April is National Pet First Aid Awareness month. So we figured it would be a good time to bone up on some first aid skills . . .
We cannot stress enough that you SHOULD NOT get online during a pet emergency or when your pet is seriously ill. In an emergency, it’s not a great time to research and learn. Prepare yourself ahead of time so that if and when an emergency does arise, you’ll be ready with first aid that might just save your pet.
To be prepared when your pet is in need you might want to purchase is the American Red Cross Dog First Aid manual and/or American Red Cross Cat First Aid manual. Go ahead and read the book and watch the 30-minute DVD video that features step-by-step instructions on safety procedures, disaster preparedness and dealing with medical emergencies. These reference guides provide quick answers to questions about caring for your dogs and cats. Red Cross Dog First Aid and Cat First Aid manuals can teach you how to:
- Administer medications
- Recognize an emergency
- Perform CPR and first aid
- Treat common problems and emergencies requiring immediate attention
- Stock a pet first aid kit
To order a copy of Dog First Aid or Cat First Aid, contact your local chapter or visit the Red Cross online store. You might also want to consider a class. American Red Cross Pet First Aid classes give pet owners the confidence and skills necessary to tend to unexpected emergencies until they can get their pet to a veterinarian. Many Red Cross chapters across the country offer classes with hands-on training in Pet First Aid procedures.
Another step in being prepared for that emergency is to have a
AKC Pet First Aid Kit on hand. You should have the kit purchased and stored in a safe place to use when necessary.
An excellent iPhone application is available for Dog First Aid – PetMD and Cat First Aid – PetMD. PetMD offers resources for pet health at your fingertips. The application gives you clear and fast advice wherever you are.
Pets can succumb to heatstroke very easily! Treatment must begin very quickly to give them a chance of survival. Never leave your pet in the car on warm days. If your pet suffers a heatstroke move them out of the direct sunlight if possible. Cool them down by placing a cold wet towel around the neck and head being careful not to cover the eyes, nose or mouth. Rewet and reapply the towel every few minutes. Use a hose to run water over the animal’s abdomen and between the hind legs. Massage your pets legs as the water is running. The water will absorb the body heat so keep the water wiped off their body. Transport the pet to a vet as soon as possible.
If your pet has a weak pulse, shallow breathing, nervousness or dazed eyes they could be in shock. Your pet could go into shock following a severe injury or a serious fright. Try to keep them restrained, quiet and warm. Transport the pet immediately to a veterinarian. If unconscious it is important to keep the head level with the rest of the body.
If your pet has been injured and is bleeding. Approach the dog slowly, when injured you never know what your dog will do. Minor bleeding can be handled with minimal effort. The first thing to do is apply pressure to the area to stop the bleeding. Once the bleeding has stopped cover the wound with a clean cloth or sterile dressing.
For those of you that have the ability to deal with serious bleeding an excellent article “How to Give First Aid to your Dog” gives in depth information and is worth reading. If any wound is spurting blood, it means an artery has been cut and it requires immediate professional attention. Apply pressure and get your pet help as fast as you safely can.
Being prepared may save your pet’s life!
Thanx for the post. As a paramedic and double dog owner this is so important.
I will be taking my dog first aid and CPR course in May. Can’t wait!
Great post one should know what to do when there pet needs help. Good tips and products.
Thanks for sharing this vital information. I was a veterinary tech for many years, and never could get over how many people have pets but know absolutely nothing about what kind of needs the pets have, or what to do in an emergency.
What a great resource!
We have launched a pet first aid website. The course covers all the basics of caring for your pet and includes many subjects. If you would like more information, let me know. The course works worldwide.
It is so important to know basic pet first aid, so you’re not left helpless in an emergency. I can’t imagine anything worse than watching your pet suffer and die, and not knowing how to help. It’s definitely worth the effort to learn.
You never know when you’ll need to administer medical attention to your pet. You may want to put together a First Aid kit for your pet, in case of accident or disaster. Here’s some basic items you’d need: http://www.foundanimals.org/pet-care/ask-experts/assembling-pet-first-aid-kit