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National Animal Safety and Protection Month

National Animal Safety and Protection Month

October is National Animal Safety and Protection Month. This is a great time to learn about safety measures you should take to protect your dog and ensure they are healthy. Here are some basic pet safety tips that you should always keep in mind.

Breathing rate
To check your dog’s breathing rate, count the number of times their chest rises and falls in one minute. Normal breathing rates (not breed/size specific) are 10-30 breaths per minute and up to 200 pants (breathing with mouth open and tongue out) per minute.

Dehydration
To tell if your dog is dehydrated, pull on on the skin between the shoulder blades. The skin should spring right back. If it doesn’t, this could be a sign of dehydration. Other signs of dehydration include loss of appetite, reduced energy levels and/or lethargy, panting, sunken, dry-looking eyes, and dry nose and gums.

Temperature
A digital thermometer is an easy way to take your dog’s temperature. Lubricate the thermometer with petroleum jelly or a water-based lubricant for comfort and insert the tip into your dog’s rectum just beneath the tail. Their temperature should read between 99.5-102.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

Allergic reactions
Like humans, dogs can have allergic reactions to various plants, foods, environments, etc. These reactions may include hives, redness, itching and licking at the site, swelling around the eyes, vomiting, collapse, and difficulty breathing. A severe reaction can lead to anaphylactic shock which could occur immediately or progressively over several hours. If your dog has been stung by something, DO NOT try to remove the stinger as this could potentially release more toxin. ALWAYS call your veterinarian if you believe your dog is having an allergic reaction.

Another great reference guide for animal safety is American Red Cross’s free Pet First Aid App. You can download it here or text “GETPET” to 90999.

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