IT'S not just the two-legged variety that feels the pinch when the summer heat begins its onslaught.
Spare a thought for our four-legged friends, who have to suffer in silence when the stifling humidity and soaring temperatures start to sweep the region.
While much is made of the risks of leaving children unattended in vehicles during summer, the same is also true for man's best friend.
RSPCA Gladstone dog foster care co-ordinator Nicole Allison said the effects of heat were doubled for pooches compared to those suffered by us humans.
"Temperatures in a car can get to anywhere from 15-20 degrees higher in a car within 20 minutes - and it can literally cook a dog," Ms Allison said.
"Even just ducking into the shops for five minutes is enough."
She said dogs were twice as susceptible to heatstroke as are humans, due to their inability to cool themselves.
"Dogs can't sweat and their bodies aren't able to cool themselves as well as humans," she said.
Ms Allison said the most common incidents of dogs being left in cars happened at local drinking establishments or at shopping centres.
"We do get a lot of incidents and the police usually respond to them," she said.
"It seems to be a lot at the pubs; people duck in while they get a beer or at the shopping centres and duck in with the window cracked and think their dogs will be okay."
Ms Allison said the best way to avoid harming your dog was to simply leave them at home.
Signs of heatstroke in dogs:
- Heavy panting
- Glazed eyes
- Rapid heartbeat
- Dizzy or uncoordinated
- Seizure or unconsciousness (serious)
- Red or purple tongue (serious)