Get Healthy: Summer is hot for our furry friends, too

This column addresses topics related to the health of our community.

We've been enjoying relatively pleasant weather compared to the rest of the United States, but that doesn't mean that our furry friends are not feeling the heat. Chances are, if you are feeling hot your pet is too. Make sure you take steps to protect your pet's health and keep them comfortable this summer.

Most animals are happy to find shade or a cool place, and you may notice that during the hottest part of the day, your pet is less active than usual. Don't force your dog to go for a run when it's hot out. Just like people should avoid exercising when it gets too hot, so should pets. When the mercury rises, scale back on the physical activity. Your dog would rather relax in the shade with you.

Make sure that you leave plenty of clean, cool water for your pets during the summer. Pets keep cool by panting, which causes them to lose moisture as they breathe. Without an adequate supply of water to drink, your pet can become dehydrated.

Learn the signs of heat illness in pets. According to the Humane Society of the United States, some signs of heatstroke are heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, restlessness, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, and unconsciousness. If your pet is showing any of these signs, act quickly to help cool them off. Bring them indoors or into the shade, give them cold water or ice cubes, or put cool water on them. If heat illness is severe, your pet will need to see a veterinarian right away.

It is also important to remember that during the summer months, it can become very hot very quickly inside parked cars. Even when the temperature outside is in the 80s, the temperature inside a car can soar to over 100 degrees very quickly. Never leave a pet in a parked car. Not only does it put the animal's health at risk, it's also against the law in Carson City and the surrounding counties.

If you are interested in adopting a pet, visit our Animal Services Office on Butti Way, or look online at to see a list of adoptable pets at the shelter.

For more information about Health Department services, check out our website at or visit us at


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