Summertime is full of great opportunities for you – and your pets – to spend more time outdoors. Just as warmer weather can make people feel uncomfortable, the same is true for pets. It is important for owners to be conscientious about keeping their pets cool. The American Red Cross New Jersey Region has tips to help you keep your pet safe during the warmer months.
Summer Pet Safety Tips:
- Make sure your pet has plenty of fresh, cool water.
- Know the signs of heat stroke – heavy panting, unable to calm down, brick red gum color, fast pulse rate, unable to get up. If you suspect heat stroke, take your pet’s temperature rectally. If it is above 105 degrees Fahrenheit, cool the animal down. You can use a water hose. When the temperature reaches 103 degrees, stop cooling and take your pet to the vet immediately.
- Never leave your pet inside your vehicle, even for a short time. Temperatures can quickly climb to 120 degrees, which can quickly lead to heat stroke.
- As temperatures rise and you keep the doors and windows of your home open, keep an eye on pets that may try to get outside and be injured from a fall from a window or hit by a vehicle.
- Some plants and flowers can be hazardous for your pet. Visit the ASPCA Poison Control website to find out which plants and flowers are poisonous to animals. If you think your animal is ill or may have ingested a poisonous substance, contact your veterinarian.
DOWNLOAD THE RED CROSS PET FIRST AID APP Pet owners can download the Red Cross Pet First Aid App. The free app gives smartphone and tablet users instant access to information on what to do during an emergency with their pet until veterinary assistance is available. The app includes step-by-step instructions, videos and images for more than 25 common first aid and emergency situations. For more information, visit redcross.org/apps.
By Courtney Lee, Red Cross volunteer