Hawke's Bay SPCA says it is seeing cases of dogs getting badly burned because owners are not taking into consideration the effect the sun can have on them.

SPCA New Zealand central manager Bruce Wills said the unforgiving New Zealand sun meant that some pets - both cats and dogs - could suffer from sunburn.

They needed to be slip, slop and slapped just like people, Wills said.

"It sounds crazy, but we've seen a few dogs who have come in with some serious sunburn.

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"It's also important to note how hot the pavement is, because dogs can burn their paws. Some people don't think about this because they're wearing shoes.

"If you can't hold your hand on the pavement for more than five seconds, your dog is going to get burnt paws- we've seen many cases of this."

Wills said inspectors were particularly wary this time of year of discovering dogs locked in cars.

"If people leave their dogs in the car and we find them in a distressed state, they can incur a fine of $300. Luckily we've had no occurrences this year as the summer weather has been so bad, but we'd rather not have any occurrences at all."

Wills said it was also important to watch what owners were feeding pets throughout the festive period, as it was easy to give them the odd extra snack.

"I don't think a lot of people are aware of the dangers of over-feeding, little dogs especially. I've had a little dog die of pancreatitis and it was just absolutely awful."

He also reminded people of the importance of pet insurance in case there were any unexpected mishaps.

Southern Cross Insurance has received a few uncanny claims during the past few years including a Welsh corgi cross which ate an entire fruit cake, resulting in raisin toxicity.

The dog was taken to an after-hours vet, where it was sedated and given fluids to flush the toxins from its kidneys, costing $1179.

In December last year a domestic short hair cat was taken to the vet after over-indulging a pork bone. The feline was sedated with the vet taking x-rays to see if the bone had caused a blockage.

Luckily there was no obstruction, so the cat was given pain relief and antibiotics costing a heavy $703.