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Pet First Aid Awareness Month

Pets are family, so pet parents need to be prepared for all kinds of emergencies. This includes knowing pet first aid. The month of April, also known as Pet First Aid Awareness Month, aims to help parents understand the importance of ensuring their pets well-being in unexpected situations.

Pet parents might think that their pets are getting enough water, but are they really? If a pet parent suspects that their pet is dehydrated, they can pull up on the skin between the shoulder blades. If the pet is hydrated enough, the skin will fall back down normally, but if they aren’t, the skin will stay in an upright position. Every pet parent tries their best to keep poisons away from pet’s paws. But there’s still a chance that a pet will get into something, and that can cause issues. Sign of pet poisoning include bleeding externally or internally, dilated pupils, drooling or foaming at the mouth, seizures or other abnormal mental states or behavior.

Just the word seizure can be scary, but it can be even scarier confronted with a real animal on the ground suffering from one. If this happens when a pet parent is home, make sure it is in a safe place. Do not restrain the animal, and don’t put hands by their mouth. In their state, pets may not know who their owner is and could bite them. With summer around the corner, pet parents also need to be aware of the signs of heat stroke or heat exhaustion. Collapse, body temperature of 104 degrees F, bloody diarrhea or vomiting, wobbliness, excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increase heart rate, red mucous membranes and increased salivation are all signs of heat related illness.

Walking down the street at a leisurely pace, the last thing pet parents expect is for their pet to be attacked by another animal. But unfortunately, all it takes is a couple seconds for something to happen. If a pet does get bitten, no matter how small the wound, they still need to be taken to a vet. If a pet is bleeding, apply pressure directly to the wound with gauze, and use more gauze if the blood continues to soak through until a vet can be found. The chances of a bite becoming infected increase when not checked properly by a vet, especially if it’s an internal wound.

More lifesaving information can be found on the Red Cross Pet First Aid App that helps pet owners provide emergency care until a pet can be brought to a vet. Included in the app are 25 common first aid emergencies along with step-by-step instructions, videos and pictures. The app can be found on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store by searching American Red Cross. So do you and your pet, a favor today by downloading the app and becoming well informed for the health and safety of your pet.