Pet owners in West Dunbartonshire are being urged ensure their animals stay safe during the warm weather.

Animal welfare charity the Scottish SPCA has reported an 80 per cent increase in the number of calls to their helpline from members of the public concerned about dogs being left in hot cars.

And they are reminding pet owners that it's their responsibility to make sure that animals of all species are kept comfortable and out of danger while the unusually hot weather lasts.

Mike Flynn, the charity's chief superintendent, said: "We're very concerned at the number of reports we're receiving about dogs being left inside cars during the hot weather.

"Owners need to understand that it's completely unacceptable to leave a dog in a vehicle in these searing temperatures, even for a short period of time with the windows down. In this kind of heat, just don't risk it.

"Our advice is that owners should leave their dogs at home if they are going to be left in the car for any length of time at all.

"When left at home, owners should ensure their dogs have access to fresh water at all times and that there is adequate ventilation in the room.

"If dogs are being kept outdoors, they must have an area of shelter where they can escape the heat of the sun."

The Scottish SPCA has provided some helpful advice for owners which includes taking dogs for early morning or late evening walks to avoid the hottest times of the day; fitting pets with cooling bandanas soaked in cold water; using shallow paddling pools to give dogs a fun cool down; providing shaded shelter and wet blankets to lie on; and putting ice packs in hutches for smaller pets.

If you are concerned about the welfare of an animal, you can contact the Scottish SPCA on 03000 999 999.