10 must know “NOs” for pet first aid awareness month

Hidden dangers lurking in your home

By: Doug Bardwell, Red Cross volunteer

One of the first things we teach a new pet is the meaning of the word “NO”. There are a lot of things they should learn that are not acceptable. And there is much that pet owners should realize are a “NO” as well. Here are 10 must-know NOs:

Household decorations: Holiday ornaments, especially those that look like candy, can be hard to resist if you’re a hungry pet.

Candles are pretty to look at, but when burning, can be a fire hazard when knocked over. Also, the fumes can be extremely dangerous to birds.

Potpourri can look like a snack plate to animals but can cause extremely upset stomachs or worse.

Cleaning solutions can be poisonous to many pets.  Look for “Pet Safe” on the labels or make sure surfaces are wiped down and dry before pets come in contact with them.

Poisonous plants include azaleas, daffodils, day and Easter lilies, holly, laurels, poinsettias, and philodendrons. Keep them away from pets.

Plant foods, especially fertilizers, will give just about any animal digestive problems, even in the smallest doses.

Medications can be deadly to pets as well as little children. Shiny capsules can be tempting if left out on a table or counter.

Human foods shouldn’t be shared. Humans’ mouths contain completely different bacteria from those found in the mouths of birds and other exotic pets and can cause serious infections.

Rodent traps need to be set in areas where larger pets can’t reach them.

Leftover batteries can be punctured with an animal’s sharp teeth, exposing dangerous battery acids inside.

The American Red Cross can also be of assistance in learning pet safety with pet-specific CPR classes and handy First Aid safety apps you can carry on your phone.

Find tips for administering pet CPR. Learn how to care for your dog or cat when he or she needs you most: https://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/cpr/performing-cpr/pet-cpr or register for a class here:  https://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/first-aid/cat-dog-first-aid In this 35-minute online course, you will learn the basics of caring for cats and dogs through a variety of topics – from understanding and checking your pet’s vital signs to preventative care for cats and dogs, to caring for the most critical emergency situations – including breathing and cardiac emergencies, wounds, bleeding, and seizures.

The free Pet First Aid app puts veterinary advice for emergencies as well as everyday pet care in the palm of your hand. With videos, interactive quizzes and simple step-by-step advice, it’s never been easier to know pet first aid. Available on the Apple App Store and on Google Play, or text “GETPET” to 90999. Check out this previous post for more insight into the Pet First Aid app.

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