Dog owners are being warned that too much exercise in the warm weather can cause severe health problems for canines.

As sunshine is making an appearance across the country, Dogs Trust has issued a reminder, stating that while many dog owners are aware of the hazards of extreme heat, they may not know that even exercising dogs in early summer temperatures can result in heatstroke, which can sometimes be fatal.

A recent study revealed that almost 75 per cent of heat-related illnesses in dogs in the UK were because of exertion and more than two-thirds were just from walking.

Certain breeds including "flat-faced" dogs, such as English Bulldogs, Pugs and French Bulldogs, according to the charity, are more vulnerable.

Collaborative research from the Royal Veterinary College and Nottingham Trent University found that English Bulldogs are 14 times more likely to suffer a heat-related illness compared to Labrador Retrievers.

Additionally, more than a third of "flat-faced" dog owners highlighted that heat regulation poses a problem for their pets.

Paula Boyden, veterinary director of Dogs Trust, said: “After weeks of rain, it’s great to see the sun shining, and many of us will be taking advantage of it to enjoy the great outdoors.

"And with over a third of households now shared with a dog, we have no doubt that people will be keen to take their dogs along to join in the fun.

“But, while most of us know not to walk or exercise dogs in extreme weather, even these lovely early summer temperatures can cause problems, especially for those dogs with flat faces or underlying health conditions.

“As owners, we need to know the signs that our dogs are getting too hot and help them take a rest and cool down when they need to.

"Some dogs aren’t good at self-regulating and may continue to run and play even though they’re hot and tired, which increases their risk of heatstroke.

“If you do spot the signs of heatstroke in your dog, take steps to cool them down and contact your vet immediately.”

Symptoms of heatstroke include excessive panting and drooling, appearing lethargic, drowsy or uncoordinated, vomiting, diarrhoea, and collapsing.

If a dog owner suspects their pet to be experiencing heatstroke, the charity advises immediate action.

This includes stopping the dog’s activity, urgently cooling the dog, moving them to a shaded area, and calling a vet urgently for further advice.

The charity also advises not to leave dogs alone in cars as even just a few minutes in a hot car can prove fatal.

If there's a dog seen looking distressed in a car, the public should call 999 immediately.

Further guidance to keep dogs safe in this summer's heat can be found at