April is National Pet First Aid Awareness Month
Recent news stories have proven that pets are vulnerable to tragedy much like their human companions. It's not just natural disasters that affect our loved ones. Every-day situations could prove dangerous to pets as well, especially as the weather warms up.
We've all heard it's dangerous to leave pets in cars when it's hot. But did you know that even moderate temperatures can prove to be dangerous? Check out these statistics of interior car temperatures, even when it's just warm:
Not only is it important to keep pets out of a parked car, it's also important to restrain your dog while driving. Several states are passing laws that require animals to be restrained or crated while in cars. Even if it's not legally mandated, it's a good idea to not let your little backseat barker become a diversion or even a projectile in the event of an accident.
As grateful as we are for spring, it can also mean more outside exposures to toxins. These come in the form of plants or eating rodents that have ingested poison. For a list of safe and unsafe garden plants, visit the ASPCA animal poison control center. They also have an article for what to do if you suspect your pet has been poisoned. But remember, time is of the essence in these situations, and getting your pet to the vet is important.
Invest in a first-aid kit for your pets. This is not designed to replace your vet, but can be an important tool in providing quick care until you can get them to emergency treatment.
Don’t forget to include pets in planning for emergencies in your home or neighborhood. Take your pets with you if you have to evacuate. Many evacuation shelters don't have space for animals, so have a list of friends, relatives and boarding places that will accept your pets when the unthinkable happens.
Assemble an easy-to-carry kit with emergency supplies for pets. Inside a pet carrier, place a leash, collar, food, water and bowls. Have copies of pet medical records and current photos of your pets in a waterproof baggie.
Our pets depend on us for their safety!
For more information on protecting pets, review the Red Cross pet safety checklist for disaster preparedness.