Summer Pet Safety in West LA
Whether you’re taking your pet downtown or bringing them along for a stroll on the beach, it’s always essential to remember their health on a hot, sunny day. Pets are at a higher risk for heat exhaustion and heatstroke because they are unable to sweat to cool themselves off, and flat-faced breeds like Pugs, Bulldogs, Boxers, and Boston Terriers have difficulty breathing. With their elongated soft palate and (in some cases) smaller nasal passages, panting is less effective at helping them cool down.
How to Protect Your Pet
There are many things you can do to maximize your pet’s safety and still allow them to enjoy summertime with you:
- Pay attention to the weather—is there a heat advisory for the day? If so, you might want to keep your pet indoors as much as possible.
- Wherever your pet goes, they should have plenty of fresh water within reach at all times.
- If your pet needs to stay outside for any reason, see that they have a shady place to shelter from the sun and lots of fresh water. A small kiddie pool to wade in is another good cool-off option.
- Does your pet need their daily walk? Take them out early in the morning or in the evening when the sun is low and the pavement is cool. Hot pavement can burn your pet’s feet—if it’s too hot for you to walk on without shoes, then it’s definitely too hot for your pet!
- A parked car on a summer day isn’t much different from an oven—even with the windows open. Even if it is 70 degrees outside, the interior of your car can rise to 90 degrees in just a few minutes. Don’t risk it; either leave your pet at home, or bring someone else along to sit with your pet while the AC runs.
- Minimize your pet’s activity outdoors or reserve playtime for the morning or evening, when the temperature is lower.
Keeping cool and staying hydrated—this is just as important for pets as it is for people. Always remember what your pet truly needs to stay healthy on a hot day before they leave the house.