The ASPCA recommends using a rescue sticker to let people know that pets are in your home. Make sure it is viewable from the exterior of your home and that it includes the type and number of your pets and your veterinarian’s phone number. If you have evacuated with your pets and time permits write “EVACUATED” across the sticker so rescuers don’t waste time looking for them.
Pet Safety and Health
The first step in keeping your pet healthy and safe is to know what is normal for your pet. Know what is normal for your pet in terms of gum color, heart/pulse rate, body temperature and breathing rate.
- Give your pet plenty of exercise.
- Make sure your pet has plenty of fresh, cool water.
- Get to know a veterinarian and make sure your pet has yearly checkups.
- Make sure your pet is up to date on vaccines.
- Get your pet spayed or neutered.
- Keep dogs on leashes outside – another animal may be too much temptation.
Heat Stroke is a common problem for pets in warm weather. Remember that animals love to play and may not stop playing even when overheated. Some signs your pet may be developing heat stroke include heavy panting, and being unable to calm down, even when lying down. Their gums may be brick-red, their pulse rate may be fast, or they may not be able to get up. The easiest way to help cool your pet is by using cool water you should do this gradually so as not to put increased stress on your pet. Stop cooling the animal when their temperature reaches 103 degrees. You should also invest in a pet first aid manual. I recommend Pet First Aid by Barbara Mammato, DVM, MPH this handbook is sponsored by The American Red Cross and The Humane Society of the United States. Bring your pet to the veterinarian as soon as possible as heat stroke can lead to severe organ dysfunction and damage. Never leave your pet alone in the car for even a few minutes even with the windows cracked open as temperatures can rapidly reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pet owners need to be aware that animals may try to get out of a window or door which are more likely to be open in warm weather. Spring planting can be hazardous to animals. For example many varieties of lilies are toxic to cats. Visit the ASPCA Poison Control web site for a list of plants that are toxic to pets. On Friday we will take a look at a First Aid Kit for your pet.