LA Animal Services Hot Weather Safety Tips


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

LA Animal Services Hot Weather Safety Tips

Los Angeles, July 10, 2020 — It’s hot out there, and the hot weather will continue through this weekend with temperatures in the 90’s! LA Animal Services would like to remind you that too much heat can be extremely dangerous or even fatal for your animal companions.

Remember, dogs and cats try to cool themselves by panting or rapid breathing while rabbits disperse heat through their ears; and unlike people, neither dogs, cats nor rabbits sweat through their skin. 

Hot Weather Pet Safety Tips for Dogs and Cats
  • Never leave your pet alone inside a vehicle. A car can overheat even when the window has been opened slightly. Even if the temperature isn’t too hot outside, your car can get up to 20 degrees warmer. Always check to make sure that dogs are welcome where you are going, otherwise leave them at home.
  • Give your pet extra water. Always make sure that your dog or cat has plenty of fresh water to drink. If your dog enjoys ice cubes as a treat, add them to the bowl!
  • Avoid hot ground surfaces. While walking your dog outdoors, pay particular attention to the pavement, sidewalks, or sand. Check the temperature with your hand. If it’s too hot to touch, then it’s too hot for your dog’s paws.
  • Don’t leave your pet outdoors for a long time. If your dog has to be left outdoors for a while, make sure they have plenty of access to shade such as trees, a covered patio, or cool spot under the porch. Apply a pet specific or hypoallergenic sunscreen on sensitive areas like the nose, tips of ears and belly especially if they have light or thin fur.
  • Know the signs of overheating. If your dog or cat begins very rapid, noisy breathing, has trouble swallowing, and starts to look very distressed, they could be having a heatstroke. Get the animal out of the heat. Apply cold, wet towels to the back of the head. Place cold packs wrapped in towels or plain wet towels between the back legs and on the belly. Cool off your pet and take them to the veterinarian immediately. 

Hot Weather Safety Tips for Rabbits

  • Keep your rabbit cool on days that reach or exceed 80º F. Keeping them indoors with air conditioning on, and also place frozen bottles of water in their hutch that will help them cool off. Make sure to keep their regular water easily accessible.
  • Put a ceramic tile or marble slab in the corner of your rabbit’s living area. The tile will provide a cool spot for your bunny to lie on, and you can cool the tile off in your fridge or freezer to make it even cooler.
  • What to do when your rabbit becomes overheated. To treat an overheated bunny, wipe cool water on their ears and wrap their head in a cool wet towel before taking them to your veterinarian.


Los Angeles Department of Animal Services is one of the largest municipal shelter systems in the United States with six services centers serving approximately 60,000 animals annually and responding to 20,000 emergency calls involving an animal or person in danger. LA Animal Services promotes and protects the health, safety, and welfare of animals and people. Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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