April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month; and this is a great opportunity for pet owners to brush up on first aid skills as the temperatures rise. Just like humans, pets are prone to heat stroke, tick diseases and obesity among other health issues; and pet owners need to be aware of the signs and how to handle each scenario.
Dogs walk around with a fur coat; and while the fur protects skin from sun damage/burn, it also traps heat. Dogs waiting for pet owners inside a car often fall victim to heat stroke, as the car temperatures rise above 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Watch dogs for excessive panting; inability to calm down; or a speeding heart rate. Find water quickly; and provide them with air conditioning to cool down.
Tick bites from deer or other wildlife occur most in spring as the temperatures rise above freezing. Grooming pets after outdoor playtime is a must; and knowing how to remove a tick is vital this time of year. Do not burn off the tick nor use your hands to remove the tick. Instead, use tick tweezers and remove the tick the same way you would on yourself.
Obesity is a huge problem in America; and pets are no different. Without proper exercise, dogs will become lethargic, fat and unable to move. Dogs need at least 30 minutes of daily activity and strength building exercises to stay fit. Interact with pets in the fenced-in backyard by playing catch; jumping activities; and running around the yard together.
This First Aid Awareness Month, take care of pets; and watch for signs of Lyme Disease in dogs as well as other hazards. Carry current photos of dogs in case they get lost; and keep an emergency aid kit on-hand with tick tweezers, water and other health supplies for pets.