With Ireland set to be hotter than Morocco this week the Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has issued a warning to pet-owners.

Temperatures of 27 degrees are expected for the first half of the week and Gillian Bird of the DSPCA told Independent.ie people must be vigilant to protect their pets.

"It is very, very hot so obviously dogs in cars is a no, even putting your dog in the car to go to the park is not OK," she said.

"There is an easy way for people to decide if it is too warm to bring your dog in a car. Think about what would happen to a bar of chocolate if you were to put it in the same place. Will it melt? If answer is yes too hot for the dog," she added.

There are a number of ways to ensure your dog stays safe and cool during the hot weather Ms Bird said. These include:

  • Ensure dogs have plenty of water
  • Feed them only early in the morning and later in the evening when it gets cooler
  • Do not bring them out during the heat of the day for a walk

"It's not just the heat that is a problem but the ground gets very hot and they can get quite bad burns on the pads of the feet," Mr Bird said.

"Also if your cat or dog has a white nose or ears put sun-cream on as they can get burned through white fur which can lead to skin-cancer," she added.

A vet can advise you on the best type of sun-cream to use on your pet.

For cat-lovers it is important to "make sure they have the option of getting out of the sun".

Anyone with birds is also advised to move their cages out of direct sunlight and apartment dwellers are urged to take care when opening windows to avoid their pets falling out.

Meanwhile Dublin Fire brigade has also urged people to take care when out and about enjoying the sunshine to avoid causing fires in areas where the ground is extremely dry after the weekend.

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