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LA Animal Services Media Contacts: 
Agnes Sibal-von Debschitz, (213) 482-9512 or [email protected]
Justin Khosrowabadi, (213) 482-9551 or [email protected]

Hot Weather Pet Safety Tips

LA Animal Services would like to remind pet owners that too much heat can be extremely dangerous or even fatal for our pets especially when the temperatures start to rise. Remember, when it’s too hot for you, it’s even hotter for our four-legged friends. Here are some tips to keep your pets safe in hot weather:

  • NEVER leave your pet alone inside of a vehicle. A car can overheat even when a window has been slightly opened. Although the temperature outside is 88 degrees, the temperature inside a vehicle can be 20 degrees higher...that's 108 degrees!

  • 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! Animals often enjoy frozen treats, try this recipe like we use when caring for the dogs in our shelters: freeze chicken broth in popsicle molds or make peanut butter the star ingredient - layer peanut butter in the bottom of ice cube trays or ice pop molds, then top off with a layer of meat broth and freeze! 

  • Keep pets indoors (if possible) during hot weather, but if you keep them outside, ensure there's shade for them to escape the sun to cool off and that they have plenty of fresh water to drink. You can also apply a pet specific or hypoallergenic sunscreen on sensitive areas such as the nose, tips of the ears, and belly. 

  • Avoid hot surfaces. Touch the ground first before venturing out...if the surface is too hot to touch with your hand or bare feet, it's too hot for your pet's paws. Hot surfaces, like asphalt, concrete sidewalk, sand, and artificial grass, can burn your pet's paws. 

  • Keep walks and exercise in the early mornings or evenings when the weather is cooler.  

  • Do not leave your pet outdoors. Bring them inside, is possible. 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 veterinarian immediately.

Keep Your Rabbits Cool on Hot Days

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

  • Put a ceramic tile or marble slab in the corner of your rabbit's enclosure. The tile will 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.

Hot Weather Pet Safety for Horses

  • Provide adequate shelter or shade. Horses should have access to a shelter when turned out. If there are no trees in your turnout areas, providing a run-in shed or even a fabric sunscreen as a horse shelter can make a big difference in helping to keep your horses cool.

  • Supply fresh, cool water. Hydration is critical during hot weather so ensure your horse has access to fresh, cool water daily. 

  • Keep exercise in the early mornings or later in the evenings when temperatures and humidity are at the lowest. 

  • Apply cool baths or use sprinklers to keep horses more comfortable and to decrease their need to sweat as much.

  • Provide fans to increase ventilation and move airflow to help cool stables while keeping flies and mosquitoes away. 

  • Be smart about when you haul. Trailer during the cool early mornings, evenings, or overnight. Keep all windows and vents open to get as much airflow through the trailer as possible. Adequate shavings and mats will create a barrier between the hot road and the horse.

  • Know the signs when your horse may be suffering from heat exhaustion. Lethargy, panting, nostrils flaring, and slow recovery after exercise may progress to heatstroke. Cool your horse aggressively and contact your veterinarian.

For more information about LA Animal Services and tips to keep pets and people safe, visit

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LA Animal Services promotes and protects the health, safety, and welfare of animals and the people who love them, and is one of the largest municipal shelter systems in the United States. With six Centers across the City, LA Animal Services serves approximately 60,000 animals annually and responds to 20,000 emergency calls involving animals or people in danger. LA Animal Services is part of the Human Animal Support Services (HASS) international coalition, which connects municipal shelters and animal welfare organizations across the country to reimagine and transform the way shelters care for animals and their families, by offering access to resources to help keep families together; getting lost pets home quickly without having to enter the shelter system; providing food and medical assistance; and continuing to build on a strong adoption and foster program so pets find their permanent homes or are placed in foster care. Visit our link.tree for helpful links to the services and resources available to you and your companion animals. Connect with LA Animal Services and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

LA Animal Services | 888-452-7381 |