Dogs rely on panting to cool their bodies.
Dogs rely on panting to cool their bodies.

Help Dogs Stay Safe in the Heat

Author: Animal Services
Date: 7/18/2018 4:44:07 PM

As summer temperatures rise, it’s wise to pay extra attention to keep pets safe in the heat.

Make sure pets have plenty of shade or a nice cool spot indoors, along with plenty of fresh, clean water.

Cars can be especially dangerous places for dogs on hot days.

Temperatures quickly soar inside a car—even with the windows open a few inches, and even in the shade. When the outdoor temperatures is 85 degrees, the temperature inside a car can top 102 degrees in only 10 minutes.

Dogs aren’t able to cool themselves by sweating like people can—they rely on panting instead—so their internal temperature rises to dangerous levels quickly in these conditions. 

If you see a dog in a car on a hot day:

  • First, determine if the dog appears to be in distress. Note the dog’s behavior so you can be prepared to describe it.
  • Try to locate the owner nearby.

If you aren’t able to locate the owner and the dog appears to be in distress:

  • Note the vehicle description, license plate number and the general area of the car. (Parking lots can be large, so be as specific as possible.)
  • Call us at Animal Services (805-781-4400) or call the local police department.
  • If you can, stay nearby to keep an eye on the dog until authorities arrive.
  • If the owner returns and leaves with the dog, please contact the authorities you called to let them know so they do not spend time looking for the dog.

For more information and resources to help spread the word about keeping dogs safe in the heat, check out