Pet First Aid Tips for Owners

Pet Safety
April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month. Take a minute to review first aid tips so you can care for your pet should an emergency occur.

Pets are an important part of many families, and April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month is the perfect time to ensure you have the skills to take care of your furry family member.

Pet First Aid Tips

Do you know what to do during a pet emergency? Here are some common emergency tips:

  • To determine if your cat or dog is dehydrated, pull up on the skin between the shoulder blades. It should spring right back; if it stays tented this is a sign of dehydration.
  • Signs of pet poisoning include bleeding externally or internally, dilated pupils, drooling or foaming at the mouth, seizures or other abnormal mental state or behavior.
  • If your pet has a seizure, make sure it is in a safe place, but do not restrain the animal. Keep your hands away from its mouth as your pet may not know who you are during a seizure and could bite you.
  • Signs of heat stroke or heat exhaustion include collapse; body temperature of 104 degrees F or above; bloody diarrhea or vomiting; wobbliness; excessive panting or difficulty breathing; increase heart rate; mucous membranes very red; and increased salivation.
  • Pets bitten by other animals need vet attention to prevent the wound (even if minor) from becoming infected and to check for internal wounds. Never break up a dogfight yourself because you could be bitten.
  • If your pet is bleeding, apply direct pressure using gauze over the bleeding site. If blood soaks through, apply more gauze (do not removed soaked gauze) until you can reach a veterinary hospital.
  • Pet First Aid App

    More lifesaving information is available on the Red Cross Pet First Aid App that helps dog and cat owners to 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. Check out the Top 5 Features of the

    Red Cross Pet First Aid App.

    The Pet First Aid App can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross or by going to redcross.org/mobileapps.

    Pet owners may also take a Red Cross Pet First Aid course so they can practice the skills and receive feedback. People can go to redcross.org/takeaclass for information and to register.

    About the American Red Cross:
    The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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