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Take care of your pets as the temperature edges up

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — As temperatures in the Albuquerque area have gotten into the 90s, here are some timely safety reminders for pet owners courtesy of the New Mexico Chapter of the American Red Cross:

⋄ “Hot cars can be deadly. Never leave children or pets in your vehicle – even for a minute. The inside temperature of the car can quickly reach 120 degrees.”

⋄ “Animals can suffer heat stroke, a common problem for pets in the warmer weather.”

“Some of the signs of heat stroke in your pet are: 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 (its) temperature rectally. If the temperature is above 105 degrees, cool the animal down. The easiest way to do this is by using the water hose. Stop cooling the animal when its temperature reaches 103 degrees. Bring your pet to the veterinarian as soon as possible, as heat stroke can lead to severe organ dysfunction and damage.”

The Red Cross says you can download the organization’s Pet First Aid app and take the Cat and Dog First Aid course. “The app features step-by-step instructions for cat and dog first aid emergencies and more,” the group says in its news release. You 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 by going to redcross.org/apps.

You can also take the Cat and Dog First Aid online course at redcross.org/catdogfirstaid.

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