LA Animal Services Offers Tips for Pet Owners in High Heat

As temperatures soar in Southern California, LA Animal Services is reminding pet owners that too much heat can be extremely dangerous or even fatal for pets. 

Hot Weather Tips for Dogs and Cats:

• NEVER leave your pet alone inside of a vehicle. If your pet cannot go inside with you at every stop, they are safer at home. A car can overheat even when a window has been slightly opened. Your car can get up to 20+ degrees warmer within minutes.

• Give your pet extra water. Always make sure your pet has plenty of fresh water to drink. If your pet enjoys ice cubes, add them to their water dish.

• Avoid hot surfaces. When walking your pet outdoors, pay extra attention to the pavement, sidewalk, or sand. 

Check the temperature with your hand. If it’s too hot for you to touch, it’s too hot for your pet’s paws. If it’s 92 degrees outside, concrete or asphalt can reach up to 130 degrees.

• Do not leave your pet outdoors for long periods of time. If your pet has to be left outdoors for a while, make sure there is plenty of shade and water. Apply a pet specific or hypoallergenic sunscreen on sensitive areas such as the nose, tips of the ears, and belly.

• Know the signs of overheating. If your pet begins very rapid breathing, has trouble swallowing, and looks distressed, they could be having a heatstroke. Get your pet out of the heat and apply cold, wet towels to the back of their head, between their legs, and on their belly. Once your pet has cooled down, take them to the vet immediately.

Hot Weather Tips for Rabbits:

• Keep rabbits indoors on days that exceed 80 degrees. Keep rabbits indoors with the air conditioning on. Place frozen bottles of water in their hutch and make sure they have plenty of water accessible.

• Put a ceramic tile or marble slab in the corner of your rabbit’s enclosure to provide a cool spot for your rabbit to lay on.

• To treat an overheated rabbit, wipe cool water on their ears and wrap their head in a cool wet towel before taking them to a veterinarian.