results in death".

She advises ensuring that pets have plenty of shade and water, timing walks for the cooler part of the day - and never on surfaces which are hot, as tarmac often is. Keeping animals out of hot cars is also a smart move.

Dogs Trust, which campaigns on behalf of canines, notes that dogs can't regulate their body temperature, which puts them at greater risk of heat stroke.

They agree that animals should never be left alone in cars.

In 22C, the temperature inside a car can rise by 11 degrees in 10 minutes, the group warned, adding that opening a window or parking in the shade does very little to offset this.

A simple five-second test can help determine if a surface is too hot for walkies.

"Press your hand down on to the tarmac for five-seconds – if it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws," it advises, adding that it's a good idea to bring along plenty of water, perhaps using pop-up transportable bowls.

The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) warned that if a pet shows signs of severe overheating, it should be moved to a cooler area, and sprayed with cool - but not cold - water. Then give it a small drink of water, and immediately contact your vet.

Signs of overheating include excessive panting, lethargy and a rapid heart rate.

If you're attending barbeques or other social events, remember that "noise and commotion can be very distressing to some pets".

The Department of Agriculture has advised that pets be regularly be groomed, including trimming their coats, and noted that animals can get sunburned.