As a pet owner you care a lot about your little guy(s). You want to give them everything you can to make them happy, healthy and well-behaved. Perhaps you haven’t really thought about the possibility of them getting sick or hurt, but you should be thinking about it in case the unthinkable happens. Just as important as it is to have a general knowledge of first aid for your friends and family, it’s also necessary to have a basic grasp of canine first aid, especially if you’re out dog walking and something goes wrong! So without further adieu, we’ve come up with a doggie first aid guide.
Putting Together a Doggie First Aid Kit
First you need the necessary supplies:
- Bandaging materials
- Nail clippers
- Styptic powder
- A rectal thermometer
One of the most important things when it comes to your pet’s health is knowing how to look for signs of illness. Once you know what to look for it’s easier to prevent an emergency before it happens. If your dog is exhibiting any of the following symptoms you should seek veterinary help as soon as possible:
- Loss of appetite
- Increased thirst
- Abnormal heart rate
- Difficulty breathing
- Dilated pupils
- Recurring collapses
- Recurrent coughing
Once you’ve noticed a sign of illness, it’s time to act. Remember to stop, take a deep breath and remain calm. It’s extremely important to remain calm in order to properly assess the situation, plus your pet will feed off your energy and you don’t want to further distress the poor fella. Once you’ve noted all of the symptoms contact your veterinarian and clearly articulate what’s going on. Remember the following:
- Make sure that you put your own safety first. Before approaching your pet, make sure that they are not hostile, scared or delirious. If they seem out-of-sorts, make sure to call the animal poison center.
- Once you know that it’s okay to approach your pet, check their ABCDs: Airway, breathing, circulation and disability. Check their breathing and pulse, try to analyze their level of injury or illness, and clearly report it to the veterinarian.
- Administer first aid. Control the bleeding by applying a clean cloth or gauze and applying pressure, immobilize broken limbs with splints, or flush their burns with cold water for at least 20 minutes.
- Get your dog to the hospital as soon as possible.
Keep all of these things in mind and you’ll be well-equipped to handle a pet emergency. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Always keep your dog leashed and obey your local leash laws to keep them from being hit by a car. Pet-proof your house so they don’t get into any particularly toxic materials or hazardous areas. Always follow dog exercise safety when you’re being active with your dog!
Make sure your garbage is in a safe place! Dogs have a tendency to get into garbage and eat anything they can while their owners away including toxic chocolate or broken glass, so it’s important to have the foresight to be prepared for that. One last thing you can do to keep your dog out of harm’s way is to have them microchipped.
We hope that you’ve found our safety and first aid guide helpful and that you’ll never have to use the recommendations within it.
’Til Next Time,