April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month. Our pets are part of our families, so it is important to care for them like you would a person. This month is the perfect time to catch up on skills to take care of your furry friends.

Here are some helpful first aid tips from the American Red Cross:

Is your pet dehydrated?

  • Pull up on the skin between the shoulder blades. It should spring right back; if it stays tented this is a sign of dehydration.

Does your pet have poisoning?pet first aid awareness

  • Signs include bleeding externally or internally, dilated pupils, drooling or foaming at the mouth, seizures or other abnormal mental state or behavior

If your pet has a seizure:

  • Make sure they are in a safe place, but do not restrain them.
  • Keep your hands away from its mouth as your pet may not know who you are during a seizure and could harm you.

Signs of heatstroke or heat exhaustion:

  • Collapse; body temperature of 104 degrees F or above; bloody diarrhea or vomiting; wobbliness; excessive panting or difficulty breathing; increased heart rate; mucous membranes very red; and increased salivation.

If your pet was bitten by another animal:

  • Provide vet attention to prevent the wound (even if minor) from becoming infected and to check for internal wounds.
  • Never break up a dogfight yourself because you could be bitten.

If your pet is bleeding:

  • Apply direct pressure using gauze over the bleeding site
  • If blood soaks through, apply more gauze (do not removed soaked gauze) until you can reach a veterinary hospital

For more first aid tips and other information you can visit the American Red Cross.