There are lots of things we think about before taking our canine companions for a trip in the car. Is he comfortable and secure in the vehicle? Does he have enough water? Have we brought his favourite premium dog food for our day out?

Chances are you'd do everything you could to make sure that your animal was safe and happy as you start the engine and begin your journey, so what about when you turn off the engine?

Common sense tells us not to leave our dogs unattended in our cars, but it seems some pet owners are not listening to the warnings and are putting the lives of their four-legged friends at risk.

Research from the AA shows that 66 per cent of people have seen a dog locked inside a car on a hot day, and rather worryingly 35 per cent of these have done nothing about it.

Some 49 per cent of those questioned said they tried to alert the driver of the vehicle, while 15 per cent called the police and four per cent attempted to break in and rescue the animal.

The AA said that over the last year its patrols have saved 832 pets left alone inside hot cars. It is now joining forces with the Dogs Trust and the National Trust to launch a Hot Cars Can Kill Dogs campaign.

Andy Smith, AA Patrol of the Year, said: "The dangers are obvious, you just have to touch the dashboard or seats to know how hot the inside of a car can get. But it's not just on warm days when dogs are at risk - vehicles can be death-traps even in cooler temperatures.

"So, if you are carrying a dog in the car, plan in some stops, take plenty of drinking water for it and check traffic reports - you want to minimise the time sitting in traffic."

Written by: Hannah