DOGS Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, has launched a campaign to warn dog owners of the dangers of leaving their pets in parked cars, even for a few minutes.

Half of people in Yorkshire mistakenly believe it is alright to leave a dog in a car if counter-measures are taken such as a window left open or parked in the shade, the charity said.

People in Yorkshire are far more likely to leave their dog in a car alone for a few minutes than their phone, the charity said.

Under 20 minutes in a hot car can prove fatal to a dog should its body temperature exceed 41°c.

Paula Boyden, veterinary director of Dogs Trust, said: “We claim to be a nation of dog lovers, but it’s shocking how many people are willing to put man’s best friend in serious danger. As soon as the car doors are shut the countdown begins - which could potentially end in an agonising death for the dog. Our message is simple: don’t leave your dog in a parked car.”