American Red Cross: Keep pets safe as the days get hot

MANISTEE COUNTY — The blistering heat wave blanketing much of the country can be dangerous for your family pets.

The American Red Cross shares steps to ensure pets stays safe and cool this summer, whenever spending time outside.

The Red Cross also warns others to not leave pets in a hot vehicle, even for a few minutes. The inside temperature can quickly reach up to 120 degrees, despite windows being cracked open.

A news release from the Red Cross states that animals can suffer heat stroke, a common problem for pets in the warmer weather.

Dogs with short noses or snouts, like the boxer or bulldog, are especially prone to heat stroke, along with overweight pets, those with extremely thick fur coat or any pet with upper respiratory problems such as laryngeal paralysis or collapsing trachea, the Red Cross stated.

Some signs of heat stroke in a pet includes the following:

• Heavy panting and unable to calm down, even when lying down;

• Brick red gum color;

• Fast pulse rate; and

• Unable to get up.

If you suspect your pet has heat stroke, take their temperature. If the temperature is above 105 degrees, attempt to cool the animal down. Stop cooling the animal when the temperature reaches 103 degrees, the news release stated.

When issues arise, bring your pet to the veterinarian as soon as possible.

Pet owners should also make sure their pets are drinking a sufficient amount of water. This means taking water with you everywhere.

Pet owners can also download the Red Cross Pet First Aid app for more information on how to include pets in emergency preparedness plans.

The app also features step-by-step instructions for first aid emergencies, a pet profile for storing tag ID, photo and medical information, early warning signs for when to contact a veterinarian and an animal hospital locator.

Users can find it in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross, texting GETPET to 90999 for a link to download the app or going to redcross.org/apps.

Also take the Red Cross Cat and Dog First Aid online course and download the Pet First Aid App, so that they will know what to do in an emergency until veterinary care is available. People can access the course on their desktop or tablet at redcross.org/catdogfirstaid and go through the content at their own pace.

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Posted by Ashlyn Korienek

Ashlyn is the cops & courts and city reporter for the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach her at (231) 398-3109 or akorienek@pioneergroup.com

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