The American Red Cross understands that pets are important parts of our families — they are our families! Because of this, they have designated April as Pet First Aid Awareness Month.
Pet First Aid Tips
- Is your pet dehydrated? The way you can tell is to pull up on the skin between his or her shoulder blades; if the skin doesn’t spring right back, he could be dehydrated. Offer water.
- During the heat of the summer, here are signs of heat stroke or heat exhaustion to be aware of: collapse, increase in body temperature, vomiting, excessive panting or trouble breathing, increased heart rate, extremely red mucous membranes and increase salivation.
- If your pet has been accidentally poisoned, here are signs to look for: internal or external bleeding, drooling, foaming at the mouth, seizures, acting abnormally.
- If your pet gets bitten by another animal, you will need to visit your veterinarian for wound care. Even a minor bite wound can become infected.
- If your pet gets injured and is bleeding, apply direct pressure to the bleeding area using gauze. If blood soaks the gauze, add new gause, but don’t remove the soaked gauze.
In any of these instances, it may be wise to contact your veterinarian immediately for care.
The Red Cross has a Pet First Aid App that can “help dog and cat owners provide emergency care until veterinary assistance is available.” Owners have access to step-by-step instructions, videos and images for more than 25 common first aid emergencies.
The top features of the app include:
- First aid emergency instructions
- Veterinary hospital locator
- Pet profile feature
- Early warning signs of illness
- How to prepare your pet for an emergency
Remember, when you’re packing your family’s emergency “go bag” have one packed for your pets as well!