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Keeping Your Canine Cool: Preventing and Recognizing Heat Exhaustion

Welcome to 2525 Sunset Veterinarians, your friendly neighborhood veterinary clinic nestled in the heart of West University, Houston. As temperatures rise, ensuring your furry friends stay safe and comfortable is crucial. In this blog, we'll provide simple steps to avoid heat exhaustion in canines, tips to recognize the symptoms, and what to do if your pet shows signs of heat exhaustion. Plus, we'll discuss preparing your pet for the upcoming 4th of July celebrations to keep them calm and safe during the festivities.

Simple Steps to Avoid Heat Exhaustion in Canines

  1. Provide Plenty of Water: Ensure your dog has access to fresh, cool water at all times. Consider carrying a portable water bottle and bowl during walks.

  2. Limit Exercise: Avoid strenuous activities during peak heat hours (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Opt for early morning or late evening walks when temperatures are cooler.

  3. Find Shade: When outdoors, make sure your dog has access to shaded areas. If natural shade isn't available, bring an umbrella or portable shade.

  4. Protect Their Paws: Hot pavement can burn your dog's paw pads. Test the pavement with the back of your hand; if it's too hot for you, it's too hot for your dog. Walk on grass or use protective booties during peak heat times.

  5. NEVER Leave in a Parked Car: Even with windows cracked, temperatures inside a car can quickly rise to dangerous levels. Always take your pet with you when you leave the vehicle.

  6. Cool Down Techniques: Use cooling mats, wet towels, or dog-safe cooling vests. You can also set up a kiddie pool for a refreshing dip.

  7. Watch the Humidity: High humidity levels can make it harder for dogs to cool down. Monitor the humidity and adjust outdoor activities accordingly.

Recognizing Heat Exhaustion in Canines

Heat exhaustion can quickly escalate to heatstroke, which is a medical emergency. Watch for these signs of heat exhaustion:

  • Excessive Panting: Rapid or heavy panting that doesn't subside.

  • Drooling: Excessive salivation, sometimes accompanied by thick saliva.

  • Weakness or Lethargy: Unusual tiredness, weakness, or difficulty standing.

  • Vomiting or Diarrhea: Gastrointestinal distress can be a sign of overheating.

  • Red or Pale Gums: Discoloration of gums can indicate poor blood circulation.

  • Confusion or Dizziness: Stumbling, disorientation, or lack of coordination.

If you notice any of these symptoms, take immediate action:

  1. Move to a Cool Area: Bring your dog to an air-conditioned or shaded area.

  2. Offer Water: Provide small amounts of cool (not cold) water.

  3. Cool Down: Use cool, wet cloths on your dog's body, especially the belly, armpits, and paws. Avoid ice-cold water, as it can cause shock.

  4. Contact Us Immediately: Call 2525 Sunset Veterinarians at 713-714-2525. Heatstroke can be fatal if not treated promptly, so seeking professional help is crucial.

Preparing for 4th of July: Keeping Your Pets Calm and Safe

The 4th of July is a time for celebration, but for many pets, it can be a source of anxiety and fear. Fireworks can cause stress and panic in dogs, leading to dangerous situations. Here are some tips to ensure your pet's safety and comfort during the festivities:

  1. Create a Safe Space: Set up a quiet, comfortable area in your home where your pet can retreat. Include their favorite toys, blankets, and calming aids like pheromone diffusers.

  2. Stay Indoors: Keep pets indoors during fireworks. Close windows, draw curtains and play soothing music to mask the noise.

  3. Exercise Beforehand: Take your dog for a long walk earlier in the day to tire them out. A tired dog is less likely to be anxious.

  4. Identification: Ensure your pet has up-to-date identification tags and a microchip in case they escape.

  5. Use Anxiety Wraps: Consider using anxiety wraps or vests that apply gentle pressure to help calm your pet.

  6. Consult Your Vet: If your pet has severe anxiety, talk to us about possible medications or treatments to help them cope with the noise. Make consultation appointments and medication pick-ups well ahead of the 4th of July to ensure you receive the necessary supplies. 

We're Here for You

At 2525 Sunset Veterinarians, we're committed to your pets' well-being. If you have any concerns about heat exhaustion, fireworks anxiety, or any other health issues, don't hesitate to contact us. Your pets are part of our family, and we're here to provide the care and support they need.

Stay safe, and enjoy the summer with your furry friends!

Contact Us

2525 Sunset Veterinarians

2525 Sunset Blvd

Houston TX 77005


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