Having the skills to know what to do in an emergency is indispensable. Since April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month, it’s a perfect time to brush up on those skills. With the gorgeous spring days calling us outside and the heat of summer coming soon, first aid incidents usually increase during the outdoor months of spring and summer.
Planning for Emergencies:
We can easily run through 100 scenarios in our minds, but actually being able to plan how an emergency will unfold is impossible. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to be as prepared as possible in the event of an emergency.
- Unfortunately, most Red Cross shelters cannot accept pets because of health and safety concerns. Make a plan with friends, relatives, hotels, boarding facilities will accept pets in an emergency
- Assemble an easy-to-carry kit with emergency supplies for pets (leashes, collar with extra tags, harness, carrier, etc)
- Have on hand extra food, drinking water, bowls, manual can opener
- Medications and copies of medical records
- Learn the basics of First Aid and Pet CPR (see the videos below)
Another common emergency situation we see in pets is heat stroke. It gets hot quick in the summer and stays hot for a while. Never forget that the inside of a car can quickly reach 120 degrees in warm weather (not even HOT, just warm). Owners should never leave their animals in the car, even for a short amount of time.
The signs of heat stroke include:
- Heavy panting
- Unable to calm down even when resting or lying down
- Brick red gums, dry gums
- They may have a fast pulse rate, or they may not be able to get up.
- Take them to the vet immediately if their temperature is over 104°. Try to have someone with you who can work on cooling the pet while the other one drives.
Knowing what to do in an emergency can be the difference of life, serious injury, or even death. Always be prepared for the worst, but plan for the best when you’re out and about with your pets this spring and summer!
Make sure to check out the videos below to learn first aid basics and some other great tips.
Learn the basic Pet First Aide & CPR from Denise Fleck of the Pet Safety Crusaders
“How To: Make a Pet First Aid Kit” From the Bay Ridge Animal Hospital