Gloucestershire police have called on dog-owners to protect their pups from the heatwave.

The Met Office issued an extreme heat warning for Stroud today, meaning pets will be at risk in cars and on hot tarmac.

Police dogs Stella and Quest were pictured enjoying an air-conditioned police van and water to remind pet-owners to keep their animals safe.

“Our handlers can use the run lock system to cool down the vehicle before placing the dogs inside. It’s so important to protect your dogs in this heat,” Gloucestershire Police Dogs Section wrote on Twitter.

A dog could die in a hot car in as little as 20 minutes, according to the Dogs Trust, and winding down the window is not enough.

In the temperatures seen in Stroud over the last week, dogs need plenty of shade and water and should be walked in the early morning or late evening, according to the Trust.

Tarmac can burn dog’s paws, so owners should check the pavement with their hand for seven seconds before letting their dog walk on it.

You can also use pet-safe sun cream on exposed parts of your dog’s skin.

5 signs your dog has heatstroke

• Panting heavily

• Drooling excessively

• Appears lethargic, drowsy or uncoordinated

• Vomiting

• Collapsing

If you see a dog in distress in a hot car, you can call 999.