Summertime safety tips for your pets from Helen Woodward Animal Center

RANCHO SANTA FE (KUSI) – Helen Woodward Animal Center joined Good Morning San Diego to remind all pet owners to pay special attention to their furry family members during the hot summer months.


Dogs or cats with white noses or ear tips can sunburn. If your pet will wear sunscreen, that’s great. But most of them will lick it off. It’s best to just keep them in the shade when the sun is bright.
• If the pavement or sidewalk is too hot for your feet, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws. The pads can easily be burned on hot days.


The normal body temperature for a dog is 101 to 102 degrees.
• A 3-degree rise can put a dog into a dangerous situation and increase its need for oxygen.
• At 108 degrees the heart, brain, liver, kidneys, and intestinal tracts begin to break down.
• Don’t leave your dog or cat in a car. At 70 degrees on a sunny day, after a half-hour, the temperature inside a car is 104 degrees. After an hour, it can reach 113 degrees.
When the temperatures outside ranges from 80 degrees to 100 degrees, the temperature inside a car parked in direct sunlight can quickly climb to between 130 to 172)
• Make sure that your pets have plenty of water and shade.

• Consider your pet’s fitness level. If your pet regularly only gets minimal exercise, they can suffer fatigue from hours and miles of hiking. Dogs that walk or run on a regular basis will be better able to keep up with the activity without serious fatigue.
• Consider the terrain of your hike. If there are rocky areas or hot asphalt trails, dogs feet can get cut or burned from contact with rough surfaces. Dogs with more sensitive paws or ones that are not used to rugged outdoor terrain are at a greater risk.
• Consider the environment of the hike. Many dogs are allowed off-leash on trails but it might not be safe with the wildlife in the area. Southern California is known for coyotes and rattlesnakes in particular. Walking in the middle of the trail and avoiding letting your dog sniff under bushes or run off-trail can prevent wildlife encounters.

For more information about Helen Woodward Animal Center call (858) 756-4117, or go online at

Categories: Good Morning San Diego, Local San Diego News