The City of Titusville, Florida / Fire & Emergency Services / NewsLearn First Aid for your Pet Today
April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month.This is a great opportunity for pet owners to brush up on tips from the American Red Cross to keep their animals safe and healthy as we head into spring and summer.
One of the most common problems pets face in the warmer weather is that they are not used to the warm temperatures.
- All animals should have shade from the sun.
- Pets should never be left in cars, even during short trips.
- The inside of a car can quickly reach 120 degrees or more in warm weather.
- Signs of Heat Stroke in your pet:
- Heavy panting and an inability to calm down, even when lying down.
- The pet’s gums may be brick red, they may have a fast pulse rate, or they may not be able to get up.
- If someone suspects their pet has heat stroke, they should take the pet’s temperature rectally.
- If the temperature is above 105 degrees Fahrenheit, they should cool the animal down.
- The easiest way to cool down an animal is with the water hose. Stop cooling the animal when the animal’s temperature lowers to 103 degrees.
- Bring the pet to the veterinarian immediately as heat stroke can lead to severe organ dysfunction and damage.
- Open doors and windows in homes and buildings can be hazardous to a pet. The animal may try to get outside, increase the risk of falling from windows or being hit by a vehicle.
- Certain flowers and plants can be hazardous to pets.
- Many lilies are very poisonous to cats.
- Visit the ASPCA Poison Control web site to find out which plants and flowers are poisonous to animals.
- If someone thinks their animal is ill or may have ingested a poisonous substance, they should contact their veterinarian.
PET FIRST AID
- Courses are available at many Red Cross chapters on how to care for your pet.
- Red Cross has also developed Dog First Aid and Cat First Aid Guides with DVDs that teach basic responsibilities like spaying/neutering and giving medications, to performing CPR and preparing for disasters.
- Visit Redcross.org/training or call 1-800 RED CROSS to see when classes are available. The Guides are available through the Red Cross Store.
HOW TO KEEP YOUR PET HEALTHY
- Plenty of exercise
- Plenty of fresh cool water at all times
- Plenty of food
- Checkups by the veterinarian yearly
- Vaccines are up to date, especially rabies
- Ensure that pets are spayed or neutered
An animal under physical control is an animal under mental control. The law states all animals must be leashed at all times when off the property of the animal owner.
In Brevard County, at large is defined as off the premises of the owner, and not under the physical control of a leash, cord or chain of sufficient strength to control the animal not to exceed six (6) feet in length. If you love your pet, leash your pet!
EMERGENCIES AND YOUR PET
- When planning for emergencies include your pet!
- If you evacuate make sure to take your pets with you.
- Most Red Cross shelters cannot accept pets because of health and safety concerns and other considerations. Know which friends, relatives, hotels, boarding facilities will accept pets in an emergency.
- Put together an emergency supplies kit for your pet in case of evacuation to include bowls, drinking water food, manual can opener, medications and copies of medical records, current photos of pets, and leashes, harnesses and/or carriers.