JUST a few minutes in a hot car can kill a dog.

So Brighton and Hove City Council’s enforcement officers are joining the Dogs Trust to help prevent dogs dying in hot cars this summer.

The charity will be working with officers on patrol in the city to keep an eye out for dogs left in vehicles.

Every year animal welfare charities and the police receive thousands of reports of animals being left alone in cars on warm days.

Brighton and Hove has been identified as a “hot spot” when it comes to calls received by the RSPCA concerning dogs being left alone in cars over the summer months.

If an officer spots a dog in distress they will call 999 so the dog can be removed from the car quickly and safely.

Councillor Anne Pissaridou said: “We want people to enjoy the summer in Brighton and Hove with their dogs, but to keep them safe.

“Nobody ever thinks it’s going to happen to them or their much loved family pet, yet every year many people gamble with their dog’s life by leaving them in a car on a warm day.”

Civil enforcement officers will report any incidents while carrying out their standard enforcement patrols. This ensures citywide coverage, including council car parks.

Lee Paris from the Dogs Trust says: “Many people still believe that it’s okay to leave a dog in a car on a warm day if the windows are left open or they’re parked in the shade, but the truth is, it’s not.

“A car can become as hot as an oven very quickly, even when it doesn’t feel that warm and a dog can die in a hot car in twenty minutes.

“When it’s 22 degrees outside, in a car it can reach an unbearable 47 degrees within the hour.”

Dogs Trust and the council advise anyone who sees a dog in distress in a hot car to call 999 immediately.

Signs of heat stroke in dogs include heavy panting, excessive drooling, vomiting, being drowsy and and collapsing.

To help a dog in this condition, place them in the shade, pour small amounts of tepid water onto their body, help them to drink small amounts of tepid water and call a vet.