Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Is your pet prepared?

Photo provided by
Every month is special… so what makes April special? Aside from it being this blogger's birthday month…. It’s also Pet First Aid Awareness Month!!  As a way to celebrate this very special month, we here at the American Red Cross like to offer tips to the millions of pet owners out there as a way to keep their animals safe and healthy, especially with that supposed warm weather approaching!!  
By developing Dog First Aid and Cat First Aid guides with DVDs, the American Red Cross is helping pet owners around the world care for their pets.  From basic responsibilities like spaying/neutering and giving medications, to performing CPR and preparing for disasters, our guides provide the information pet owners need to keep their pets healthy and safe.
Did you know, that 39% of households in the United States own at least one dog and 33% own at least one cat?
 “Warmer weather can bring certain dangers for pets… Know what is normal for your pet – gum color, heart and pulse rate, body temperature, breathing rate - so you can recognize when something is wrong.” -- Dr. Deborah Mandell, Pet Safety Advisor for the Red Cross.
Did you know that one of the most common problems pets face in warm weather is heat stroke?
Signs of heat stroke include:
·         Your pet may be panting heavily and unable to calm down, even when lying down
·         Your pet’s gum color may be brick red
·         Your pet’s pulse rate may be fast
·         You pet may not be able to get up
What to do you if you suspect your pet has heat stroke?
·         Take the pet’s temperature rectally.
o   If the temperature is above 105 degrees Fahrenheit, cool the animal down.
§  The easiest way to do this is by using the water hose
§  Stop cooling the animal when the temperature reaches 103 degrees
§  Bring the pet to the veterinarian immediately as heat stroke can lead to severe organ dysfunction and damage
Did you know that the inside of a car can quickly reach 120 degrees in the warm weather months?
At this time of year, windows and doors in the home are more likely to be open. Pet owners should know that animals may try to get outside which increases the risk of trauma from jumping or falling from windows or being hit by vehicles.
Some plants and flowers can be hazardous. For instance, many lilies are very poisonous to cats. Visit the ASPCA Poison Control web site to find out which plants and flowers are poisonous to animals. If someone thinks their animal is ill or may have ingested a poisonous substance, they should contact their veterinarian.
Photo provide from the Mid Coast Chapter

Pet owners can follow these important steps to help keep their pet healthy:
·         Give pets plenty of exercise
·         Make sure pets have plenty of fresh, cool water
·         Make sure pets get regular yearly checkups with their veterinarian, and are up to date on vaccines, especially rabies
·         Get pets spayed or neutered
·         Keep dogs on leashes outside – another animal may be too much temptation
·         Know how to perform CPR and provide basic first aid until veterinary care is available
·         Don’t forget to include pets in emergency plans as well:
·         Plan to take pets along if ordered to evacuate.
·         Most Red Cross shelters cannot accept pets because of health and safety concerns and other considerations. Know which friends, relatives, hotels, boarding facilities accept pets in an emergency.
·         Assemble a portable kit with emergency supplies for pets:
·         Leashes, harnesses and/or carriers
·         Food, drinking water, bowls, manual can opener
·         Medications and copies of medical records
·         Current photos of the pets
April is the perfect time to learn how to protect your family's pets from hazards so that you and your pets can have a great spring and summer!!
To purchase your very own Dog First Aid and Cat First Aid Guides with DVD, visit our store online.
For more information about our Pet First Aid courses, you can visit us online or call us here at the Chapter, 716.878.2387.

No comments:

Post a Comment