Have you had the chance to enjoy our pleasant summer weather? The incredible blue Nevada sunshine, the afternoon breezes, the cool nights are some things that make this time of year wonderful. While enjoying the weather, have you considered how the heat might impact your furry friends? 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 to relax. You might even notice that your pet is less active during the hottest part of the day. Just like people should avoid exercising when it gets too hot, so should pets. When the temperature rises, scale back on your pet’s physical activity. Your dog would rather relax in the shade with you.
Be sure to leave a lot of clean, cool water out for your pets during the summer. Animals 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. Heat illness can occur in dehydrated pets.
According to the Humane Society of the United States, some signs of heatstroke in animals include 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, the temperature inside our cars becomes very hot very quickly. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, when the outside temperature is 80 degrees, in less than 10 minutes the inside temperature of a car reaches 99 degrees. Never leave a pet (or child) in a parked car! Not only does it put their health at risk, it is also against the law.
If you are interested in adopting a pet, volunteering or donating to animal safety, visit the Carson City Nevada Humane Society at 549 Airport Road. You can also view adoptable pets online at https://nevadahumanesociety.org/carson-city-adopt-a-pet.
For additional resources and information about Carson City Health and Human Services programs and services, check out our website at www.gethealthycarsoncity.org, “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cchhs, follow us on Twitter at @CCHealthEd, call us at 775-887-2190 or visit us at 900 E. Long St. in Carson City.
This column appears in the Nevada Appeal Wednesday’s health pages. It addresses topics related to the health of our community.