National Pet First Aid Awareness Month

Save A Life!

April is National Pet First Aid Awareness Month.  I have for the last 26 years taken CPR and First Aid Classes as part of being a Certified Group Fitness Instructor.  When the subject came up to get training for Pet CPR and First Aid, it just seemed like the right thing to do as a pet business owner.  After I took the course I saw how valuable it was and felt that everyone who has a pet should want to be able to help that pet in an emergency.  In that emergency situation sometimes what you do before you get to the Vet can be the difference between a favorable outcome and a tragic outcome.  Along with learning about taking the pet’s vital signs, you will learn what to do if your pet is choking, bleeding protocol and CPR.  You’ll also learn what not to do – such as don’t put your fingers in a conscious dog’s throat to dislodge something. You could lose a finger!  Most of the programs (if not all) will show you how to do a Snout to Tail Assessment.  This is an invaluable tool.  You will learn what is normal for your pet.  If you do this regularly (once a month), you may be able to detect a lump or discover an area of discomfort for your pet.  Our pets can’t tell us if something is wrong.  This assessment is the closest thing to them telling you where it hurts.  If you are interested in taking a Pet CPR and First Aid course, you can Google for some options.  Or check out the American Red Cross, Pet Tech or  Your furry pal will thank you!

Poison Prevention Room-by-Room

March is Pet Poison Prevention Awareness Month.  Most pet owners know that chocolate is a no-no for all pets, but there are many more substances maybe you didn’t think would be a problem.  We are going to encourage pet owners to go room-by-room to create a pet-friendly environment.

  • Kitchen:  Be sure to put all food in secure containers, and only feed pet food to your pet. Even small amounts of grapes, raisons, macadamia nuts, xylitol (artificial sweetener found in gum and other foods) can be dangerous to your pet.  Purchase a garbage can with a heavy, secure lid.
  • Living Area: Plants may seem harmless, but some plants contain toxic substances.  Consult with your Veterinarian before purchasing a new household plant.  Here are a few plants that are toxic to pets:  Aloe Vera, Azalea, Boxwood, Calla Lilly, Chrysanthemum, Easter lily, and Philodendron.
  • Bathroom:  Keep all medications in original, safety top containers, personal care products in a medicine cabinet and cleaning supplies in a secure location.  Install child-proof cabinet devices to prevent pets from opening cabinet doors.
  • Bedroom: Under-the-bed storage space can be great for keeping last season’s sweaters out of sight, but do not use the space to store toxic substances.  Examine the room for perfume, medicine or personal care items and store them in drawers or boxes.
  • Laundry Room:  Keep laundry detergent and supplies in tightly closed, original containers.
  • Garage:  Bug spray, weed killer, paint, charcoal, car coolant and gasoline can be fatal for your pet.  Store these items in a locked cabinet or box to prevent your pet from accidental ingestion.  Be careful on your walks for coolant that has leaked out of your car or a neighbor’s car as it is an attractive substances for your dog but extremely toxic.

Potpourri and tobacco products left out can be toxic to pets.  For a more complete list visit the ASPCA website.  If you know your pet has ingested a toxic substance, call the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline 1-888-426-4435 or 1-800-548-2423.  They will charge $50 but this is considered the most up to date database on toxic substances.