April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month!  In an effort to promote health and safety for our furry companions, we’re providing some useful information and resources to protect your pets and keep them healthy.  We’ve highlighted some of the major issues concerning pets and what you can do as pet parents and owners–

HEAT STROKE– The American Red Cross states that, “Heat stroke is one of the most common problems pets face in the warmer weather when they are not yet used to the warm temperatures.”  If not treated in a timely manner, heat stroke can lead to severe organ dysfunction and damage.  Signs include: heavy panting, red gums, and a fast pulse rate.

POISON– Did you know lilies are poisonous to cats or that avocado can cause vomiting in dogs?  To find out which other plants, flowers, and people food can be hazardous to your animals, check the ASPCA Poison Control website: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control

EMERGENCY & PETS– In the case of emergency or disaster, the American Red Cross has provided a useful checklist that guides you in the assembly of a Pet First Aid Kit, tips in preparing for an emergency, and what to do after an event.  More after the link– http://www.redcross.org/images/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m3640126_PetSafety.pdf

Overall, the following tips for general health and wellness are important to keep in mind as pet owners:

  • pets require regular exercise and fresh cool water

  • on top of regular yearly veterinary checkups, make sure your pets’ vaccines are up to date

  • pets need to be spayed/neutered

  • when outside with your pets, keep them on leashes – for their safety and for other animals’ safety as well

  • learn CPR to perform until veterinary care is available

For more information on Pet First Aid Awareness Month or if you’re interested in attending a Red Cross sponsored class, please visit: http://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/program-highlights/cpr-first-aid/wilderness-sports-pets#pet-first-aid

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